How we cross a road
At The Children’s Traffic Club, one of our aims is to influence children’s long-term behaviour. We try to do this by inspiring, involving and motivating young children as they learn about traffic and road safety. First two key messages important for children is; holding onto an adult whilst crossing and developing a clear, repeatable technique for preparing them to cross the road.
A key part of our strategy is encouraging children to keep close contact with their adult whilst out walking and particularly when preparing to cross the road. Holding hands with their adult is the best approach and will reduce the risk of slipping, tripping and dashing into the road. If it is not possible to hold your child’s hand, teach them to hold onto your bag, a buggy or clothing.
In the programme, there are a series of interactive games to reinforce the key message and our resources offer downloadable worksheets and ideas for practicing holding on. Our Handy Hold balloon character reminds children about this vital element in keeping them safer.
How we cross
Simplicity is a fundamental part of our approach and using consistent one-word instructions and repeating them enables children to learn road safety more quickly.
Stop: Practice stopping at the kerb or edge of the footpath to help them understand this is the first rule we must do before crossing
Look: Explain that we must look all around for oncoming traffic and hazards.
Listen: Together listen for oncoming traffic – at times you may be able to hear traffic but not yet see e.g. behind the brow of a hill or parked vehicles.
Think: It’s important to always think carefully about whether or not it is a safe place to cross.
The Children’s Traffic Club resources can help to improve children’s body and spatial awareness when out walking. Throughout the content, it encourages children to think about parts of their body and senses they must use when preparing to cross the road and embed the “Stop”, “Look”, “Listen” and “Think” technique. The fun bright balloon characters, each with fun names and their own road safety message help children remember these terms.
You can also play a fun game with your little one – ask your child/children to walk around the house, garden or at the park. When you say “Stop”, they must stand as still as possible and look at you. When you say “Look”, they point at their eyes, when you say “Listen”, they point at their ears and when you say “Think”, they point at their head. You can do this in order, increasing the speed at which you say the commands and then once they have mastered that, you can mix up the commands.
Learning road safety is such a fundamental skill that we partner closely with early years settings to help them teach road awareness in fun and innovative ways. A comprehensive Early Years’ Guide offers lesson plans, worksheets activities and includes information on how to get the best out of our Augmented Reality (AR) app to reinforce the key messages of our programme.
In our next blog, we will look at active travel and how walking, scootering and cycling are great ways to keeping fit, improve health and be kinder to the environment. It is important that children are taught how to do this safely and then given opportunities to understand, practice and improve their skills.