The Essential Guide for Teaching Your Kids about Road Safety Rules

The Essential Guide for Teaching Your Kids about Road Safety Rules
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When I was a contributor for Kids Safety Network, I wrote many articles on current events – mostly safety concerns with children.  Honestly I struggled with reading my Google News Alerts every morning because most often it contained stories of children getting hurt.  This ultimately lead me to take some time away from contributing more articles and to focus more on Mommy Engineering with uplifting, positive and yet knowledgeable, creative content.  

I was happy that this next guest post from Zara Lewis peaked my interest as I still get current news alerts on children and found many articles on toddlers and young kids getting hurt, sometimes even killed, in parking lots.  I believe it’s so important to try and teach our kids traffic safety and the more kids you have, the harder it is to keep them all in one place.  I have two toddlers and they love to run away from me in our neighborhood, in stores, and definitely in parking lots.  Zara did a wonderful job on this post with real life examples with personal experiences.  Thank you Zara!

The Essential Guide for Teaching Your Kids about Road Safety Rules

As bright and curious as kids are, there are certain situations such as traffic that they cannot fully comprehend while they are still very young, which means that we as parents need to put in extra effort to teach our kids independence while staying safe.

While this certainly presents a challenge, especially for novice moms and dads, there are a few fun, safe and memorable ways you can help your kids learn about the most important traffic rules and practice with them until they adopt this new behavior before you face the real world situations together.

Have a Pre-Ride Learning Session

Once your kids start walking about independently and they no longer use a child seat in the car, you will need to help them understand some of the most important rules of behavior in the car as well as outside. One of the most useful tools you can use are YouTube videos on road safety, cartoons that have traffic situations explained well, as well as books and short stories.  To make it as interactive as possible, encourage your kids to ask questions, and you can ask them some questions too, in order to establish how much they can guess and know already. We’ve also found some videos showing clever animals and how they are careful when crossing the street, which was particularly appealing to our daughter. Talking to them can do wonders, just make sure to keep the lessons brief, clear and to the point.


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Turn it into a Role Play Scenario

Having a boy and a girl can sometimes make things difficult in terms of finding the learning medium that both of them would like. For instance, our little girl adores animals, and she would be happy to pay attention to an animal puppet show for a full hour, while our son is crazy about superheroes.The essential guide for teaching your kids about road safety rules So, we had to get creative!  Not only did we use the Halloween costumes, but we also made an improvised Superman costume and gave him a pet dog so that both of our kids would be happy and eager to listen.  Then, we played out several situations in which kids were supposed to evaluate and correct the behavior by both the Superman and his dog. The dog, for example, had trouble learning how to look both ways before crossing the street, and the kids started yelling immediately to correct this mistake.

Create a Realistic Situation

Another way kids can learn through play is by using a real-life situation as an inspiration to teach them not only some of the most important rules of the traffic, but also to be able to evaluate their behavior in any given circumstances. For example, I’ve used my trusty black swegway and gave each of my kids a tricycle to ride around in our backyard as if we were, in fact, driving together in the city.  They would take part in creating the streetlights and parking spots with boxes, while we always had some errands to run to make things interesting and keep the kids occupied while they revise their rules. They even started announcing what they were about to do, so that they could teach their uncle the rules (he only pretended he didn’t know, I promise!) and they even asked for switching their roles and asked more and more questions with each play session.


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Be Their Role Model Early On

However, although all of these fun as well as serious learning sessions have been exceptionally productive, and our kids have learned most of these things very intuitively, I believe that the most important role of the parent is to set an example. My husband and I have had to learn a whole bunch of rules upon moving from Australia to the US, so our kids, in fact, witnessed their parents learning about these important regulations from scratch.  Whenever we’re riding together, I ask them questions to check their knowledge, I encourage them to evaluate my driving skills, and we always make sure to revise the most important rules every time we are about to leave the car together. Simply being a careful participant of traffic sets a solid example for your kids from an early age, so that they can rely on your behavior and copy it, as they do in many other life situations.

About Zara Lewis

Zara Lewis Guest Post

Zara Lewis is a mom, fitness & yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because she sees her parenthood as going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling and baking.

