ATTENTION Parents and Carers
“Every 3 minutes somewhere in the world a child dies in a road related incident”
Ask yourself these 3 important questions!
- Is your child under 5
- Does your child have a good understanding of the implications of poor road safety.
- Have you had a near miss with your child when it comes to road safety.
Being both a parent and a children’s Services Practitioner, road safety is a subject I hold so close to my heart, as all it takes is one second for everything to go wrong. I have been that mother who watched in slow motion as my overexcited 3-year-old ran towards oncoming traffic. The range of emotions that ran through my body are ones I never wish to experience again.
That being said, I’m so honoured to have the pleasure using the THE CHILDRENS TRAFFIC CLUB programme (CTC) which is a fun and interactive programme aimed at teaching children under 5 the important elements of road safety.
Why is road safety so important for children under 5
In their early years of life, children require assistance in identifying risks associated its road use as they they are not yet equipped with the level of maturity required to ensure their safety, therefore adult supervision and road interventions are paramount for the safety of our children on the roads.
Age 0-5 is a pivotal learning period in a child’s life which is why teaching road safety should be an integral element of your child’s development. In an age where many children are transported by car, it is crucial that children have an understanding of road safety when they’re exposed to the world around them.
SO! What is THE CHILDRENS TRAFFIC CLUB (CTC)
CTC is an award-winning road safety travel education programme, specifically for children under 5. For over 25 years road safety for children has been at the forefront of their campaign. During this time over 3 million children have benefited. CTC continue to positively influence children’s long term behaviour and reduce casualties through the implementation of this augmented reality active travel and road safety programme.
LET’S GO: “A multi-sensory and augmented reality active travel and road safety education programme for under 5’s and their parent/carer”.
What do you get as a member
1. A durable ring bound activity and learning book.
2. A FREE downloadable augmented reality app (AR)
3. A pack of hard wearing flash cards, separated into 4 sets.
4. Fun sheets – access to activities and certificates online.
My initial reaction to this programme was that it was extremely learner friendly. I love that the the programme is multi sensory and engages more than one sense at a time. My son is a kinaesthetic learner which means that he learns through conducting physical activities. However this programme encouraged him to utilise all his senses.
Secondly, “it does what it says on the tin”. As soon as my 3-year-old set eyes on all of the resources, he was instantly intrigued and extremely engaged by the bright colours and the use of everyday scenarios included in the activity and learning book.
Activity & Learning Book
The learning book allows both children and parents to work through activities including short stories, interactive scenarios and pictures. 6 different animated children tell stories which is segregated into different categories of road safety. Something I noticed immediately was how multi cultural the animated characters were which encourages diversity. My little boy was so impressed by the fact that their was a little boy who looked like him and had the same hair as him. The scenarios within the activity book are extremely relatable to everyday situations . My 3-year-old was able to identify different vehicles in the road on page 17 which kept him engaged through out activities. The extremely bright colours and smiley faces throughout the book meant that my son associated the activities and learning experience with positive connotations.
Each chapter ends with a sticker page (my son was absolutely over the moon with the sticker activities) which encourages children to find all the stickers and remember their messages. This is an excellent and fun way to reinforce the important road safety messages taught in the chapters. At the bottom of each page there are a list of questions that the child has to answer, again this is brilliant as it maintains engagement and interaction.
Finally, the activity book offers a grown up page, with resources and creative ideas to ensure your child understands the importance of the chapter. Ideas include learning through play and craft ideas.
Free Augmented Reality app
The app is easily downloadable through App Store or Google Play store. There is an ‘How to use’ on (pages 4 & 5) of the activity book which explains how to download the app and how the app can be used in accordance with the activity pack. The app, wow. I thought the flash cards allowed the characters to come to life, however when my son scanned the page with the camera on his iPad, he could not believe that the characters, vehicles and characters and background came to life. His words “Mummy Mummy the characters are popping out”. This is brilliant for the visual and auditory learner as the visuals are very engaging and the app allows you to listen to instructions which is a great resource for the auditory learner.
The CTC app has 2 additional interactive components to encourage learning through play. There are 4 games which correspond with the topics and 4 sets of flash cards provided in the activity pack. “Fix It”, “Snap it” “Match it” and “Pop it”. All of which were very stimulating. My sons favourite was “Pop it” Every time he popped a balloon a road safety message popped up. I couldn’t have constructed a better road safety game if I tried. It’s an absolutely brilliant concept. The AR app is also compatible with the flash cards and can be used to encourage further learning and interaction. The topics are “let’s get active” “what’s on the road” and “safer crossing place”.
What I love is that all the elements of the app work in accordance with the Early Years Foundation stage (EYFS).
These extremely durable flash cards, are colour coded into four sections. Meet the characters, vehicles, safer crossings and fit and fun. I absolutely love the way the “meet the characters” cards provide information at the back making them a lot more relatable. What’s also brilliant is that using the “safer crossings” card features a zebra crossing and a pedestrian crossing, my 3-year-olds words were “mummy, we have one of those by my nursery”. The images provided on the flash cards are so relatable to scenarios and objects they see in everyday life. Each animated character echos 2 important road safety lessons. My 3 year old related well to “Neeta” who teaches the importance of seat belt safety and safety getting in and out if the car. Since using this booklet with him, I have observed a significant improvement in his awareness of getting in and out of the car and his ability in identify the importance of wearing a seat belt. Before I turn the engine on he is the first to confirm that everyone is wearing their seat belt.
At the back of the flash cards are balloon characters. This is a tenuous idea as it is age appropriate. What 5 year old do you know that doesn’t like balloons. The balloon characters supplement the messages taught by the animated character. Neeta’s balloon characters were called ‘Vinny Vehicles’ and ‘Sammy Seatbelt’. We got in the car yesterday and my son said “Mummy, Sammy seatbelt wants to know if you’re strapped In”. At this point I knew that the programme had worked as he was able to transfer his learning to real life scenarios. I was thrilled.
- The initial presentation and packaging of the product is very appealing to the eye. It is glossy and brightly coloured which instantly intrigued my 3-year-old.
- The flash cards and learning and activity book are extremely durable, and I believe that the quality will be preserved for when my now 3 month old is old enough to understand.
- The FREE Augmented Reality application is extremely user friendly. Although a “how to” guide is included I did not need to refer to this at any point.
- As the application downloaded I was just as excited as my 3-year-old at the bright colours and welcome theme tune. We both waited in anticipation to find out what activities were available. The app most definitely didn’t disappoint, it came equipped with pockets of different activities which all focus on road safety. 10/10 for the AR feature on the app. I have never seen a children’s app which provides such versatility to its user. It’s amazing to witness the enthusiasm my child has towards learning about such a serious subject.
- What’s handy about this programme is that the flash cards and learning & activity book can be used without the app. However the app compliments them beautifully.
- The sticker page.
- The animated characters are multi cultural which makes this more relatable to all users as it considers equality and diversity.
- On a few occasions the app froze, however a very quick reboot resolved the issues and it did not effect my sons learning experience .
- The app is aimed only for children under 5 which is a shame as it’s a brilliant resource, however I would happily use this app with my nephew who is 6 years old as I feel it would engage him despite him being a little older.
The find out more about CTC and how to order your own pack click here
Check them out on social media
Instagram – @TheChildrensTrafficClub
Twitter – @LearnRoadSafefy
Facebook – The Children’s Traffic Club