Let’s head back to school with the popular kids book, Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus. Pair it with this cute school bus craft made with traced finger people!
As a kid, I remember, back to school was 30% exciting and 70% a huge bummer. It was exciting because I got to go shopping and see all of my friends again. It was a huge bummer because summer was coming to a swift end and I couldn’t have the free lifestyle I had enjoyed for the previous 3 months. I practically dreaded the first day of school.
That is until it arrived and I was at the bus stop.
I would be among my friends, waiting for our big yellow ride to school, laughing and sharing stories from our fun summers. The bus was the buffer, the transition point between summer fun and school, which would eventually be fun too! Riding the bus was an iconic time of my back to school memories.
I decided to do this fun school bus craft with my daughter so I could share my memories with her.
How to make the School Bus Craft With ‘Finger Cut Out’ Kids
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Out of the yellow construction paper, cut out a school bus shape. I used a black marker to create the border, draw on the tires, and write on the ‘School Bus #10’ label.
Next, cut out the windows so the kids can stick their heads out.
I traced my daughter’s hand on a piece of white construction paper. I gave her the markers and she drew on faces, hair, clothes, etc. on each finger. She personalized each finger by making each child look different from the other.
We cut along the dotted lines so that each kid was separate from each other. This way each of the kids can stick their heads out the window in the direction that works best for you and your craft.
Then, I put the kids through the windows and taped the base to the back of the bus.
Pretend School Play Activity
I am glad that I taped the kids versus gluing, because after we were finished with our crafting, my daughter took the kids out of the bus and played with them for over an hour! It was fun listening to her creating stories about what she thinks school will be like (Hint: The boys are going to pull her hair but she will be friends with everyone).
Integrating Children’s Books
My daughter is starting preschool in a couple weeks. It is a new transition that we are excited about yet anxious as well. We have been reading back to school type books for a couple weeks now. Our favorites so far are Pete The Cat: The Wheels On The Bus and Pete The Cat: Too Cool For School.
I want to give her a glimpse of what school is going to be like. This is the first time that she will be away from me, in the care of someone else, and surrounded by 20+ kids her age! The books have been helping with her anxiety and anticipation.
It never ceases to amaze me how well books can teach and enlighten little ones!
More Back to School Ideas for Preschoolers and Kindergartners
We have also been doing crafts and activities to help build and maintain the excitement for back to school. Just like with books, crafts give us quality time to talk about things. She can ask me questions about what school will be like and I can share stories to help calm her nerves.
There are some great back to school crafts out there, but some of my favorites are: this shoe print keepsake craft to go along with another Pete the Cat book, Rocking In My School Shoes, and this Back To School Countdown Chain that matches perfectly with this school bus craft! She is currently stoked that she got to buy school supplies, so this school supplies handprint craft is very fitting!
I think crafts, just like books, can help teach and help comfort kids!
We’re always looking for new books that we have yet to read! Do you have any favorite back to school books? If you liked this school bus craft, you may also love this 1st Day Of School handprint printable!
– Deanna (Follow Play Dough & Popsicles on Pinterest here)