Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Let's Go: Teaching road safety to under 5s with The Children's Traffic Club

Teaching my two young children (2 and a half and almost 5) road safety is high up on my list of parenting priorities, so when The Children's Traffic Club asked me to review their new interactive road safety programme, I jumped at the chance! 

The Children's Traffic Club (CTC) is an award-winning road safety and active travel education programme aimed at the under 5s. For over 25 years, the CTC have been positively influencing children's road side behaviour and helping to reduce casualties involving children, by teaching them the skills and attitudes needed to ensure they stay safe when out and about. 



So, why is teaching road safety to under 5s so important?

Hands up who has an under 5 who often has a mind of their own when unleashed upon the outdoors? Who, despite your best efforts and strongest grip, has ever had a near heart attack when your little one has come too close to the edge of the road, or even worse, ran into the oncoming traffic? 

When it comes to the time when the pushchair is out of favour, holding hands and walking safely are the some of the skills we need to teach our newly independent walkers. There will be nursery runs and walks to school at rush hour to contend with, and trips out near the traffic at the weekends. So how can we help to prepare them for this?

Teaching road safety awareness from the minute your child is old enough to understand will influence their long term behaviour and save lives! Even young children need to understand the basics of how to keep themselves safe when out and about. Also, having an awareness of the different ways to travel will help them lead an active and healthy lifestyle in the future.

Lets Go! 

So, this is where CTC's new programme Let's Go comes in! In a nutshell, it is, "a multi-sensory and augmented reality active travel and road safety programme for under 5s."


What's included?

The pack includes:
  • a glossy ring-bound activity and learning book
  • a pack of durable flashcards
  • the Augmented Realty (AR) app with activities and games - Free to download from the App store or Google Play store
  • access to worksheets and certificates online



How does it work?

The Let's Go programme is a multisensory (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic/tactile), multimedia learning tool which cleverly brings the activities to life with the help of Augmented Reality (AR)!

Activity and Learning Book - 

Activity book and flashcards
Children and adults can work through the book in or out of order, to learn key road safety and active travel messages. Different characters tell short stories through text, pictures and related activities using simple, age appropriate language and delightful illustrations. 


Each chapter ends with a sticker page to reinforce the messages taught by each character, and a grown-ups support page with helpful hints on how to talk about these issues with young children. It also contains a Make, Play and Practise section, with activity ideas and links to CTC worksheets.

You can easily use this book without the AR function and still enjoy learning all the road safety and active travel messages within it. 

FREE Augmented Reality app -

If you choose to use the book with AR, simply download the CTC's FREE app - full instructions are give in the introductory pages. When you see the special AR star symbol in the book, you can make the characters, vehicles and backgrounds "pop out" of the page and become interactive on the screen of your tablet or phone! You can then listen to or read the instructions and interact with the activity on the page.
Using AR with the flashcards
The app has a further 2 elements to it; The AR can be used to interact with and learn about the flashcards. The topics included are, "Let's get active," "What's on the roads?" and "Safer crossing places." There are also 4 games to play, each relating to topics learnt in the book. All the child and balloon characters are introduced in one of the games, and each reinforces their own safety or active travel message in a fun way. 

Flashcards - 

The flashcards are cleverly arranged into 4 colour coded sets; Vehicles, Safer Crossings, and Fit and Fun are 3 of them. These flashcards can also be used alongside the app with the AR feature. The fourth set, "Meet the characters" introduces the characters and their families and tells you all about them.
Flashcards included

How does the CTC programme support learning?

Each child character teaches 2 main road safety or active travel messages, with the help of the delightful balloon characters who each have their own message. For example, Susie teaches children all about the importance of keeping fit and having fun safely, and about holding hands with a grown up to stay safe when out and about. 

The balloon characters support the messages taught by each child character. For example, Susie's pages introduce Ally Active, Willow Walk and Handy Hold! The names make each message more memorable to small children and they make you smile!
Learning about Handy Hold
The text is short and simple, aiding understanding of even the youngest children. Each page contains questions to ask your little learners, to encourage active participation and discussion about the safety or active travel messages. Sticker pages reinforce these messages as do the activities outlined on each grown-ups page at the end of each chapter.

The app is simple to use, with large child-friendly buttons and bold, bright colours to match the activity book. The games are educational and each one reinforces the road safety or active travel messages in a clear, age-appropriate way. AR adds a new dimension to learning, which is creative, fun and engaging! 


Our overall review of the Let's Go programme

I was really impressed with the quality and overall look of the product when it arrived. It was packaged in a bright yellow cardboard envelope with Velcro fastening to keep all your flashcards secure

The ring-bound activity book and flashcards are also strong, sturdy and splash / snot / sticky finger proof; the pages/cards would withstand a wipe over if needed. This is very handy when using something with under 5s!

