Back seat driver

10 - 11 years
Everyday ways to help your child with literacy and numeracy
Father and son in car

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

These ideas will help turn travelling with your child into literacy and numeracy practice – and help to develop your child’s road awareness at the same time:

  • ask your child to navigate – even if you know the way 
    You're in charge this trip. Find our destination, choose a route, and then give me step-by-step instructions as we drive. Remember I need plenty of warning before changing lanes or making a turn, so look and plan ahead! 
  • ask your child to read and interpret parking signs
    Are we allowed to park here? For how long? Does the car have to be facing a certain way?
  • talk about safe driving
    How much gap should we leave behind the car in front? When should we leave a bigger gap? Why?
  • ask your child to estimate the time needed to cover different distances
    This is a 60km/hr road and it’s about 10km to your friend’s house. How long til we get there?
  • when filling up with fuel, ask your child to estimate how much you’ll need to pay (eg by multiplying the kilometres you’ve travelled by your average fuel consumption by the price of the fuel – rounding the numbers to make things easier)
  • talk about traffic rules such as at roundabouts, give way signs, stop signs and roadworks – your child will enjoy reminding you if you make a mistake, and you’ll have the comfort of knowing that they’re more likely to drive safely in the future
  • play games based on road signs – eg looking for a street sign with a certain combination of letters. Games like this help your child to learn where the signs are, and to read them quickly – another useful skill for the future!


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Last modified
14 April 2020