Five Ways You Can Entertain Kids on a Bus

According to researchers at the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas, students experience significant benefits when they attend cultural field trips. According to one researcher, Jay Greene, the benefits included higher levels of tolerance, stronger critical thinking skills, and more historical empathy.

Field trips are important for student learning and development, and most educators will attend several with children each year. Many trips require talking to a charter bus company about renting buses for use. How, exactly, can you ensure that your bus trip goes smoothly? Here are four suggestions.

1. Songs or Call and Reply

One way to keep kids having fun, without getting out of control, is to start a call-and-reply in which playing requires listening. One example of a call-and-reply is the telephone game, which requires each participant to “call” the next participant. Singalong songs are always a good option as well, especially for younger kids. If you don’t want to go crazy from listening to endless repetitions of “the song that never ends,” though, have several ready to go.

2. Encourage Kids to Make a Friend

If you’re trying to foster strong group dynamics, why not continue that effort on the bus? Come up with a list of interesting questions students can ask each other about their favorite things and opinions. Read them off one. At the end, go around to each student, and ask them to tell the rest of the bus what they learned about their seat partner. Alternatively, ask children to play I-Spy with each other, and ask them what they’ve seen.

3. Alphabet Game Alphabet Game pic

it’s a time honored tradition!  The first person to find a letter beginning with each letter of alphabet wins.  Of course, it helps if you can come across a sign like this!

4. Bring Newspapers

Want to encourage reading and media literacy at the same time? For older children, you can consider bringing newspapers (or newspaper clippings) to read while using charter bus services, or provide everyone with a book (just make sure they all come back with you). This can be a good way to ensure that longer trips pass quickly.

5. Pipe Cleaner Animals

It can be difficult to find crafts that work well on coach buses. Markers and crayons roll under seats, paint is too messy, and play-doh will find itself wedged into every seat buckle. Pipe cleaners, though, are one great option that kids can entertain themselves with. Just give five or so to each kid and enjoy seeing the crazy creatures they manage to make from them.