When you’re taking students on a long bus ride, it’s always best to have something planned to keep the kids busy! Although icebreakers are a solid bet and can provide the students with some fun activities, you want to make sure you have some extra prep up your sleeve. What better way to pass the time during a bus trip than to sing songs with the students? Songs that are about transportation, songs about buses, and maybe even songs that are rounds. It might not be the prettiest music, but the kids will have a blast, and the time to get to your field trip or destination will fly by!
Songs for Young Children
The Wheels on the Bus
There are lots of children’s songs about buses, but “The Wheels on the Bus” sits on the top of the list! This gem is repetitive and has fun motions that the students can participate in. What would a list of songs to sing on themes be without this one?
The Ants Go Marching
Another classic counting song, “The Ants Go Marching” is a great way to help your students, especially younger ones, to practice their numbers! The melody is borrowed from the Civil War tune, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again.”
On Top of Spaghetti
“On Top of Spaghetti” is a kid’s song that uses the melody of folk song “On Top of Old Smokey.” The original version is more than 100 years old, although nobody knows who was responsible for the original version. “On Top of Spaghetti” is mostly associated with Tom Glazer’s performance in 1963. Your students will love the ridiculousness of the song!
If You’re Happy
Kids love this song with all of its clapping and stomping. Although there are standards like “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands,” you can always play with the lyrics and come up with goofy versions such as “if you’re happy and you know it wiggle your nose.” Consider letting some of the kids come up with ideas and see how wild it can get!
“Kookaburra” is a Girl Scouts standby that comes from Australia, where the kookaburra lives! The kookaburra is a brown and white bird, a kingfisher, specifically, and when it calls, it sounds like a laugh. Originally, the song was written for the Girl Guides Jamboree, by Marion Sinclair, in 1943. Girl Guides are the British equivalent of the Girl Scouts.
Down by the Bay
There are so many versions of this singalong song that is perfect for elementary age kids. Personally, I like the version listed here where they offer alternative verses. The rhymes are especially fun for kids of all ages. Between the nonsense and the rhymes, the kids will not be able to pause. For example: “Did you see a clarinet take a kitten to the vet?” The call and response also engages your students.
99 Bottles of Pop
Although most folks know this song as 99 Bottles of Beer on the wall, obviously, you can’t sing with kids about beer. So 99 Bottles of Pop is a good substitute! This song will help your students with their counting skills, as they count backwards from 99 down to 1. The best part of this song? As the kids count down from 99 to 1, a long stretch of time will pass.
This is the Song that Doesn’t End
Approach this song with caution! Because it really really is the song that never ends. As your students get to the end of the Song That Doesn’t End, it circles back to the beginning with the “because.”
Do, Re, Mi (Doe a Deer)
Do, Re, Mi was popularized by Julie Andrews in the movie The Sound of Music. Who can resist the call and response of the tune? Even if your students aren’t wearing clothes handmade from drapes, they can still pretend they’re part of the Von Trapp family.
Songs for Kids That Are Older
If the students you’re taking on your trip are a little older, you may want to include songs that aren’t quite as simple or as catchy. If you bring along a small speaker, you can even play these loudly so that everyone can have a dance party and the time to get to your location will just fly away. Here are three to get you going!
Don’t Stop Believing
This classic by Journey is a sing-along par excellence. If you’re looking for a version that’s a little more recent than this 1981 release, consider one of the Glee versions. There are plenty to choose from— they performed it in six different episodes over the course of the show! Your students will be rocking out and having tons of fun.
YMCA stands the test of time. Invite your students to participate in modified motions without standing up. It’s possible to adjust them so that they can be safely done from a seated position. The best part about the song? The kids will know the song well, since it’s a party and wedding standard.
Van Morrison’s 1960s classic is a great song for a singalong. If the kids don’t know the words, they can jump in on the “sha la la la la la la la la la la ti da la ti da” and dance along. Both the kids and the adults will be happy with this one!
Whether you’re looking for children’s songs about buses, or songs to sing on the bus for your students that are about other topics, there are a plethora to choose from. The jingle jangle of a catchy tune will ensure your students have a fun time as they travel to the field trip or event. Bus.com can take care of all of your booking needs for transportation so that you can focus on your students and the chaperones. Our easy online booking tool makes quotes fast and easy and our 24/7 customer support team can take care of all of the particulars and ensure that it all goes seamlessly.