Wednesday, October 26, 2011
In which I ask, "Is it a good idea to be squashed by a car?"
We were out for a walk. It was meant to be a trike ride for Abbey, actually, but she decided to walk for a while. I walked slightly ahead, pushing her trike, while she dawdled along picking flowers and collecting stones. I kept glancing behind to check on her, and to encourage her to keep walking.
At one of my glances, I dropped the trike, started yelling and ran to her.
She was running towards the road – a busy road with cars travelling rapidly in both directions.
“STOP! ABBEY! STOP NOW!” I yelled.
She did. Right on the edge of the curb.
I grabbed her and pulled her back over to the footpath. I knelt down and spoke to her face-to face.
“What were you doing?”
“I wanted to cross the road,” she shrugged.
“Are there cars on the road?”
“And what would have happened if you’d tried to cross the road right then?”
“I would be squashed by the cars.”
“Is it a good idea to be squashed by a car?”
“What should you do if you want to cross a road?”
“Ask Mummy or Daddy!” (Said with great pride at knowing the correct answer.)
“That’s right. Do you ever cross a road without asking and holding someone’s hand?”
It’s scary how quickly a young child can move. It’s also scary that even though you’re sure you’ve told the child often enough, and although said child has never before tried to do something like that, in just an instant of deciding what they want to do they can forget all the warnings.
It proves that there are some lessons you can’t talk enough about. And sometimes reinforcements are necessary.
The Wiggles are a hit in our household – old recordings or new, Abbey will watch, sing and dance along to any song they sing. One reason I like these guys is that they focus on two things: fun, and sending important messages to kids.
We all know that children learn best through play and fun, so the combination The Wiggles have just works. And any reinforcement to a parent’s message of road safety is worthwhile. More than worthwhile.
The Wiggles and VW (while Abbey loves the guys in the colourful skivvies, I have a serious lust for these cars!) have teamed up to produce a road safety campaign, which includes a new app for iPhones and iPads. The app takes kids on a virtual road trip around Australia, showing them sights like The Bridge, The Reef and The Rock, and giving them puzzles to complete to unlock short videos of Wiggles songs.
Abbey loves a puzzle, so she really enjoyed this app. (I’d say her age, 3, is the youngest it would be suitable for, and would recommend it for pre-schoolers and lower primary age.) And the best part, from a parent’s perspective, is that in with all the fun and games are serious messages about road safety, done in standard Wiggles fashion: talking to the kids in language they understand, without being condescending.
Fun and learning put together, with a good dollop of safety that helps to reinforce the message we all need our kids to absorb – staying safe near roads. Win!
You can download The Wiggles Big Aussie Road Trip app for iPhone or iPad for free from the iTunes store.
Have you ever had a road scare with your kids? Would you use an app to help get the message across? Do you have any other tips?
[Disclaimer: I was asked to help spread the road safety message by writing this post, and I did so because I think it's a very worthwhile message.]
Posted at 7:51 AM