High Style Life | Follow Zara on Twitter!


Things to Consider

What suggestions do you have about teaching your kids road safety?
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113 Replies to “The Essential Guide for Teaching Your Kids about Road Safety Rules”

  1. These are all great ways to teach kids about traffic safety. It only takes a second for something to happen….which is scary.

    1. I know! Just knowing you could look away for a second and something tragic could happen is scary!

  2. There is nothing better than knowing that the kids are equipped with proper knowledge on road safety. As a teacher, I definitely agree with these suggestions. You have to find the one that works with your child. We all have different learning curves after all.

  3. I agree, kids should know road safety. I have 2 toddlers and teaching them was the best thing.

    1. I also have two toddlers and it’s a lesson we go through everyday because I need them to understand that it’s THAT important!

  4. Jessi Joachim says: Reply

    it is so important to teach kids to be safe near roads! I know my 4 year old is really good now about holding my hand and being cautious but man at first she just wanted to run!

    1. Oh gosh! My 2 year old is just like that! My 4 year old has always been good about holding hands though!

  5. Road safety is so so important and I love these tips for kids to help them understand more about the road rules!

  6. Janel Berchielli says: Reply

    Those are some great tips. It is very important to keep a close watch on your children even when they know the safety rules .

    1. Absolutely! It’s hard to keep on top of them all the time so it helps a lot if they know themselves what they can and cannot do!

  7. Road safety is one of my biggest fears when it comes to my children’s safety. Thanks for the great reminders!

  8. Allison Lancaster says: Reply

    My 17 month old is at the age where he is into everything and doesn’t understand dangers of things especially the road. This is so so important!

    1. Teaching them young is the key! We did that with our 4 year old and he has holding our hands down like that!

  9. Nothing scares me more than the kids not being safe outside. I think this is a nice guide for the parents and it’s definitely going to give you some peace of mind.

    1. Absolutely! We can’t always protect them but we could educate them so avoid these dangerous situations!

  10. Kids are so inquisitive by nature thats is very tough to teach them why and why now. I really feel road safety education is very important as it can be very unsafe.

    1. Thanks! I can understand where you are coming from and think its great that you take road safety seriously 🙂

  11. Journa Ramirez says: Reply

    It’s really hard to teach kids but it’s part of the process for them to grow as independent and disciplined persons. I also teach my kids and sometimes they listen, sometimes not. More patience.. 😀

    1. It is hard to teach them but a quick lesson here and there will totally help 🙂

  12. I really like the idea of coming up with play scenarios so they can have a better understanding of why you have to hold my hand in a parking lot and why you need to watch out for cars.

    1. I thought that this was a great idea too! Teaching through play is always the best way with kids so young!

  13. Road safety is something we should all learn about and even if we think we know the regulations we should test ourselves everyday. Being part of that process with kids is a great way of teaching kids about road safety x

    1. Yes it’s so important to freshen up on regulattions because I feel they are always changing but safety is always key!

  14. Reesa Lewandowski says: Reply

    It’s so scary how kids just don’t see the danger in the road that is there! My daughter is 6 and she still tests me with these things!

    1. Yikes! I know, I feel you. My toddlers can get out of hand for sure!

  15. Melissa Chapman says: Reply

    Kids need to know the important rules about driving and traffic so it is great that you are proactive and keeping them safe. My kids are older and criticize my driving which is a double edged sword.

    1. haha, those darn kids! We could always teach them a thing or two 🙂

  16. This is very helpful, I don’t have children yet, but I will keep these in mind when I do!

    1. That’s great! Thanks for stopping by!

  17. TheNewClassy says: Reply

    I think that it is very helpful to be a role model to your kids in anything, but in road safety it is very important. They tend to mimic what they see in you, and good driving habits are good to show them.

    1. Leading by example is such a great way to teach your kids 🙂

  18. TheMummyToolbox says: Reply

    I love this post! I am a firm believer in road safety and it is something that I pride myself on and am hopefully passing on to my kids

  19. I think it’s so important to teach road safety early as it’s scary seeing kids cross the road and theres so many dangers out there x

    1. I know! It’s important to take the time to educate our kids of these dangers!

  20. Learning through play is a great idea! My kids seem to remember things better when we have role played with their toys.

