A bit of a trip out is always a welcome break in the day, and the level crossing has become a favourite haunt of Little Bear. Most days include a request to visit, and he is already very knowledgeable about how they work, including how to stay safe near to train tracks.
So this is it. The level crossing. I think we spend about half an hour here most days. That is a lot of half an hours. Little Bear is usually keen to go and check for ‘flickering lights’ as soon as we arrive, and we often cross over the track to look into the field on the other side. One day we plan to go for a walk in that field, but so far the level crossing is much too interesting.
These are the tracks. Note the wooden slats with pointed tops that prevent people from wandering off along the track too easily. Little Bear reminds me every time to hold hands whilst close to the tracks.
Holding hands, we peer along the tracks, looking for the flickering light that tells us a train is on its way. We’re not sure why the light just to the left of the track is red (there is a green one if you look in the other direction), so I really must find out. Once that flickering light has been spotted, we scarper back to the gravel patch to watch the action.
The siren sounds, the lights start to flash, and the barrier goes down. Little Bear can do a rather good impression of that siren now, and practices it frequently throughout the day. We have examined the reflectors on the barriers, and talked about how when car headlights shine on them in the dark the reflectors make them easier to see.
And at last the train goes past in a whoosh and a rush. Teddy loves this bit, and always lets out a bit of a squeak of excitement.
Today we saw these two, a fast cross country one, and a slower Great Western that had probably stopped at the station up the road before getting to us.
These visits have led to lots of imaginative play using level crossings both with his Brio railway set, and in the garden. He draws level crossings, imagines level crossings when playing cars, constantly listens for trains going past. His enthusiasm has also extended to other types of crossing such as zebra and pelican crossings, road signs and an interest in our local area in general.
Where do you and your little ones love to visit?