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One of my favorite ways to start the new year with my preschool class (2-3 year olds) is to celebrate the iconic school bus!
That big, happy yellow vehicle just lends itself to so many fun, educational activities and memorable experiences.
I wanted to share with you a few ideas in case you can use them with your own classroom or family.
School Bus Themed Books and Songs/Videos
The most effective way to launch a new topic to students is through literature. I make sure to gather up as many books on whatever theme we are celebrating as I can.
Here are a few suggestions that my class enjoyed…
- Pete the Cat The Wheels on the Bus (click HERE to purchase)
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (click HERE to purchase)
- My Bus (click HERE to purchase)
Of course, you can’t have a preschool school bus theme without the song “The Wheels on the Bus”. My students have always loved that song and with hand motions it is perfect for this age!
But be careful, it will be stuck in your head for the rest of your life.
Here are a few YouTube video suggestions I played for my class…
- “The Wheels on the Bus” by Teatime with Tayla (click HERE)
- “The Wheels on the Bus” and Pete the Cat (click HERE)
- “The Wheels on the Bus” by Mother Goose Club (click HERE)
- “The School Bus Song” by Patty Shukla (click HERE)
School Bus Pretend Play
Pretend play is SO important for kids! They learn so many valuable things by using their God-given imaginations. It helps them with social and emotional skills, as well as language and thinking skills. So any time I can guide them in a pretend play activity to help them make connections to what we are learning then YES.
We set up the chairs in our room to look like a bus. We found a plastic plate from the home center for me, the driver, to use.
We had to climb on the bus the right way. And everyone had to make sure they had their seat belts on before we set out (CLICK). Then we discussed various places besides school that our bus might visit.
We made sure to sing “The Wheels on the Bus” while we drove.
The kids wanted to hit the grocery store for snacks, so we all got off the bus and headed to the kitchen to make our purchases.
After the grocery store, one kid shouted for us to go to Home Depot. I thought that was particularly hilarious considering we are only 2 years old.
If you don’t have this Fisher Price school bus – YOU SHOULD. (Click HERE to buy.)
During Circle Time I introduce this bus and then give each child a Little People person to hold. I tell them that when I drive the school bus over to them, then they can put their Little Person on the bus! It’s such a simple activity, but the kids really love when I drive the bus to their spot on the carpet and they have to use their fine motor skills to push those Little People into place.
Here are a few of the school bus art projects and crafts we did.
- You can find details about the first project HERE.
- The second project I simply drew a rough sketch of a school bus and had the kids paint it yellow at the easel.
- The third project I printed out a picture of a school bus and then let the kids use the yellow Dot Marker to jazz it up.
You could take any of these projects, hang on a bulletin board at the beginning of the school year and add the phrase – “We’re BUStin’ Into School!”
School Bus Printables
- Big Size Sequencing FREE Printable from Best Toys 4 Toddlers.
- Color Matching Wheels on the Bus from The Kavanaugh Report (I used pom-poms instead of the squeezy caps)
- Kids on the Bus Activity from A Teacher’s Touch
- Wheels on the Bus Flash Cards from Super Simple Learning
Finally, you can check out my School Bus Pinterest Board HERE.
That’s it! I hope you have found something useful here today!
– Julie 🙂