The school bus is a familiar object in the everyday life of a kid - unless it’s the child’s first time on the school bus. In that case the school bus is an enormous, brightly colored vehicle which serves as a noisy, mysterious portal to another world. Before your child even steps foot into this new world called school, the adventure of riding the legendary yellow bus must first take place. Gather the little ones and let’s tour the school bus online to familiarize them with the upcoming experience. We’ll also highlight the fun of it. The Internet has some wonderful websites about school buses for children. You can dedicate an entire afternoon to school bus related activities, both educational and amusing. Make a party of it, starting with this virtual field trip to the yellow school bus!
School Bus Videos
Seeing is believing, and when kids see these upbeat videos it will help them to become more comfortable with the idea of riding on the school bus. Talk with your child about these videos. The kids seem pretty happy getting on the bus, don’t they? Ben on the Bus is a 20 second YouTube video that shows a group of Kindergarten kids eagerly getting onto the school bus. Little Ben climbs aboard, turns around, and gives his parent an excited wave. Kid Goat Rides the School Bus is a local news report about an adorable little goat who follows her young owner onto the school bus, resulting in laughter and fun. Children will want to watch this video more than once!
Virtual Visit to the School Bus
Well, it wasn’t easy locating a virtual 360 degree image of a school bus but I found one so let’s climb aboard and look around a bit. Click on Virtual School Bus and you will come to a school bus page with a tab that says Virtual Tour. Click that tab and then click on the image it provides in order to take the tour. A 360 degree panoramic view of the inside of a school bus will appear. Click and move your mouse along the image to adjust the view to any angle you like. I think your child will get a kick out of using the computer to take a sneak peek inside a school bus. Don’t forget to explain that the bus will never be this quiet again…
School Bus Games and Fun
Here are some websites that offer cute school bus themed activities. Let’s face it, you can only sing the wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round so many times. These ideas will help you take school bus fun to the next level. School Bus Games provides 8 computer games including an interactive word search, connect the dots, and a crossword puzzle. An extra benefit is that many of the games teach about school bus safety. School Bus Projects is a web page that provides arts and crafts activities such as printable coloring pages, do-it-yourself jewelry, and a school bus model you can make with your child using a milk carton and yellow construction paper. When my family had our back to school party, the unique yellow cake was my child’s favorite part of it. School Bus Cake is a website with a recipe, instructions, and a video demonstration for baking a delicious cake and decorating it in the shape of a school bus. Let the festivities begin!
School Bus Safety
Statistically, school busses are extremely safe. The few accidents that do happen usually occur nearby the school bus. These are pedestrian accidents which can generally be avoided if safety precautions are followed. It is crucial to teach your child about school bus safety and review the lesson a few times a year. School Bus Safety is an excellent online article with six easy but important safety measures that every child should be made aware of. School Bus Safety Tips is a useful video in which public school bus drivers explain how to keep children safe as they get on and off the bus.
School Bus Websites for Children with Special Needs
While a lot of young kids tend to enjoy the noise and energy associated with the school bus and bus stop, many children with special needs find this experience a bit intense and often distressing. Fortunately there are websites available that address this concern. ConnectABILITY, an online community dedicated to supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities, offers a site called Getting Ready for the First Day on the School Bus. There are also a number of school bus related social stories on the Internet. A social story describes situations, skills and social cues in a way that is easily understood by children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. One such story is Personal Space on the Bus. Finally, there is a very informative article called Twelve Questions to Ask About Your Child’s School Bus Ride with practical recommendations for parents of children with special needs.