Games & Play / Singing Together

Song Guide Based on “The Wheels on the Bus”

Explore math while singing and moving to the music.


Activity Summary

This song is not just about riding on a bus. It’s about moving our bodies in the space!

Song Lyrics

The wheels on the bus go round and round,
Round and round, round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
All through the town.

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish
The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep
The doors on the bus go open and shut
The money in the box goes clink, clink, clink.
The driver on the bus says, “Move on back
The people on the bus go up and down
The babies on the bus say, “Wah, wah, wah
The parents on the bus say, “Shh, shh, shh” (or “I love you”)
Listen to the song on YouTube 

About the Math

The bolded words below help children think about geometry ideas like space and place. From this song, your child can learn how to describe:

Where things are located.

  • Many people are on the bus.
  • The money goes in the box.
  • The bus moves all through the town.

How things move in space.

  • The wheels go round and round.
  • The doors go open and shut.

Math Sing and Play

Act out the movements to emphasize the meanings. Doing the motions helps your child connect the words to what is happening in the song. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Round and round – move finger around like wheels of the bus.
  • Swish, swish, swish – move hands back and forth like windshield wipers.
  • Open and shuthold hands together like doors and make them open and shut.
  • Move on back – use hand to motion toward the back.
  • Up and down – bounce up and down.

Activity After the Song

You can keep the learning going by making your own bus.

  • Use large old cardboard boxes and tape them together. Decorate them with markers to show wheels and windows. Your child can sit in the bus and act out the song. If you don’t have boxes, arrange chairs or pillows to make seats in a bus.
  • Building and making things with your child provides opportunities to talk about math. For example, your child might say you need to place two boxes next to each other. You might point out that a school bus can have six wheels, two in the front and four in the back. Encourage this kind of talk as you build.
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