introduction
bicycle safety activity kit logo

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has put together this Bicycle Safety Activity Kit to provide parents, caregivers, teachers, community leaders, and children with tools to learn the important basics about bicycle safety. This kit can be used in school or community bicycle safety programs or in conjunction with Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs. The kit contains age-appropriate activities emphasizing crashes and related injuries while bicycling. While the activities focus on awareness and education, through applying this knowledge to actual safety behaviors we can help to save a life; the life may even be yours or that of your child.

NHTSA thanks you for your participation in promoting bicycle safety. Through playing and learning together, sending the same safety messages, we all can make a difference.

If you have questions or for more information, please see the section Resources and References.

USING THE ACTIVITY KIT

The games and activities included in this kit are designed to teach children the basics about bicycle safety, including the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet, recognizing traffic signs and signals, how to behave in a safe manner while riding a bicycle, and other cycling safety tips. It is important that children are “walked” through all of the games and activities to ensure they understand how to proceed and then after completion adults should discuss what they learned from doing the activity. Adults are encouraged to use the activities to prompt further discussion with children regarding proper and safe bicycle safety behavior.

The activities are aimed at two age groups, 4- to 7- year olds and 8- to 11- year olds. For both age groups we recommend an age-appropriate discussion regarding the safety basics - The Top Bicycle Safety Rules and the Rules of the Road.

Finally, keep in mind that both age groups can benefit from interactive learning. For instance at helmet safety checks, children are assessed for correct fit, taught through demonstration and practice how to fit a helmet correctly, and develop their skills. Children can also participate in actual on-bicycle experience in a parking lot done as part of physical education or a bicycle rodeo.”

Activities for Children Ages 4 to 7

Bicycle safety education is a practical means for teaching young children basic skills including recognition of the shapes and colors used for road signs. Ask the children to help you make stop signs, bicycle yield signs, etc., and place them in doorways or “intersections” in the house or classroom. Then you can play and practice the rules of the road. Children can learn their left from right ---you can teach them left from right by placing a sticker on the left hand and explain to always look in that direction first before crossing the road. (Note: While it is important to teach them about safety, children in this age range do not have the maturity to understand how traffic works, and thus, should not be crossing the street without a responsible person or adult).

This booklet includes activities such as coloring, connecting-the-dots, arranging safety steps and word finds, which are designed to help young children understand the importance of bicycle safety from an early age, while practicing their reading and writing skills. Included in the Bicycle Safety Activity Kit are games, along with instructions that you can present to the children, such as Bingo, Memory, Word Find, Puzzles, etc. You can help them play the games or you can teach them how to play and then let them play in groups. All the activities revolve around bicycle safety.

Activities for Children Ages 8 to 11

Children ages 8 to 11 desire greater independence. A bicycle is often their first means of independent transportation. For this group, the kit can be used to review the basics of bicycle safety and to challenge them to apply their knowledge by completing activities that make learning fun. They can draw a safety scene, find safety messages and draw a bicycle route to school or a friend’s. Be sure to encourage some discussion and questions.

All of these games and activities are a way to emphasize the message about bicycle safety and the importance of recognizing the traffic signs that will help them be bike smart and bike safe!