Today (Wednesday 27 September) is Brake's third national Beep Beep! Day of the year. Childminder Clare Maher, from Clare's Little Tots, tells us why she thinks it's important for little ones to understand the language around road safety from an early age.
I strongly believe children are never too young to learn about road safety. Even before they are walking and talking you can still chat to them when you’re outside about the importance of staying safe near roads.
Even when I have babies or children in a pram I talk about safe places to cross, how fast the cars are going and watching and listening for oncoming traffic.
Being a childminder, I often have up to six children to walk to and from school and we live right next to a busy main road. Engaging them with road safety, no matter their age, is always high on my agenda.
The fabulous resource packs from Brake have been enjoyed by all the children I care for, from babies and toddlers through to school-aged children. Last year we reviewed the Beep Beep! Day Bumper Pack and this year we had the We Love Beep Beep! Day pack. Both of which have been rammed full of fun resources for the children that they still talk about today.
One of the children’s favourite activities is laying out the large road map and setting up some cars and small people. We then role play crossing the road safely with an adult, finding a safe crossing place and waiting for no cars to be coming.
Also, the various colouring sheets, of which we received loads in both packs, can be used by all of the children as long as they can hold a pencil. I stick these up on our display board and they remain a talking point so the message of road safety is never forgotten.
In the packs, we received a “We Hold Hands” poster to which we all added a coloured handprint and names underneath them. My toddlers love to point out where their handprint is and then say “hold hands”. They then demonstrate holding hands with each other and use words such as “safe” and “walking”. Then when we are out and about they actually enjoy holding hands with an adult as they see it as a really positive thing to do.
The resources from Brake definitely help make the message of road safety fun, but also memorable for children. And the quality and amount you receive means we can cover the topic several times a year.
We can’t wait to take part in the next Beep Beep! Day today (Wednesday 27 September) and would encourage anyone who works with 2-7 year olds to get involved during Road Safety Week.
Sign up for the final Beep Beep! Day of the year on Wednesday 22 November, and get your little ones involved in Road Safety Week 2017! brake.org.uk/beepbeepday