Do your kids shout when they see a bus? Do they sing “The Wheels on the Bus” on repeat?
If the answer is YES! then this is for you!
After we had sung “Wheels on the Bus” about a million times, I remembered that there was a Raffi children’s book version of the song. At the library I plesantly discovered that there are a ton of adaptations. I believe we have read 11 of them in total, below are our favorites.
These Wheels on the Bus children’s books worked the best of our activities and were the most fun to read/sing together.
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Wheels on the Bus Story Study
First, what is a story study? In this case I use the term to describe reading different versions of the same story and doing related activities.
It all begins with the picture books and here are our favorites for this story study.
6 Best Wheels on the Bus Children’s Book Adaptations
1. Wheels on the Bus
by Raffi Illustrated by Sylvie Kantorovitz Wickstrom
This is a classic. The song is a familiar version. The pictures are active and full of details. There is a video version of this book that our children also loved.
2. The Wheels on the Bus
by Paul O Zelinsky
The lyrics in this version are classic, but the illustrations are fantastic. They are filled with amazing details and vibrant colors. A visual treat.
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3. The Wheels on the Bus
by Annie Kubler
This fabulous board book is a great early introduction to the song (and part of a fun series). Our kids loved the die cut holes and happy illustrations.
4. Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus
by James Dean
We love Pete the Cat so this is a natural book for us. It follows the same general pattern with some silly Pete additions. If you love Pete the Cat this is a winner.
5. The Babies on the Bus
by Karen Katz
This is the other version that we own. Karen Katz is a favorite in our house. Her colorful illustrations and playful version of this tale was the favorite of the variations we read.
6. The Wheels on the Racecar
by Alexander Zane
Obviously, this one is not about buses. It is a race car version of The Wheels on the Bus and a fun one at that. A great book for reading/singing and for comparing and contrasting.
5 Wheels on the Bus Story Study Activities
1. Bus Ride Dramatic Play
We acted the book out with a row of chairs. A row of pillows would also work. Inviting some babies or other toys to join you on the bus might also be fun. Sing the song together and have fun.
2. Bus Toys
This is dramatic play on a small scale. We used this Fischer Price bus to act out the song and books.
3. New Song Versions
Make up other versions about silly things or use the tune to go sing about some other form of transportation. The Wheels on the Train? The Wings on the Plane?
4. Take a city bus field trip.
5. W is for Wheels
Make a W on the floor with painters’ tape and walk or drive on it working on letter recognition and gross motor skills.
It’s time again for another fantastic month of alphabet fun with the 31 Days of ABC! All this month you can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.
I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their ideas with us in the coming days. So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!
Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!