Children have many opportunities to learn and these do not necessarily take place in the classroom. The environment that they live in and day-to-day activities all provide unique and enjoyable opportunities to learn. Taking a trip on the bus may seem a simple activity that is unlikely to teach a child anything. However, this is not the case as there are actually many activities associated with travel that your child will be able to learn from, making this a teachable moment. Here are some ideas on how you can use a trip on the bus to teach your child and how this learning applies to the subjects they study in the classroom.
Possibilities for teaching various numeracy skills are endless. Reading timetables is a topic that children often cover at school and this will be good practical experience for them. It is also a great opportunity to discuss time with them. Not just when the bus is arriving, but also how long a journey takes and when you will arrive at your destination. Another lesson that can be taught on the bus is using money. Allow your child to pay. Discuss the cost of individual tickets, how much it will cost for different groups of people to travel together, such as two adults and two children, and how much change they will get from a given sum of money.
Practice reading signs on the way to the bus stop, the information given at the bus stop and any advertisements there are on the actual bus. If you are having a long journey then it is also worth taking some reading material for your child.
Traveling on a bus is ideal for teaching children a number of different social skills. Manners can be taught by telling them about giving up their seat for other people, while they can also learn about communication skills and the types of conversation you have with different people.
If your child is interested in technology and you are knowledgeable on this subject then you can discuss the mechanics of different modes of transport. As an extension activity when you go home you could also design a vehicle with your child and even create a model of your design.
Traveling provides the ideal chance to discuss the geography of your area. This could include the layout of the roads, conversations about local industries and topics such as the local environment and wildlife that you see on your travels.
While passing through your local area you can teach your child about local history. If you pass local historical buildings that are of cultural or architectural interest then talk about them. Also, you can tell them about events that have taken place in your local area.
Transport has an impact on the environment. Talk about why this is. You can then compare the different environmental problems associated with different types of transport and teach them about how using public transport, such as a bus, can help to reduce pollution.
A bus trip can open up many opportunities to teach your child about topics that link in with their school curriculum. These may include maths, English, technology, history, geography and the environment. It is possible to continue with these topics once you are home with extension tasks.