Learning outcomes Down arrow icon to open accordion

The activities on this page will help children learn and understand:

  • How to cross roads at safe crossing places
  • Why they need to hold hands with a grown up when crossing roads
  • Key road safety concepts and vocabulary
  • How grown ups can help keep them safe near roads.
Let’s talk about road safety (keywords) Down arrow icon to open accordion

Use the following keywords when talking to children about road safety: red, green, stop, wait, look, listen, hold hands, car, traffic, safe, danger, slow, fast, road, crash.

We're taking part in a Beep Beep! Day

We’re taking part in a special day to help us learn how to stay safe near roads. We’re taking part in a Beep Beep! Day and our friends from Timmy Time are going to help us learn about road safety.

Today, Timmy is going to help us learn how to find a safe place to cross the road when we go for a walk. Walking is fun and it is good for our bodies. It keeps us healthy and it is good for the planet. When we walk, we want our journeys to be safe, so we always walk with a grown up and we hold our grown up’s hand.

Sometimes when we go for a walk, we need to cross the road. Who can tell me some reasons why we might need to cross a road? [To get to the other side/school/ the park, etc.]

Can anyone tell me a safe place to cross the road? [Zebra crossing/pelican crossing/ footbridge/school crossing patrol. Show children pictures of different crossing places].

Why do we have to be careful when we cross the road? [Traffic could hit us/it is harder for drivers to see us because we are small.] What could happen if a car hit you? [We could get hurt.] Why? [Because cars are big/hard/heavy/fast.]

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How do we cross roads?

Zebra crossings Down arrow icon to open accordion

Zebra crossings have black and white stripes like a zebra and are marked with flashing amber lights on top of stripy poles called ‘Belisha beacons’. At a zebra crossing you must stop, look, listen and wait for cars travelling in both directions to stop before you start crossing the road.

Pelican crossings Down arrow icon to open accordion

Pelican crossings have traffic lights and a button to press. The ‘red person signal’ means it is not safe to cross and children must stop and wait. The ‘green person signal’ means it is safe to cross but you must check first that the traffic has stopped. Some crossings make a ‘beeping’ sound to tell people who can’t see when it is safe to cross.

Tell children that whatever type of crossing they use, they must always hold a grown up’s hand while crossing, and keep looking and listening for traffic.

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Activity 1: Stop! Go! Game

You will need:

  • Music
  • Red STOP sign
  • Green GO sign

Instructions:

  1. Write STOP and GO in bold letters on sheets of red and green card.
  2. Ask children to stand in a circle.
  3. Someone stands in the middle of the circle holding red STOP and green GO signs.
  4. When the music starts, children walk, dance or skip round the circle. When the music stops, the person in the middle holds up the STOP sign and everyone stops moving. When the music starts again the person in the middle holds up the GO sign and everyone starts moving again.
  5. Anyone who doesn’t stop or go is out. If the person in the middle forgets to hold up the sign, they change places with someone else.

Discussion:

Explain that when it comes to road safety, red means stop and green means go. At traffic lights, the red light means cars must stop. At a crossing, the red person signal means you must stop and wait. The green person signal means go, but only after you have checked for traffic and you must still hold your grown up’s hand all the time.

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Activity 2: Finding safe places to cross

You will need:

  • A play mat with roads on
  • Selection of small toys, figures and cars or other vehicles

Instructions:

  1. Set out the play mat on the floor or on a table. (You could also do this activity outside in your play area).
  2. Explain that many roads are designed for traffic, but they do not always have safe places for us to walk and cycle.
  3. With the children, make safe spaces where they can walk, cycle and play safely, away from traffic. Then make safe crossing places and road signs telling traffic to stop or slow down.
  4. Ask children if it would be safe to walk from one place on the play mat to another. Remember they will need to walk on safe footpaths away from traffic, cross roads at safe places and hold a grown up's hand.

Discussion:

Talk to children about how streets can be designed for people not traffic, with lots of places to walk, cycle and play safely. Ask them to imagine what it would be like if the place where they live was designed for people. Look outside and talk to children about which bits are designed for traffic and which bits are for people.

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Activity 3: let's go for a walk!

If you have a safe place to walk near you, take children on a short walk outside. Make sure you have enough adults with you so that every child can hold a grown up’s hand. Walk on safe footpaths away from traffic and always cross the road at safe crossing places.

Talk to children as you are walking about how traffic makes them feel [fast traffic is noisy and frightening]. Look out for safe places to play, away from traffic [parks, gardens].

For children to walk safely where they live they need: footpaths, safe crossing places and slow traffic. See how many of the following you can spot while you are walking: Zebra crossing, pelican crossing, traffic lights, pavements, 20mph sign, slow sign, children playing sign.

Remember, always carry out a risk assessment before walking with children near roads.

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Additional activities - shouting out for road safety

Even the very youngest children can be leaders for road safety by asking grown ups to keep them safe near roads.

Ask children to colour in the postcards and colouring sheets in your online action pack. Send their artwork home with a letter that asks parents to talk to children about the message on the postcard, and to display artwork proudly – to show they understand the importance of keeping children safe near roads.

Timmy Time – helping young children learn about road safety Down arrow icon to open accordion

Timmy’s youth and inexperience make him the perfect character to help very young children learn important lessons about road safety. As Timmy and his friends head off to Nursery, they have lots to learn about the important things in life, including caring for other people and doing ‘the right thing’.