Traffic safety is one of the foundational lessons preschoolers must learn. They should know how to cross the street, the importance of traffic signals, and the need to be aware of street and road dangers, among other things. Because they are naturally inclined to discover the world on their own, you need to prepare them for their exploration by teaching them traffic safety. There are several ways to do this, and here are some.
- Discuss street dangers. Without instilling fear in the kids, explain to them the consequences if they aren’t vigilant when walking the streets. Tell them that they need to obey traffic rules like everyone else, because disobedience might result in accidents and injuries. Make sure to discuss the traffic rules in a clear and precise manner.
- Introduce traffic signals and road signs. Whenever you drive or walk the street, show the kids the traffic signals and road signs and explain to them what each of them means. Discuss the colors and pictures in the signals and signs, so the children can easily grasp the idea. Ask them questions to ensure they fully understand what you are trying to send across.
- Train the kids to “stop and look.” Although there are traffic lights and signals to aid the kids, it will be best to teach them to be more attentive when using the streets. Instruct them to stop and look ahead and sideways to check for oncoming cars. This is especially necessary if the kids are passing a street with no traffic lights. Tell them that because they are small, drivers won’t see them completely when they are crossing, so it is important that they cross when the street is empty.
- Point out the use of the sidewalk. When you are walking to school or to any other destination, remind your kids to always use the sidewalk. Make sure they are facing oncoming cars so that they can adjust their distance if need be. Introduce the kids to the crossing guard as well and explain what the crossing guard’s duty is.
- Discourage them from playing in or near the streets. Because they are oblivious to any potential dangers, any place is a playground to kids. As a parent, it is your prime duty to inform the kids that streets and curbs are not safe to play in. If you see your kids approaching the streets and curbs alone, playing or not, go in their direction and call them out quickly. Explain to them the dangers of staying or playing in the streets, and make sure they understand.
- Go out and test the kids. Walk with your kids and show them how to cross the streets properly. Make sure to follow the traffic rules to reinforce the importance of traffic laws and rules. When they are already familiar with how to cross the streets on their own, bring them to a street with low traffic, and instruct them to do it alone while you stand in the other direction guiding them. Commend them for a job well done.
It is important that you repeat the instructions again and again until the kids know by heart how to properly and safely use the streets. Remember that the key in learning is constant reminding.