- Ride-on toys like bikes, scooters and play cars
- 2+ players
- Sidewalk chalk
- Dress-up items like uniforms and grown-up clothes are fun and completely optional
Recipe for Fun!
If your kids love to scoot, ride and pedal - this is a fun, educational play idea that will keep them busy for hours.
How to set up the Traffic Cop game for kids: This is a game that kids enjoy setting up almost as much as they enjoy playing it. Draw traffic lanes and an intersection on your driveway or on the pavement at your local playground. Be sure to add a 4-way stop with a stop sign.
Tip for playing the Traffic Cop game: Not everyone has to be a driver or a police officer. Younger kids play the role of pedestrian on chalk-drawn “sidewalks” or push dolls in strollers across the pretend crosswalk. Older kids can get practice watching younger ones near the pretend street. If they are too young to play cooperatively, little ones can parallel play with the sidewalk chalk or scoot around as an unpredictable driver for older ones to anticipate and manage. Since this game is one where there is no winner, set a timer so each player gets a turn at the coveted cop role.
How to play the Traffic Cop game with kids:
- Choose one player to be the cop. When playing the first time, it is recommended that a parent or other trusted adult play the role to demonstrate hand signals and other rules of the road.
- The rest of the players ride their ride-ons, doing their best to avoid collisions and to follow traffic rules.
- The cop commands the other players when to stop at the intersection, and when it is safe to pass.
Benefits of the Traffic Cop game for kids: Kids get a lot of benefits from imaginative play games like Traffic Cop. When kids try on the role of cop, they get to experience making and enforcing rules. It seems simple, but kids aren’t often in positions of power. Telling friends to stop and go can help build your child’s feelings of self-confidence.
Kids also feel empowered when playing out their fears during imaginative play. When rough and tumble “fender benders” happen during the Traffic Cop game, kids have a chance to experiment with different emotions - especially negative emotions like anger, sorrow and frustration that aren’t socially acceptable outside of imaginative play.
Traffic jams are frustrating for everyone! Resist the urge to intervene when arguments between kids bubble up during the Traffic Cop game. Let the kids work on a resolution. Allowing positive and negative scenarios can give your child valuable social experiences and help them learn to control big feelings like anger - and the natural consequences that occur when they don’t.
And of course - the game helps reinforce traffic safety and build your child’s awareness of the rules of the road.