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under5s - the bus ride
The 'Wheels on the Bus' and so much more.
Keeping your toddler amused can be a challenge – but did you know that a simple ride on a bus could lead to so much more…

Do you remember that great old song  'The Wheels on the Bus go round and round',  from your own childhood ? Well it can be the basis for a great topic to introduce your under 5's to a huge range of activities, and experiences relating to buses.

Try spotting how many buses you can see next time you go out, or from your window on a rainy day, discuss with your child the different colours, what the advertising banners say on the side (encourages reading skills). Did you realise there were so many varieties, from double-deckers, open top buses, mini-shoppers, there are so many to watch for. Can you count them as they pass by?

Perhaps next time you go into town or to a friend's house you could ride the bus, to introduce a new experience. On most buses young children go free, so you may only need to pay for the older members in the party, and you are being kind to the environment. Who's to say you can't sit there and sing, bringing the traditional song to life. We do, and it just brings a smile to the other passenger's faces.
On returning home, a catalogue can be fantastic for cutting out a variety of different people, which your toddler will enjoy sticking to an outline of a bus. You can then talk about the boys and girls on your child's bus, what they are wearing, how big they are, whose driving. Mathematical concepts can be introduced as you discuss whether the bus is full or empty, the number of people on the bus, and whether it is a large or small bus.

As well as collage, you can encourage your child to draw or paint a picture of a bus, whether it be Bertie from Thomas the Tank Engine, or the bus you saw down the road, it helps the child remember the days experiences. Try to encourage the drawing to be more accurate with questions like: What colour was the bus, where was the door, how many wheels does it have, where did the driver sit?
There are lots of transport museums around the country including the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, in Hampshire, where you can look at a wide variety of transport through the ages, and climb abroad a vintage open top bus for a ride. Maybe you could discover one near you, and have a fantastic day out.

Any day can be rounded off by a lovely story or picture book all about buses – favourites of ours are – The wheels on the bus (cloth book by The Book People) and Thomas, Bertie and the Bumpy Line based on the railway series by Rev W. Awdry - but I am certain your local library could point you in the right direction, especially if you have a chat with the children's librarian.

Helen Renouf
Nursery Nurse (NNEB)

Fact File

Beaulieu National Motor Museum
Beaulieu, Hampshire SO42 7ZN
Tel:(01590) 612345 
Email: info@beaulieu.co.uk
Web Site www.beaulieu.co.uk
National Motor Museum with a large display of transport through the ages, including the opportunity to ride on an open top bus.

The Book People
Telephone: 0870 6077780
Fax: 0870 6077720.
A variety of children and adult books available to order with up to 75% off their recommended retail price.

Thomas the Tank Engine
Official Web Site: www.thomasthetankengine.co.uk
Unofficial Web Site: http://iglobal.com/Drew/index.html

30 Children's Playgroup Favourites
Audio Tape and Cd, including the wheels on the bus and other songs.
© 1997 Crimson Productions Ltd. CCRIMCD73

under5s - the bus ride
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