With the warmer weather fast approaching, there has never been a better time to teach your preschoolers about bicycle safety. I have found that one great way to do that is to incorporate books about the subject into your story times. If you do decide to go that route, here are a few worth considering:
“Franklin’s Bicycle Helmet”
Paulette Bourgeois’ book “Franklin’s Bicycle Helmet” is one that I would definitely recommend. Most preschoolers will recognize Franklin, which should help to retain their interest. Its storyline focuses on the importance of staying safe and wearing a helmet while bike riding. It also touches upon issues related to peer pressure. A valuable lesson plan that may be used with the book is available on the Capital Health website. I like the plan because it addresses how to properly wear a helmet and contains role playing exercises. You can also find a cute “Helmet Song” posted on the Learning to Give website. It may be used with the book as well.
“The Bike Lesson (Berenstain Bears)”
Speaking of characters, Stan and Jan Berenstain’s book “The Bike Lesson” would make an excellent selection for four reasons. It has memorable text, great illustrations, recognizable characters and an entertaining storyline. My kids loved it. You can also purchase additional materials, like reward stickers, to go with the book through the Berenstain Bears website.
“Dora Rides to Bike Park”
“Dora Rides to Bike Park” is most assuredly worth checking out as well. The book is well written, features vibrant illustrations and a bell that may be utilized to keep the kids’ attention. Critical issues related to bicycle safety are also intermixed with the storyline. There are wonderful handouts and supplemental materials available on the EdHelper and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website too. Based on my experience, many of them are suitable for preschoolers and kindergarteners. My favorites are the games and materials posted on the NHTSA’s site because they are interactive.
“I’m Safe! On My Bike”
Wendy and Paul Gordon’s “I’m Safe! On My Bike” is another book that I would recommend. It features easily digestible safety information as well as great illustrations. Free and low-cost coloring books and activities to pair with the book are also readily available. Oftentimes, you can obtain the supplementary materials through the University of Florida’s website. I’d also suggest contacting your local children’s hospital, the health department and your department of motor vehicles. Sometimes they have programs that offer free bicycle helmets for children. That way, you could hand out the helmets to the kids and teach them how to wear the helmets properly.
Lastly, Nancy Loewen’s book “Bicycle Safety” is a good one too. Like the other books, it provides basic information about how to stay safe while bike riding. Lesson plan material that corresponds with the book is available on the Classroom JC Schools website and the Brain Injury Awareness New Jersey website. Of the two, the Brain Injury Awareness New Jersey site’s plans are more comprehensive.
Source: Personal Experience
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