Think! Education

Activity 1: Play safe


10-15 minutes

The objective of this activity is to help children understand that sometimes they might be around traffic when they don't realise, for example when they play in a front garden, on the pavement, or at the edge of a park.

The poster for this activity shows a quiet road with some traffic. There is a park near the road and a house with a front garden close to the road, plus a pavement. There are children in each of these three places. The scene shows no vehicle immediately nearby but rather one approaching to prompt discussion about the apparent safety of the conditions when in fact there is traffic approaching and care / vigilance is needed.

Using the poster, talk about what could go wrong, for example:

  • Sometimes people park partly on the pavement, even where they're not supposed to, or drive over the pavement to get to a driveway.
  • Even where they shouldn't, sometimes adults ride bikes on the pavement.
  • If children are playing near the road, in a park or garden, their ball might go onto the road.
  • If children are on wheels (roller skates, wheeled trainers, on a scooter or tricycle on the pavement) they could find it difficult to stop at the kerb, or roll onto the road by mistake.

Ask the class how the children in the poster could keep themselves safer, while still having a good time (e.g. by moving further into the park, away from the road; playing in the back garden).

Point out that even if you make sure that you are safe from traffic when you are playing, you still need to be careful. For example the roller skater could fall over, or the children in the park could fall from the slide.

Activity sheet 4, Play safer, can be completed after the discussion. This shows a simplified version of the same scene with some children playing safely away from traffic in a park and some playing on the pavement or a driveway. For each child on the sheet there is a label and pupils must add either smiley face for those playing safely or a sad face for those who are not.

When they have completed the activity sheet, ask pupils to think about how else the children can stay safer when they play (e.g. being careful on the slide, making sure they don't have loose clothes which could catch on the slide, being kind to the dog so that he doesn't get cross and bite, only playing with strange dogs if a grown up says that you can, trying not to fall off roller skates by going too fast or skating on a rough surface, staying near an adult or something like a wall while you are skating).