Inside: Teach your kids to learn to listen for cars, so they can wait for them to pass; aka first road safety lesson!
Playing safely outdoors is one of the major fears parents have, because of which kids don’t play outside of the houses much anymore.
I totally get that fear.
So, I have a simple method which I deployed to train both my children’s minds to listen for cars when playing outside, near the road or not!
This method helped them to stop playing and wait for the car to pass.
That’s the ultimate road safety kids need to learn.
And fortunately, it’s not very difficult to learn and hands down one of the best things you can teach your kids!
I’ll jump right to the tip–
Since they were babies; anytime we were outdoors I would point towards an airplane everytime we heard one. And, gradually we moved on to listening for birds. I am talking about the age when they were still in my arms, and not even crawling!
Very-very quickly both my kids learned to spot those sounds.
Even before they were walking; they would point to the airplane or towards the bird sound. (And my daughter would make the cutest “aww” face. Still does at 20 months of age.)
The thing that this simple exercise did is — it made their minds unconsciously aware of all the sounds around them.
It’s basically training their minds to listen to different sounds around them while they are babies or toddlers; when they are moving around slowly, rather than running around.
Then, we moved on to listening for cars and I would say ” Oh, a car is coming we gotta wait on the curb for it to pass”; saying and doing all this while they are still in my arms as babies.
So, that their minds are getting trained to wait for the cars to pass even before they are on their feet.
And, by the time they are toddlers and ready to take off, they will know how to listen for cars, and wait for them.
Now, at that toddler age when they are moving around on their feet, you just have to make one strict rule —
As soon as you hear a car, drop what you are doing go and stand on the curb and wait for the car to pass or stop. And never disobey this rule.
No bells and whistles or explanations; it’s a rule, we all must follow.
Since it’s just one rule and their mind is already unconsciously trained for it, they follow it naturally!
It’s a great and easy road safety tip!
Of course, I am close to them when they are playing near the road.
But with two kids under the age of 2, I have to have them responsible for their movement so I don’t have to scramble or take risks.
The reason I say, do this activity of spotting the airplane as soon as possible is — because if you start at the toddler age then learning to listen for the cars, and following the rule of stopping and all that is too much information to the rebellious toddler mind, and they don’t learn it as easily.
Now, if you came here when your kids are already older, it is still a great strategy to deploy; just because it’s fun to spot airplanes and birds; and their minds are getting trained without them knowing, and they don’t rebel even as 3-4 yr olds.
Plus, this way you have broken the whole concept into simple steps that are manageable for kids minds.
I really hope this trick to help your kids to listen for cars works for you guys, it really is an easy road safety rule to have!
Recommended 3 Min Read: A Simple Method To Get Your Child’s Attention.