Crossing the Street
Children need instruction on how to cross the street safely under several
At a location where there are stop signs
At a location with traffic signals
At a location with a school crossing guard
At any location with moving traffic
According to studies, children have a difficult time judging time and
distance relationships. Plus, there are at least 26 different decisions
to be made each time you cross a street. That does not count the decisions
needed when you add a bike being rolled across, or a toy being carried across.
It is easy to see why repeated training in how to cross a street safely is
an important part of childhood education.
The rule of thumb is that no child under 7 should cross a street alone.
Many professionals have bumped that up to children 10 and under. But the
truth is that there is no magic age of safety. Kids forget to look, and they
forget that the rules include any place there is a chance of pedestrian collision
with moving vehicles. Reminders are examples of smart parenting.
There was a close call just the other day at our local gas station.
Two kids (ages 12 and 10) were handed a dollar each by their father to spend
inside the gas station store. Without looking, they tore across the gas station
lot to get inside. Six cars were able to stop without hitting them, but it
was a near thing. Neither the children nor their father noticed the quick
reflexes of the people around them. It's not that the kids should have know
better, which is of course true. It's that their parent should have known
better. Whether your kids are crossing a street, a gas station, an amusement
park lot, or any place cars are coming and going - remind your
children of the basic rules.
Think First - Find a safe place
Stop - Look both ways. Do you
see traffic? How about a parked car - is someone in it, really to pull out?
What do you see?
If traffic is coming, let it pass
When it is safe, walk straight across and keep
looking around. You never know when a car might suddenly
pull away from the curb, back out from a parking place or a driveway,
or appear suddenly from around a corner.
We all know that training on how to safely cross a street begins in
early childhood. Here are some lesson ideas and coloring pages to help you
achieve this important goal with your students and/or your children and
Coloring and Activity Pages