Bike Safety Education Series: Lesson 2 – Helmets!

This is the second lesson in our Safe Routes for Kids Curriculum Series.


Lesson 2 – Helmets

Timing: One hour in class

Techniques: Think, pair, share, directed brainstorming, helmet fitting and bike parts overhead.

1)    Review Lesson 1.

2)    Talk about the importance of wearing a helmet.

  • It protects your brain. Why do you like your brain? What can it do?
  • Your brain can’t fix itself like a broken bone can.
  • Who wears a helmet for their job and why? Possible answers: firemen, football players, SWAT team, soldiers, hockey players, skateboarders, bikers, construction workers, etc.

3)    Ask students how a helmet work and when to replace it.

  • The Styrofoam absorbs the impact of the fall. The plastic on the outside helps it slide, the straps keep it on your head.
  • You should replace your helmet after a crash or after 5 years.
  • You should never drop, kick, or throw your helmet or store it in the sun.

4)    Pass out helmets. Have student check helmets for cracks in the Styrofoam.

5)    Demonstrate how to fit a helmet. Use the 2 finger rule (see below).

  • The helmet should fit snugly on your head.
  • There must be 2 fingers of space from your eyebrow to the bottom of your helmet.
  • The sliders must be right under your ears and the straps make a “v” around your ears (like the 2 fingers in a peace symbol).
  • The chin-strap should be tight enough that it doesn’t slip over your chin. About 2 fingers should fit between the strap and your chin.

6)    Have students fit their helmets and check their neighbors helmet using the 2 finger rule. Walk around and check each child’s helmet. Have the teacher write the kids names on the front of the helmet using tape.

7)    Optional: Bring a bike to class and go over the important parts of the bike.

8)    Remind students about Bike Safety dress code and permission slips. Wear closed toed shoes. Dress appropriately for weather. You must have your permission slip turned in or you can’t ride.


This is a brief overview of one lesson in the Safe Routes for Kids Curriculum as taught by BTA educators at schools in Portland Public, David Douglas, and Parkrose School Districts.

This curriculum is also used to teach 4th-7th graders across the state by partners in Eugene, Ashland, Albany, Corvallis, Klamath Falls and Bend!

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