Have fun learning with these fun & simple Wheels on the Bus Themed Activities! (Early Years Framework 22-36 Months Age Band) – these activities can be adapted for babies & toddlers according to your child’s needs & development.
Give your child the Educational Edge, preparing them for nursery and beyond…
- Treasure Box
- Sing Songs
- Cardboard Box Cars
- Garage Role Play Area
- Street Scene
- Bus Colour Snap
- Teddy Number Bus
- Recycling Bin Count
- Writing With Cars
- Car Ramps
- Visit a Transport Museum
- Recommended Books
The Wheels on the Bus is a fun song with lots of different actions and introduces lots of new words! I collected different items based on the Wheels on the Bus theme to go in our box:
- The Wheels on the Bus Rhyme Poster
- That’s Not My Car book
- Cars (one with mouse driver!)
- Toy Keys
- Car Ramp
- A crane created from Duplo bricks
For other Wheels on the Bus themed activities books see Sophie’s ‘Recommended Books’ section for some great ideas!
Your little one will love exploring any of the items you choose to put in the box (make sure the items are ‘child safe’). Below are some ‘Wheels on the Bus – Road Transport Vehicles’ games, songs & activities for you to do.
Let’s Sing & Dance!
Songs & Music
Sing, dance & do the actions to these songs! Your little one could even do this in their cardboard car / bus for added fun (see below)! Click on the links for lyrics & actions / videos.
Let’s Use Our Imaginations!
ADULT PREP: cut off 3 of the flaps on the top of the box. If your box is not particularly strong stick the 3 flaps inside the box to strengthen the sides. With the remaining flap cut out the centre to make a windscreen. Then either draw with felt pens or use the templates Cardboard Car Fittings &/or Teddy’s Carboard Box Car to make the wheels, number plate, headlights etc. You could also paint the car/s or decorate in a range of ways. Get your child to help with this.
Now find your drivers & off they go!
This is such a cheap & simple activity, but Sophie absolutely loved playing with her car boxes – moving her cuddly toys around, trying to sing along to the rhymes, making revving & horn noises etc. We then remembered we had a steering wheel toy that used to go on her buggy & this fitted perfectly onto her ‘car’. This made it even more fun & an activity she keeps returning to.
Garage Role Play Area
WHAT YOU NEED (optional items): Cardboard car/s (see above) or toy cars; toy tools
(or make your own); ‘Garage’ sign; mechanic clothes (dungarees!!!), cardboard petrol pump, rags, cash register, phone, notepad/pen etc.
ADULT PREP: Set up the role-play area as you wish!
Let your little one explore the different ways in which they can use the tools on the cars helping to develop their motor skills. Talk to them for some of the play session, introducing new words such as screwdriver, spanner etc. Why don’t you put teddy’s car in for a service and guide your child how to use all of the different items? Also let them play independently and you listen in! Sophie had us smiling as she kept turning the cars upside down and tried to ‘fix’ them by taking the wheels off!
WHAT YOU NEED: Template for the Street Scene Background or make your own; 6 pieces of A4 white card; scissors; various toy carsthat your child may already have. Optional: Laminator & pouches, Duplo (or similar) characters.
ADULT PREP: Print out the Street Scene Background onto stiff card. Trim page edges so the buildings & road aligns & then, if available, laminate the pages for durability.
Ready to play!
Your child can use the scene to push their cars along, park on the drives of the houses, go to the garage etc. They could also build additional buildings out of Duplo and use the characters to act out everyday situations. (Also see the Recycling Bin Count for another linked activity).
Imaginative play is a key tool in developing each of the 7 learning areas from the Early Years Framework, encouraging children to develop independence, empathy & self-confidence. With adult support it can extend their vocabulary & language &, when playing with their family & friends, develop social skills.
Let’s Do Some MATHS!
Bus Colour SNAP!
ADULT PREP: Print out 2 copies of the Bus Colour Snap template. Laminate if possible to make cards more hardwearing. Cut out around each bus shape giving you 24 cards – 2 of each colour.
Ready to play! You can play with the cards in different ways e.g.
1. Lay one set of ‘buses’ out on a flat surface & give your child one card at a time to find the other ‘bus’ of the same colour. Say the colour as they match the pairs.
3. Play ‘snap’ in the usual way, just remember to say the colours. If you want a better game of ‘snap’ print out at least one & preferably two more sets from the bus template.
NB: Each bus has the colour word written on it so you can point to this when you or your child are saying the colour.
Don’t worry if your child can do any of the above or not. It’s not a test! Just allow them to have fun, play & hear you talk about the different colour names.
Teddy Number Bus
ADULT PREP: Print out the pages of the Teddy Number Bus template. Cut out the windows with the teddies on the third page. It is not essential but if possible laminate to make more durable.
Ready to count!
Game 1: Match the teddy / number cards to the bus with teddy pictures.
Game 2: Put the teddy cards in number order onto the bus with blank windows.
Recycling Bin Count
ADULT PREP: Print & cut out the Recycling Rubbish Bin Count templates. Glue the 2 recycling truck pictures to either side of a small box / container. Set out the rubbish bins.
Let your little one drive the truck, collecting the rubbish bins as they go. Count each bin as they drop it into the box! To make this more realistic you could use your street scene and put the bins outside the houses (we made small card supports so bins could be stand upright). Or you could make your own mini rubbish bags with black bags & string for them to put in the truck!
If they get really good at counting and adding on you could then start taking the bins away and counting how many are left.
Let’s Do Some Early Writing
Writing with Cars
ADULT PREP: Attach a felt tip or crayon onto a toy car by wrapping an elastic band around them. Set the cars out onto some plain paper. You could also print and cut out the Circular Road Early Writing template for extra mark making practise.
Ready to make marks and squiggles! Try the plain paper first to let them get the hang of pushing the car and pen and seeing what marks they can make. You could then use the template for refining their fine motor skills even further.
Let’s Learn About the World Around Us!
WHAT YOU NEED: A piece of wood (or any object that is long & solid enough to make a car ramp!); toy carsroad vehicles.
ADULT PREP: Set the ramp up and lay out the cars!
Do some early science! Release different vehicles from the top of the ramp and see which ones go the furthest & which is the fastest! Its good motor skills practise too – it took Sophie a little while to place the vehicle in the centre of the ramp so it didn’t fall off the side. She also decided to try her teddies as she turned it into a slide!
Visit a Transport Museum
We had a fabulous visit to the Coventry Transport Museum. Sophie saw lots of different types of buses, cars, bicycles, motorbikes, tractors, fire engines & vans. The whole museum is very interactive and had lots of buttons for Sophie to press as well as kiddie rides and a black cab taxi to sit in! We were pleasantly surprised by how much she enjoyed it all. The shop and café were great too AND the entrance was free! Bargain!
Check out this list of other motor museums to visit in Britain.
Some of Sophie’s Recommended Books for Wheels on the Bus Themed Activities
- That’s Not My Car – Fiona Watt
- That’s Not My Truck – Fiona Watt
- On The Road – Susan Steggall
- Cars and Trucks and Things That Go – Richard Scarry
- Look Inside Cars – Rob Lloyd Jones
- My First Trucks & Diggers – Dorling Kindersley
- Whizzy Wheels Series (Bus/Campervan/Digger) – Marion Billet
- George’s Racing Car & Beep Beep Brrrm! sound book – Peppa Pig
- Little Toot Toot Beep Beep – Emma Garcia