Keeping children safe while they are out on the street is very important, not just to parents, but the community as a whole. According to statistics from Safe Kids.org, more than 600 children die due to pedestrian injuries in the United States annually. Fortunately, there are some pedestrian safety activities for kids which can help young children become more aware of pedestrian safety
Identifying Traffic Signals and Colors
Teach the child the meaning of traffic signs. Make it fun and engaging for the child while explaining the meaning and relevance of the traffic signs. You can make up fun names for some of the stick figures portrayed on some traffic signs based on its intended message. For instance, at the crosswalk or intersection, the walk signal could be the Walk Man or vice versa, the Stop Man. Also, while on the streets, you can play games like Red Light, Green Light to make them more aware of the importance of traffic signals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a program called KidsWalk-to-School. The purpose of this program is threefold, it helps children increase their physical activity by encouraging them to walk to and from school, where possible, in groups and accompanied by adults. The program also gives communities the opportunity to develop partnerships with schools, local police department, local politicians, and businesses, with the ultimate aim of creating active and safe routes to and from the school. It also helps increase awareness about the importance of pedestrian safety for children while teaching the children the importance of regular physical activity.
Pedestrian Safety Games
In the home, the classroom or the playground, games can reinforce pedestrian safety. Set up a traffic pattern that could involve drawing streets and intersections on the ground, while other children will be given different colored bands, specific color tee shirts or a sign, meant to represent things like cars, buses or street lights. Other children will then attempt to cross the street. Children will learn firsthand how traffic patterns work.
Street Safety Songs
Street safety songs are songs which have been designed to teach children the importance of pedestrian safety. These songs are actually lessons from which children can learn different aspects of pedestrian safety. For example, these safety songs were developed by do2Learn and include: “Walk on the Sidewalk”, “Cross the Driveway”, “Cross at an Intersection”, and “Cross at Traffic Light”. Once children learn the songs, it makes it easier for them to remember safe pedestrian practices.