Song and Role-play for
“The Wheels on the Bus”
My 4-5 year old class loves doing the following song and role-play activity . It’s physical, lively and engaging. Try it!
I got the following song and activity from super simple songs
Language focus: Round and round, open and shut, beep beep, up and down, wheels, bus, door, wipers, horn, people, babies, mommies.
Classroom benefits: The Wheels on the Bus introduces a lot of very useful vocabulary for young learners while allowing them to get up, move around the classroom, and engage their imaginations.
Preparation: Before singing the song, introduce a toy bus or a picture of a bus or a bus-themed picture book. Point out the wheels, the door, the wipers, etc. Now, seated in a circle, you are ready to introduce the song.
Lyrics and actions:
(Everybody stands in big circle. You may want to give all of the students some props to act as steering wheels. Tambourines work great! Honk the horn!)
(Everyone stops and faces into the circle.)
The wheels on the bus go round and round. (Move your hands and arms round and round in a circle.)
Round and round. Round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round. Round and round. (Go! Between each verse, everyone pretends to drive a bus and honk the horn.)
The door on the bus goes open and shut. (Clap your hands together on “shut” and open them on “open”.)
Open and shut. Open and shut.
The door on the bus goes open and shut. Open and shut.
The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish. (Mimic the motion of windshield wipers with your hands and arms.)
Swish, swish, swish. Swish, swish, swish.
The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish. Swish, swish, swish.
The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep. (Pretend to be honking the horn on the steering wheel of a bus.)
Beep, beep, beep. Beep, beep, beep.
The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep. Beep, beep, beep.
The people on the bus go up and down. (Stretch up and then squat down.) Up and down. Up and down.
The people on the bus go up and down. Up and down.
The babies on the bus go wah wah wah. (Place your hands next to your eyes and pretend to cry.)
Wah, wah, wah. Wah, wah, wah.
The babies on the bus go wah wah wah. Wah, wah, wah.
The mommies on the bus go shhh shhh shhh. (Place your finger in front of your mouth as you make the shhh sounds. You can also pretend to cradle a baby in one arm).
Shhh shhh shhh. Shhh shhh shhh.
The mommies on the bus go shhh shhh shhh. Shhh shhh shhh.
After the song is great time to “play bus”. Set up rows of chairs like the inside of a bus. Make a bus stop by putting some tape or rope down on the ground. Give each of the children several “coins” (colored chips work great, marbles will do… or use real coins). Make a small box into the fare collection box.
The teacher or parent can put on a bus driver’s cap and use a tambourine as a steering wheel. “Open” the bus door and invite the children on. Ask, “Where are you going?” Elicit responses like “To the park/to the pool/to the zoo/to the library/etc. Say, “Two coins, please.” and help the children pay. After all the kids have boarded, start “driving.” Sing The Wheels on the Bus together. Turn left and turn right, having the kids lean with you as you turn. Call out the stops. “Next stop…the park!” “Next stop…the zoo!”
Kids LOVE this role-play. Let them take turns being the driver too!