    1. Thats how I have to teach my kids also!

  21. Heather Staggs Garcia says: Reply

    These are great tips! It is so important for children to know how important is is to be safe on the road. Plus teaching them through play makes it seem more like fun for them!

    1. I agree, teaching through play makes it fun and they are much more willing to listen and follow the rules of the “game”!

  22. These are fantastic tips and some that I plan to implement this weekend during our family bike rides. Thanks very much!

    1. That’s great lori! Good luck!

  23. These are great tips! I’ve always been so paranoid in parking lots with my kids and make them stay right beside me. Once a car almost ran over my littlest (he was only a couple steps ahead of me and sure enough didn’t see him). It was the most terrifying moment of my life, of his life, and of that driver’s life. Thankfully he wasn’t too close but still. Thanks for posting this info!!!

    1. Oh my gosh! My heart sank a little for you! I can totally imagine how scary that would be! So glad your little one is okay!

  24. My son is just so curious – he wants to run and explore – he has to learn to watch for cars! He does understand red and green lights now though.

    1. That’s good! It’s a process but definitely worth the effort in teaching them the safety rules 🙂

  25. The most important thing here is “be a role model”. So many parent’s telling kids one thing, and doing another. I’ve seen too many parents crossing roads with their kids NOT at crossings. The tools are there, if you use them, the kids will!

    1. I agree! We can influence our kids more than we like to admit!

  26. Rode safety is so important and I love that Barbie visual. My two year old daughter just learned the road sign colors and says, “it’s green, go, go, go!”

    1. haha! So cute! They love to learn so its really a great time to teach them about staying safe 🙂

  27. Love your ideas on making the teachable moments during their games or incorporating things they love. I think it really gets their attention and helps the message stick.

    1. Yes I agree that it helps make the message stick with your kids when you do it this way 🙂

  28. CourtneyLynne Storms says: Reply

    So many important things for kids to keep
    In mind!!! My daughter is horrible about looking both ways. She scares me to death with how “trusting” she is about things like cars!

    1. Yikes! I can totally understand how frightening that would be! Maybe consider simulating the situation with dolls?

  29. I love the tips that you’ve shared! Teaching road safety is one of the most important things.

  30. Brittany Muddamalle says: Reply

    We had the scariest moment a few weeks ago. We live in a safe neighborhood and my son got to comfortable when crossing the street. Almost got hit by a car and it made me realize we need to talk about it much more.

    1. I know! it’s so hard when you live on a busy street but it seems like when you do, your kids are more aware but when you live on a quiet street, they seem to forget that the road is actually there!

  31. I think this is a great guide! Road safety is something that is often overlooked for more “obvious” dangers.

    1. We tend to lower our guard when we are at home! These injuries can happen right in our front yard!

  32. these are awesome ideas! It is crucial you teach your children at a young age how to navigate and be smart around cars.

    Much love,
    Ashley | dearash.com

  33. Rachel Catherine says: Reply

    I love the idea of a role play scenario. It is always so much easier for my daughter to understand when she does that.

    1. We love to role play too! It’s such a fun way to teach them 🙂

  34. Louise Smith says: Reply

    I taught my kids road safety at a really young age as we walk everywhere and I was always so worried in case of an accident. Even now, I quiz them on the right way to do things when we’re out and about 🙂

    Louise x

    1. Th’ats great that you still do a quick quiz in case they’ve forgotten!

  35. Anne Flickinger says: Reply

    These are excellent tips, thank you for sharing.

  36. It scares me so much how my daughter just runs onto a road! I will definitely have to follow some of these tips!

  37. Now that ours are thinking about getting their driver’s permit, these rules have become more important. Hopefully they remember everything we’ve taught them!

    1. I’m sure they will! But it doesn’t hurt to have a helpful reminder 🙂

  38. Blonde Seeking Ambition says: Reply

    These tips are great for little ones… road safety is so important no matter what your age!

    Caitlin • Blonde Seeking Ambition

    1. I totally agree! Thanks for visiting!

  39. This is really good information, and I try to be safety conscious and in helping to nurture safety with kids. Good ideas!

