Are there books I can read with my children (3.5 and 5.5) about how to cross a road safely? Or how do other people do it? Maybe this is a strange questions, as we do cross roads all the time and I know they shouldn't do it on their own yet for a while, but I'd feel safer if I knew they at least knew where to look etc. (and yes, I have tried talking to them when out and about but they are NOT interested in learning at all then )
If they are not interested, then they are not ready. It takes years to learn to cross safely, because they need to make so many judgements. If you practice the Green Cross Code out loud whenever you cross the road, they will pick it up from you. Eventually you'll be able to say "What do you think, LittleHastings, is it safe to cross?", and it will make sense to them. They will be interested and want to get involved.
Think: is this a safe place to cross? Can I see the road, can the drivers see me? Look: right-left-right Listen: can I hear traffic coming? Keep Thinking: is it safe? If so, cross, but keep looking, listening, and thinking.
As well as judgung relative speeds, children need the fairly sophisticated skills of seeing things from another person's perspective, and of multi-tasking, in order to put the GCC into action.
And their are all sorts of other things to take into account, such as understanding that wearing a hood can obstruct your vision, and that rain can affect drivers.
I have not come across any book that deals with all these things satisfactorily (doesn't mean there isn't one, of course) and I feel some of the 'training help' has actually been dangerous. At dd's school actors performed a show at assembly, intended to teach children the GCC. Result: dd 'performs' the GCC, with no genuine understanding. She knows the words and understands in theory what she has to do, but does it as a dance, doing the movements by rote without actually doing the looking, listening, thinking. She's nearly 9, and I still wouldn't trust her to cross alone. I see her shading her eyes and looking sincerely around - but her eyes are not taking inwhat she sees. Then she curls her hand around her ear and scans gracefully from side to side - all the time oblivious to the cars approaching.