Road safety education for young and older children is as important today as it was when we first saw the Green Cross Code man teaching kids to ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ when crossing the road and the dangers of crossing the road between parked vehicles. The web provides teachers and parents with valuable teaching resources to help kids understand the hazards of the highway and cycling. Interactive games, quizzes, fun graphics and downloadable PDF booklets and guides are free for home or the classroom.
The successful ‘Hedgehog Campaign’ was replaced with ‘Tales Of The Road’ (which used contemporary styles to teach road and cycle safety to children) which has not bee replaced with THINK! (we think). Interactive PC based games are a great teaching resource for the ‘on-line generation’; backed up with printer friendly worksheets and quizzes we can ensure our child pedestrians and cyclists are equipped for the hazards and dangers that our cities, towns, villages and countryside may present them with.
Courtesy of the UK’s Department for Transport the THINK! website is home to an awesome collection of kids’ road safety resources. Lesson plans, documents, films and games are divided into three age groups for KS1, KS2 and KS3 (age 3 to 6, age 7 to 12, and age 13-16) and you can even filter them for format such as Activity Pack, MP3, Online, PDF, Powerpoint and Worksheet. We’ve just taken a look at Lesson 1 in the KS1 Lesson Plan called ‘Stepping Stones to Road Safety’ and it’s immediately apparent that all the hard work has been done for you. As a guide to typical learning outcomes, Lesson 1 states “By the end of this lesson pupils will be familiar with aspects of the Stop, Look, Listen and Think sequence. They will be able to discuss simple ways of behaving safely when near roads and traffic such as holding a grown up’s hand and finding safer places to cross the road”. ( The THINK! campaign appears to have taken over from the popular ‘Tales of the Road’ campaign which we highly rated) .
Not just amazing cars but an amazing website too. The impressive BMW Education Site is the home of Safe on the Street which is an award winning road safety education resource aimed at KS2 children aged 7 to 11 years old. The site contains three distinct learning modules (On the Road, In Car Safety, and Active Travel) and each module provides road safety information, facts, figures and (most importantly) interactive activities to help kids learn and engage. Through fun and interesting activities, quizzes, printable puzzles, colouring, word games, etc. kids will quickly and easily learn valuable road safety lessons; all of the Safe on the Street printables are fun, bright and modern and will definitely be a success in any home or classroom.
From early learners to teenagers Road Safety Scotland has it covered. You want a short video to demonstrate how to cross the road safely? They’ve got it. You want interesting and fun interactive on-line flipbook safety stories? They’ve got it. You want an interactive on-line driving game for teenagers which is fun and surprisingly difficult at the same time? Box ticked! This is a well-rounded site that brings together all of the important aspects of road safety into an easily navigated site. Something we hadn’t seen on similar websites before is their ‘Country Road 360 Drive’ where you become the driver of a car on a country lane where hazards keep popping up unexpectedly. For realism there are other teenagers in the car talking and causing a distraction just like real life; the high accident rate on quiet country roads is always surprising to adults and teenagers alike.
From Scotland (above) to Northern Ireland where nidirect.gov.uk offer many printables for Primary School age children and older. Look for the ‘Road safety education resources’ link and then choose from the age categories. Younger kids will enjoy the worksheets and workbooks involving Skooter which involve colouring in, spotting hazards, word puzzles and loads more. The 24 page ‘Step out with Skooter and Hattie workbook’ is fantastic for a classroom project; it’s packed with quizzes, wordsearches, instructional cartoons, colouring pages and even a mask of Skooter himself. The worksheets for teenagers are whole lot more serious of course and are based on a number of road safety campaigns. From Worksheet 1 ‘Choices’: “Think about the choices that we make every day as road users and the impact that they have on our safety. List as many of these choices, good and bad, as you can. Write the choices that drivers make on the left and the choices that passengers make on the right”. Driver distraction is a common cause of accidents for teenagers; passengers need to play their part in ensuring a safe journey.
Over in the South West of England Somerset Road Safety have been working away on a small collection of printables for youngsters. Hover over ‘Teacher Info’ on the home page and then choose ‘Kids’ Activity Sheets’; you should be taken to a page titled ‘Fun and informative road safety activity sheets for key stage 1 and 2 aged children’. Of course our eyes were drawn to the free printable colouring pages because that’s our speciality. For example one of the road safety colouring pages asks kids to colour in the clothes of a boy and girl so they can be easily seen by vehicles in the day and then asks for reflective strips to be added to make them visible at night. There are also colouring pages for ‘Stop, Look, Think, Listen’, wearing a seatbelt and crossing the road. Need a printable wordsearch or colourful ‘spot the hazard’ sheet featuring a cartoon style busy street? Then look no further.
If UK visitors fancy a trip down memory lane they can pay a visit to Wikipedia’s Green Cross Code page which has a short history of the brand and some information about previous initiatives like Tufty Fluffytail (of Tufty Club fame), and the ‘Kerb Drill’. Learn about the Green Cross Code man’s first appearance and the actor who played him (Darth Vader believe it or not!), how the message has changed over time, and what the Green Cross Code looks like today. To keep up with our ever changing culture the Green Cross Code Man was revived in 2014 for two adverts aimed at alerting young people to the dangers of being distracted by mobile phones and listening to music through headphones.