When you take groups of children on field trips that require long bus rides, keeping the children occupied with games can prevent boredom and chaos. Fortunately, with a little creativity, you can help children pass the time in a fun yet orderly way. Before you know it, you’ll have arrived at your destination, with your sanity and that of the bus driver intact.
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Road Trip Bingo
Print your own Bingo cards using your computer. In each Bingo square, paste in a road sign such as a stop sign, a yield sign or a traffic merge sign. Deer crossing, hospital and lodging signs are other possibilities. Give each child a card and a highlighter at the start of the bus trip. As you go along, call out signs that appear along the road. If a sign appears on a child’s Bingo card, he can highlight that square. The first child to make a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line on his Bingo card wins.
Picture Scavenger Hunt
Instruct kids to bring cheap, disposable cameras to capture pictures during the trip. Specify how many exposures the cameras need prior to the trip. Give kids a list of items to look for, such as an airport sign, a petrol station and grazing cows (if passing through a rural area). Have them take a picture of each item on the list as they spot it, then cross the item off their list. Make sure to instruct them to save some pictures for the actual field trip destination. After the trip, parents can have the cameras developed so their children have a record of the trip.
Help children kill time while sharpening their memory with a bus memory game. Announce the name of a child on the bus to begin the game. That child then says your name, her name and the name of another child whose name begins with the letter in which her name ends. Children who fail to complete the task are deemed to be “out” and their names can no longer be pulled by other children. If another child uses the name of a child who is “out” of the game, he too is “out.” There are many variations of the name game, so alter the game as you’d like to fit the age of your bus riders.
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