DIY: Road Safety Signs for Outdoor Play

The other day a friend asked where she could buy road signs for her children to play with outside. They're available in many online stores, but I thought we'd have a go at making our own. So with some recycled cereal packets & cardboard tubes we came up with these. 

We started by turning the cereal packets inside out, & painting them & the cardboard tubes black. We found these tubes in our garage, but I'm sure carpet stores or printers will have these regularly to give away.

Minnie painted on more recycled card, with red, green, & orange paint. Once dry we cut these into circles for our traffic lights.

We stuck the cereal box together using double sided tape. This held ok, but I think we would've got a neater finish if we had sealed the box before we painted it.

Before we stuck down the base we stuffed some newspaper inside to help prevent the box from moving around too much when it was placed on the tube. Once sealed we cut a hole big enough to insert the tube in the base.

To hold the tube upright we pushed a garden cane into the ground & then placed our cardboard tube over the top. (To use these signs on a concrete surface I guess you could use a recycled box filled with gravel & newspaper to help keep the pole sturdy.)

We placed our painted box onto the top of tube & added three sticky Velcro squares (we used these sticky hook & loop pads). To cover up the white Velcro I simply coloured over the top with a permanent marker.

We added the corresponding sticky pads to our coloured circles & our traffic lights were ready for action!

To keep the lights (circles) safe when not in use, I cut a plastic poly pocket in half, folded it over & stuck it to the back of the box. This was at Minnie's height making it easily accessible.

The Velcro patches enabled Minnie to control the traffic lights independently, & add or remove them as she pleased. Using these she was able to explore the colour, order & sequence of the lights.

She clearly knew what traffic lights were for, telling me "red means stop, amber means getting ready, green means you go, go, GO!"

To create our road signs I printed off a selection of signs we found on the Internet & laminated each of them. I added a patch of Velcro to the back of each sign so they could be attached to a box, in the same way as the traffic lights.

These have been fun to explore & sparked much imaginative play, & have been a useful way to introduce road safety.

We added sticky Velcro to one of the painted tubes which created another neat sign post.

These inexpensive signs have been played with every day since we made them... & they're still standing! As this has proven so popular we're in the process of making a safety crossing... watch this space! :-)

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  1. Fantastic idea - will definitely have ago at that

  2. This is great. In my previous life (before children) I was a Road Safety Officer so I should really have a go at this.

  3. Thanks for sharing this! It looks like they had a blast.

  4. I love this idea, thanks for sharing. I was wondering if you could post the websit where you printed off the signs.

  5. This is such a great idea. I would love if you shared this post and any other fun frugal posts on my fun frugal friday linky party.

    I am going to pin this idea. : )

  6. Brilliant! I love these. Esp how you can change them for different road signs.

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

    Maggy & Alissa

  7. What a clever idea! I love that your little one as involved with the making as well. And the pocket holder for the little signs is ingenious.

  8. I saw this idea on It's Playtime and thought it was so awesome! I loved that it was you when I checked it out! Very cool and such a good learning tool! Brooke

  9. I saw this on It's Playtime and thought it was an awesome idea! So glad to see its you! Great idea and such a good learning tool!

  10. Awesome idea! These would be GREAT for a car party. :) You've been pinned!


  11. This is so fun! What great features to add to bike riding and movement activities in your yard. And they all turned out so cute. Thanks so much for sharing this with the outdoor play party.

  12. Super cute! And I love that I can incorporate this with lots of fun gross motor play AND teach my daughter about safety!
    Thanks for adding it to our Not a Box linky party!

  13. This is brilliant! What a wonderful way to add to outdoor pretend play!

    Thank you for linking up to Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

  14. What a great idea and I know a little boy that would love to have them in our garden for his fire engine and mister maker car riding games.

    Thank you for linking up to Tuesday Tots

  15. What a great outdoor toy!! You did a fabulous job of making them look so real, and so accessible for your daughter to play with. I am sharing on my FB page, The Golden Gleam. I hope you are having a good weekend, and thank you for linking up to The Outdoor Play Party!

  16. Oh, what a very clever idea! A wonderful way to teach children about road safety! Thanks for linking this up to the Outdoor Play Party :-)