Children love road safety role play. Here are a few new ideas.
Hold my hand
Talk about how children must always hold a grown-up’s hand when walking along the pavement, stopping at the kerb, and crossing the road.
Give individual children a piece of A4 card to take home. Ask them to ask a parent or carer to draw round their own hand, cut it out, and send it back to the nursery or school the following day. On that day, ask the child to draw round their own hand (with help, as appropriate). Help the child attach the two hands together using a split pin at the top. Some children may like to decorate the hands in two ‘styles’ of ‘gloves’. KS1 children make like to write on the ‘grown up’s’ hand, ‘I love it when you hold my hand and take me to….’ The child can then take their ‘hold my hand’ model home.
Stop! Stop! Stop!
A third of all children hurt crossing the road said they didn’t stop before stepping off the kerb, and as many said they didn’t look (www.capt.org.uk). Ask your children for their own ideas for activities to highlight the importance of the kerb as the place to stop and look e.g. role play being ‘out and about on the pavement’ and stopping at the kerb, which could be a line of tailor’s chalk drawn on a carpet indoors, or a skipping rope or washing line. Outside, use chalk.
Let children draw a long road with a pavement on either side, on the back of a length of unwanted wallpaper. They could use their fingers as the ‘legs’ of their hand puppets. (Use card with punched holes, or let children simply paint a head and body on the back of their hands with face paints). Children could also use teddy bears made into simple ‘string puppets’, by tying a piece of string to each paw and tying the other end to a small ruler. Alternatively, children could use playpeople to ‘talk through’ their ‘kerb scenarios’, always emphasising the word ‘STOP!’
Can you feel the knobbles?
Talk about and, if possible, stand on, a real ‘knobbly pavement’, at the side of a pelican crossing.
Ask the children if they know why it is there. To hear six year old Teigan, and Richard, a Road Safety Manager, talking about the ‘knobbly pavement’, as they wait to cross, at a pelican crossing, see the award-winning ‘Street Safety with Teigan’, a film endorsed by the Think! Road Safety Campaign. The film is part of the award-winning ‘Keeping Healthy, Staying Safe’ DVD Plus. Ask the children for their ideas about making your own patch of ‘knobbly pavement’ (e.g. use about twelve pebbles stuck on to a piece of cardboard, and cover with a piece of plain brick coloured thin material).
In Part 1 of the film, with Teigan’s Mum, and her brother and sister, Richard and Teigan show us how to stay safe on the road, showing us how to cross a small road, and use different crossings. We also find out how to cross a road safely with a dog.
We also see how to take care when passing driveways and parked cars. Teigan’s Mum sews a reflective arm band on Teigan’s new school coat, and the next day her grandmother takes her to school with the help of School Crossing Patrol, Eric. At the end of the day, we see them coming home with Teigan’s armband ‘shining’ in the dark.
Part 2 of the film, ‘At school’, features Teigan and her friends’ role play, inspired by what the children have seen in Part 1, including crossing the road with ‘Oscar’, a very big soft toy dog. Then, the children are delighted when a special visitor comes to share their role play – P.C. Helena!