Teaching children to be conscientious pedestrians will help them remain safe on the streets. Safety habits can be ingrained in children from an early age. Children can learn best by example, so always demonstrate the behavior the child should emulate. If the parent does not look both ways before crossing the street, the child will likely not. Pedestrian safety evolves as the child gets older and begins riding a bike. Additional rules based on the basic pedestrian safety principles apply to bikes.
There are some basic rules every child should know about being a pedestrian: crossing only at designated cross walks or traffic lights, walking on the side walk and crossing the street with an adult. Compile a list of rules that the child should obey and teach them to the child. Test the child by asking her questions about specific traffic situations. Once the child has correctly answered all the questions she can win a small prize, like a reflector to wear so that cars can see her.
Follow the Leader
Children are very observant and mimic the behavior of adults. Always be aware of your behavior as a pedestrian when with a child. One way to do this and have the child learn how to be a safe pedestrian is by playing follow the leader. The parent is the leader and the child must follow the parent's lead. For example, when crossing the street, you may say "now look both ways to check for cars" and make sure the child does this while you do it.
Play the game of "I Spy" as a pedestrian and relate it to being a safe pedestrian. For example, the parent can say "I spy with my little eye something that is red," the child will then look for something red and may respond with "Stop Sign."
Part of being a safe pedestrian is making sure that others can see you. Play a game called "See Me, See You" and tell the your child that before he can cross the street he must make eye contact with the drivers of all stopped vehicles. This will ensure that the driver has seen the child.
Children love to be given some authority and responsibility. Designate the child as an honorary pedestrian safety inspector after he has demonstrated sufficient knowledge of being a safe pedestrian. Tell the child that he is responsible for making sure his friends exercise proper pedestrian safety principles.