The wheels on the bus make learning fun!

Mother and toddler looking out window of train
Early years 2-5 years

If you spend time on public transport with your little one, here are some activities you can try to turn travel time into learning time.

Songs and rhymes

Pass the time on your commute with songs and nursery rhymes.  Songs with simple actions you can do together, like ‘The wheels on the bus’, ‘Incy wincy spider’ and ‘Five little ducks’ are great for keeping your little one entertained and can help develop their listening skills, motor skills and coordination. Check out the Raising Children Network’s Baby Karaoke for songs you can sing along to with your little one.

Picture books

Keep some picture books handy for your travel time. Babies and little children enjoy books that have good rhymes, rhythm and repetition – this helps them to remember and learn.

Cloth or board books and books with bright colours or simple, large pictures are great for babies. Toddlers will love lift-the-flap and pop-up books, or stories with animals and animal noises. Preschoolers will enjoy books about the alphabet, shapes and counting.

Letters and numbers

Point out—or, if they’re old enough, ask your child to point out—letters, numbers and words you see along the way on street signs, number plates and billboards.

If your little one can count, you can try playing simple numeracy games with them, such as counting how many people on the bus are wearing hats, or how many trucks you pass.

Colour competition

For toddlers and preschoolers, try challenging them to a colour competition. Name a colour and ask your little one to point out all the things they can see in that colour (like signs, cars and people’s clothing). Name the more common colours like red and white for littlies and less common colours like purple and gold for bigger children.

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