The Wheels On the Bus Activity

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!


 

bus

“The Wheels on the Bus” is a beloved American children’s song and it can be the springboard for a variety of therapy activities covering many different domains of Auditory Verbal Therapy.

What you’ll need:

Learning to Listen Sound animal toys

People toys

A toy bus

Construction paper and animal clip art or stickers (if you want to make your own bus, either before the session to use as a prop or during the session as an activity the child and caregiver)

BEGINNING LISTENERS

  • Listening for detection (Do you hear the b-b-b of the bus coming?  Do you hear the Learning to Listen Sounds of the animals waiting to get on the bus?)

  • Localization: secretly pass the bus and/or passenger toys to the adults in the room.  Can the child localize to the source of the sound without visual cues?

  • Early developing sounds — speech babble with /b/

  • Imitating LTLS animal sounds

  • Vocalization for action (1, 2, 3… go!)

  • Does the child move or vocalize in response to singing?  Does he have joint attention and attempt to imitate the motions?

  • Discrimination by duration (for more on auditory tasks like this, see our article in Erber’s Hierarchy: The Listening Ladder HERE)

 

THE NEXT STEPS

  • Two word combinations (action + object: go bus! and entity + location: dog bus = the dog is in the bus)
  • Early prepositions: in, out, on, off
  • Get out another vehicle and give directions 2 critical elements in length (the dog goes in the bus, the cat goes in the car)
  • Can the child actually sing some of the words in the song?  Make it an auditory closure activity.  The adult starts to sing, “The wheels on teh bus go…” and see if the child can “close up” the familiar sentence.
  • Play games with more difficult prepositions (the girl goes behind the bus, the boy stands next to the bus)
  • Pronouns (you push the bus, I push the bus, he goes in the bus, she sits by the cat)

 

MAKE IT EVEN HARDER

  • Make a construction paper bus with the child.  Put out all of the supplies and then build conversational language by asking broad questions like, “How do you think we can make a bus with this stuff?”
  • Auditory list memory: give the child a list of 3+ toy characters (people and/or animals) who should go on the bus.  Can the child remember a list of three items?  Four?  More?
  • Give temporal directions (the girl gets on before the grandma)
  • Talk about the concept of “rhyming” and help the child generate rhymes to complete each of the verses (you may have to provide answer options at the beginning)
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