If your child is starting school soon and they are bused then you need to teach them how to ride the bus safely. Both of my kids rode the bus for years and we know a thing or two about busing.
I will never forget how nervous I was that first year my daughter started riding the bus to her French immersion school. Because it was a French immersion school out of our neighbourhood all the kids were bused. I had so many bus safety concerns.
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Ride the Bus Safely
In Junior Kindergarten we walked down the street to the neighbourhood school. But when she was six actually she made the switch to French immersion and she was so excited about taking the bus.
When Bus Safety is a Concern
I was, in fact, less excited. I was worried about how well she’d do and whether she’d remember which stop to get out at. In the end she LOVED riding the bus and rarely wanted to get off at end of the afternoon. Can never ever forget that time in Senior Kindergarten when she met me at the front of the bus yelling: “Mom I am going to Aliyaah’s house. See you later.”
My Own Experience
My cheeky six-year-old thought play dates happened on school nights and that she was in charge of them. Also she apparently thought the bus driver was her personal chauffeur. LOL. Um, no that’s not in the bus safety rules.
Our Bus Drivers Have Been Exceptional
Over the years we have had some of the most incredible bus drivers. We had one from grade 6 to 8 who was more of a friend than anything and worth his weight in gold! He showed up at my home one Saturday with my iPad that Ainsley had borrowed and left sitting on the bus. He also always waited when we were running a few moments late.
Here’s hoping you get a bus driver that’s just as amazing! That definitely helps kids to learn how to ride the bus safely.
Starting school is an important time for your three-year old or four-year-old. After choosing an outfit and strapping on their new backpack, he or she will feel so mature venturing off to a day of learning and play. If they are riding the bus, then you may want to rehearse what that looks like and let them know they will be safe.
Trust me, this is as much for you as it is for him or her.
This new adventure can cause both excitement and fear in your preschooler and bring to the forefront your own safety concerns. Here are tips to help your child reach their destination safely and relieve a bit of your own anxiety regarding riding the bus safely.
Be Aware of Danger Zones Around the Bus
Teach your preschooler the Giant Step rules to help them understand the danger zones around the bus. To cross in front, you and your child should leave ten feet (five giant steps) between you and the bus. To approach the bus from the curb, leave space enough for three giant steps (about six feet). Never ever walk behind the bus. That is vital to riding the bus safely!
If your preschooler can touch the bus, they are too close. Children should never play around or close to the vehicle. Only enter the danger zones if he or she has the driver’s permission.
Rules for Getting on the Bus
Arrive a little early so that you and your child aren’t rushed. Showing up late for the bus can cause you to be careless and disregard the safety rules. Teach your child to never run to or from the bus. Tell your child to wait for the driver’s permission before getting on the bus. Encourage your child to sit facing the driver, feet in front and on the floor. For safety reasons – such as possible emergency evacuations – the driver will need to keep the aisle clear at all times.
Departing the Bus Safely
Tell your child to hold onto the handrail. Little legs may find it challenging to maneuver down the large steps. No pushing or shoving. As with anywhere, good manners and proper conduct are expected Walk, don’t run, in the aisle. If your child drops something within any of the danger zones, make sure they leave it behind. Never stop. Return to the bus in the appropriate manner and let the bus driver know. Help your child cross the street and safely exit the danger zone areas around the bus.
School and Bus Safety Protocol
Every school my kids ever attended ran numerous bus safety assemblies and activities. So, don’t sweat it if you are unsure of all the bus safety rules. The school your child attends will often help educate the kids and staff regarding expectations and how to ride the bus safely.
Remember Rules on the Bus
Finally, your child needs to know about the expectations on the bus.
For instance, always stay seated. No yelling. No bullying other kids and no standing ahead of the line by the driver. He or she will definitely remind all the children of that.
Ride the Bus Safely and Get Home Happy
The bus can be a fun part of the day after school, but only when safety rules are followed regularly.