The app is free and easy to download. There is a handy video introduction to the whole programme that is clear and helpful, and can be accessed at any time.  

The simple format and brightinviting illustrations meant the activity book was an instant success in our house. My 4 year old is at that age now that if something doesn't grab his attention straight away, you've got no chance! But he got stuck straight in, wanting to learn about all the characters and fill his sticker pages! Stickers are always a winner hey?!

The free app and flashcards are brilliant! The games are easy to play and my son now chooses to play them independently whenever he has tablet time! He has started to point out certain elements of road safety when out and about and quoting things he has heard from the app! He also asks to walk to school or go on his scooter more often, telling me that "being active is good for you Mummy!"  We love how you can use the physical resource with the technology to enhance learning and deepen understanding too.
Playing games on the app
Now, the AR! Well, this was a revelation to my son! He thought it was totally magic how the vehicles on the flashcards came to life and drove around his table! He was so excited to complete the educational activities on the AR pages of the booklet, that he got arm ache from replaying them over and over! What a success!
Using the app with the AR pages
One tip I'd give you is to be patient the first few times you use the AR with the book. Sometimes getting the positioning right can take a few attempts and little ones will need help with this in the beginning. 

Also, we found it easier to lay the book out on a chair (lower than the table) so the children could stand up and be looking over the book from above. This helped us position the tablet more easily. It's a little awkward for the kids to hold the tablet in the correct position and interact with the screen by themselves, so adults will need to help with this. 

A few times after using the AR with the book, the screen has frozen but a quick restart of the app seems to cure this quickly.
Using the AR on a lower surface
I love how this resource from the CTC drip feeds the road safety and active travel messages in a fun and interactive way. Its multisensory nature keeps even the youngest children engaged and my 2 year old daughter has benefited already from taking part, pointing out and naming zebra crossings and being more willing to hold hands by the roadside. I will definitely be using it with her as grows, and my son will really enjoy dipping in and out of the activity book and using the downloadable worksheets too.

So, thank you Children's Traffic Club for sending us such a fab resource to review! I will be spreading the word about what a great teaching tool it is and how much fun we've had using it!

You can find out more about CTC and how to order your own Let's Go pack over on their website. Or find them on their social networking sites below. 

Twitter - @LearnRoadSafety
Facebook - The Children's Traffic Club
Instagram - @The ChildrensTrafficClub

** The CTC sent us a free copy of the Let's Go activity pack in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own...or my children's! **


Finding joy in the little things: As my regular blog visitors will know, I always end my posts with a little message about how I found joy in the smallest of things.You can read why on my About Us page. 

Well, today I found joy in watching my eldest "teaching" his little sister about how to cross the road safely! He repeated the messages he'd heard using the activity book and the app and told her all about Handy Hold the balloon! On the school run this afternoon, he made sure she was holding my hand before we crossed the road! So not only has my son learnt a valuable lesson from using this CTC activity pack, but now he's trying to pass the safety messages on too! 

Tomorrow they're plotting to hide my car keys so they can scooter to school... I wonder where they got that idea from?!



I'm linking up this post with these fabulous blogs:

Confessions of a New Mummy JakiJellz  My Random Musings  Bringing up Georgia

14 comments:

  1. Never heard of this but what a great idea and potentially life=saving of course #TwinklyTuesday

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  2. Back from #TriumphantTales - love how this combines old-fashioned and more modern ways of learning about such a vital topic

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    1. Yes, it's really brought it up to date and made an important topic easy to approach creatively with little ones!

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  3. Really great tips, thanks for sharing X #twinklytuesday

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    1. Thank you for popping by for a read and leaving a comment. :)

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  4. This is such a great way to teach little ones something so important! I'm already teaching Ben about looking both ways when we cross the road - he's getting very good at it!
    Thanks for joining us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

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    1. It's a really great way to get the messages to stick in their minds. My little boy shouts out the names of the balloon characters before crossing the road now, "Stella Stop!, Handy Hold then Lucy Listen and Larry Look!" Love it! :)

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  5. This is such an important topic! Pinning to my Parenting board! #TriumphantTales

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  6. Looks like a great way to teach them. Road safety is a constant worry for me living on a main road, particularly with my youngest who can be like a bull in a china shop! Thanks for linking #twinklytuesday

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    1. So can my youngest, but hopefully this will make her more aware of the dangers around her.

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  7. Things like road safety are just too important not to teach, so this looks fab! I think we sometimes focus on things that aren't as important as markers for success, but actually, teaching your children how to be safe and happy are surely the most important things to pass on. Thanks for linking this up with #fortheloveofBLOG x

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