First Ride: How to Prepare
Kids for the School Bus

Riding a school bus for the first time can be a major source of anxiety for both you and your child. However, riding on the school bus can actually be a lot of fun once you get past the first day jitters. It is a safe form of transportation for getting to and from school, and it’s a nice change of pace for your child who is used to riding in your car. We’ve put together a few tips to make sure that you and your child are ready for that first trip on the big yellow bus.

First Ride: How to Prepare Kids for the School Bus

Create a routine

Having a routine is perhaps the best way to put your child at ease. Knowing what to expect can take a lot of the worry out of a new and stressful situation. Adopt a morning routine for getting ready for school. Pack your child’s backpack and give her a lunchbox on your way out the door. Try to leave the house at the exact same time every morning and make sure that she knows you’ll be there with her at the bus stop the entire time. Assure your child that you will be waiting for her at the bus stop at the end of the day, so that she’ll know to look for you on the way home.

Pack a snack

Some school districts and bus drivers allow food and drink on the bus. See if you can arrange a meeting with the bus driver before the first day of school so that your child can meet him before the big day, and also so that you can learn the rules. If snacks are allowed, pack a small container of your child’s favorite snack to enjoy on the ride home from school.

Send a book or toy

Depending on how far away from school you live, your child could spend a considerable amount of time on the bus each day. If your house is one of the first stops on the route, then you can expect a longer ride while the bus travels the route to other stops. Send a book or a small toy for your child to enjoy on the bus to make the commute go faster.

Designate a bus buddy

While some bus drivers might assign seats on the bus, many do not. If this is the case, then set your child up with a bus buddy. This could be an older sibling or another child from the neighborhood. A bus buddy is someone that your child can count on to be on the bus with him everyday. Having someone he knows on the bus with him everyday can take some of the stress out of the ride. Since it’s not likely that the bus buddy will have perfect attendance, it’s a good idea to have more than one bus buddy, at least until your child feels confident on the bus.

Label everything

It can be hard for young children to keep up with all of their belongings. It is inevitable that something will get left behind on the bus or at school. Make sure that everything is labeled with your child’s name so that it can be returned to her. A personalized backpack from Pottery Barn Kids displays your child’s name clearly and prominently.

Your child’s outfit is picked out, her lunch box is packed, and she is ready for the first day of school. By following these simple tips, she’ll be excited about riding on the bus to school for the first time, and you’ll feel confident that she has everything she needs.