Make sure your little ones are safe out there by teaching them about road safety in creative ways.
Road safety can be a tough subject to approach with kids, but it’s very important that they learn about how to stay safe from very early on. Rather than sitting them down and giving a lecture that is likely to go in one ear and out the other, why not think of new, inventive ways to engage them with the subject? In this short guide from PassSmart, we think of some fun ways to teach kids about road safety, and help you make sure the information sticks!
For young children, the very first thing they need to learn is to hold your hand when out and about near traffic. It should become second nature whenever they’re near a road, and there are a few ways to make sure they remember.
Do some hand printing side-by-side and make a hand-holding poster which you can put up somewhere in the house. Every 6 months make a new one as their hands grow, using it as a constant reminder of how important it is to hold hands.
You could also get them to make hand-holding posters with other members of the family that they’re likely to be out and about with. Grandparents, for example, can have their own for their house.
Stop, look, listen!
Stop – Find the best, safest place to cross and stop on the pavement.
Look – Look left, look right, and look left again.
Listen – Keep listening and looking as you cross the road.
Role play crossing
Practice crossing the road in the garden or a local park, in a space where there’s no real cars. This one works best when there’s a few of them, so siblings and/or friends should come along.
Take one piece of card with a stop sign and one piece of card showing a man crossing to symbolise when it’s safe to cross and when it’s not. They should wait until you show the man crossing card, make sure they look and listen before and whilst crossing, and hold hands the whole way. If they get the whole sequence correct, you could give them some kind of reward.
Road map rugs
Road map rugs are more than just great decorations. They can be used as a fun and easy way to teach little ones how to stay safe on the roads. Many road map rugs include pedestrian crossings, traffic lights and bendy roads so you can use yours to replicate a real town.
You could use a toy car to symbolise a driver and they can use a doll or figurine to symbolise themselves. Ask them where the best place to cross would be, teaching them the importance of not crossing on bends, corners, or where the view is obstructed. Make it more realistic by getting them to create a journey. For example, they could be going to the shops or making their way to school.
For older kids
When teaching older children about the importance of road safety, there are different things to think about. Remind them, for example, never to listen to music when crossing the road. Also, remind them how important it is to remain visible to others and to make sure they know who has right of way and when, if they ride a bike.
This article was provided by Isabelle Guarella of PassSmart; a UK-based company which matches learner drivers with driving instructors in their area. For more details visit PassSmart.com.