    1. That’s awesome Rosie! Thanks for visiting!

  40. Nicole Gilbert says: Reply

    I’m a momma to 3 littles, 2 of which are toddlers and road/parking lot safety is very big in our house right now. We live in a very safe neighborhood, but this seems to lull us into a sense of complacency. It’s my biggest fear that the kids will run into the street chasing after a ball.

  41. Lois Alter Mark says: Reply

    When my children were growing up, we lived in New York. Even though many years have passed, the stress of navigating the busy roads with two curious kids still haunts me. The ideas you listed are so helpful and so necessary- hoping this post gets seen by many!

  42. This is a great post for little kiddos. My eldest is 2 1/2 years old and we talk about road safey all the time. He knows to watch for stop signs and traffic lights when we are in the car. Very important to discuss early.

    1. That’s so true to discuss early is key! Thanks for visiting!

  43. Yes these are all so important! My kiddos are not ready to drive yet, but starting them on this early is huge! Great post!

  44. These are all such great points! My oldest recently started driving and my youngest is just about to ditch the stroller, so road safety has been a huge issue in our household lately. Leading by example is by far the most influential way to teach.

    1. That’s great! It must be scary a little as a parent to see your kids drive! I got a long ways until then but teaching them young helps alot! Thanks for visiting!

  45. My boys are 3 and 5, and they already ask so many questions about the road and signs and rules. We try to teach them as much as we can that they will comprehend at their ages.

    1. Curious little ones! We have the same aged kids and they are also asking us questions too! Thanks for visiting!

  46. My little boy just started walking but we point signs out to him now. He likes to tell us the stop sign is red

    1. That’s great, now you know its working! Thanks for visiting!

  47. Jennifer Brock says: Reply

    This is so needed. my 2 year old knows not to run in the road luckily but it took a lot of teaching.

    1. That’s great that you never gave up! Thanks for visiting!

  48. I am so grateful for all those great informative post. My kids are grown and nowadays, all the information is one click away. I will share this information with my daughter. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. You’re so welcome!

  49. I think my worst nightmare is babysitting my nieces and nephews and having them scamper off in a parking lot. I am lucky as their parents are pretty good role models!!

    1. That was a concern for my mother in law, she can’t run after them! I hope these were helpful! Thanks for visiting!

  50. Chelf Chelfdom says: Reply

    Great tips and a great reminder of how important it is to teach our kinds the significance of road safety. Creating realistic scenarios and situations is key, this is what will get all the info to stick with them!

    1. I hope all the info sticks! haha thanks for visiting!

  51. Tiffany Meiter says: Reply

    Awesome tips! I like the idea of role playing to really teach your kids real life scenarios.

    1. I do too! I think role playing is a great way to teach!

  52. These are some awesome tips! It’s so essential to teach kids about road safety!

    1. Absolutely! Thanks for visiting

  53. Christina Gould says: Reply

    I know what you mean about reading of children getting hurt in the news. I’m very sensitive also. Thanks for posting!

    1. Right? It’s so difficult to read about! Thanks for visiting!

  54. Lauryn Rescoe says: Reply

    This is a great guide teaching your kids about road safety! Thank you so much for sharing this! It is so important to teach your kids these things.

    1. Thanks for visiting!

  55. Molli Vandehey says: Reply

    this is really important. it’s good to start young so its second nature

  56. this is such grounded advice!

  57. Kids can only benefit from the parents setting a good example. So, I’d agree with you, watching the parents is a good way for them to learn.

  58. Karen R. Propes says: Reply

    Great information, we just teach, teach, teach. But it’s scary when other Parents just let their kids run out and run around by themselves in parking lots. My granddaughter has the concept, but with the little one coming up, we are starting all over again.

  59. Paula Pennachio says: Reply

    This is great, things i wouldn’t think of

  60. Reminds me of the time my grandkids were young & my grandson, from the back seat, told me that yellow light means slow down & stop. I told him no, red means stop, green means go, & yellow means go real fast. He says to me ” Nana, you’re going to jail” so I stopped going thru yellow lights (when he was with me)

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