Whether your are chaperoning your child's school field trip or his sports team on an away game trip, bus rides with a bunch of kids can be loud, rowdy and rambunctious. Organizing games is an excellent way to keep things under control while allowing the kids to have fun. Plan a variety of games that will keep the kids safely in their seats and out of trouble.
Have the kids play I Spy, where they take turns spotting something either in the bus or outside of it and getting everyone else to try to guess what it is. For instance, one child might say, I Spy "something green that can carry things." The point is to give clues that are as cryptic or vague as possible to keep the others from guessing correctly. The child might be referring to the green cooler on the front seat of the bus or the green car that is next to the bus. To be fair, have the child tell another person not participating what the object she spies is first, to prevent her from changing it later. The person who gets it right can be the "spy" next.
Road Trip Sightings
If the bus ride is a long one traveling through more than one state, you most likely will come across cars and trucks with different state license plates. Give the kids a list with all the states on it and have them cross out states when they spot a corresponding license plate. Play it non-competitively or have the kids try to be the first to spot the license plate and earn a point. You can also have the kids race to find signs with words that start with each letter of the alphabet. The kids must write down the word and general location of where they spotted the sign along the journey. The child with the most alphabet signs wins.
Play trivia games with the kids that are related to travel or to your destination. To answer, the kids must be the first to raise their hands above their seat so you can see it. You can have the kids play in teams if they have a seatmate. If you are traveling with your child's sports team, youth or leadership group, you can include related questions. For example, if you are riding with your son's basketball team, incorporate questions about famous basketball stars or teams. If you are chaperoning your child's field trip, include educational questions based on what they are going to see or what they are learning in school.
Keep the kids in their seats with a game of verbal charades, where they have to get the rest of the kids to guess what they are describing, using only verbal clues. Before your trip, write down words or phrases on small pieces of paper and place them in a bag. To play, divide the kids into two teams based on the side of the bus they are on. When its someone's turn, he has one minute to get his team to guess as many words as possible from the bag. One point is given for each word they guess correctly. The team to reach a certain number of points, which you can determine, wins.