The Wheels on the Bus was written around 1939 and is considered an American Folk Song. It is very popular in North America and Australia. It was written by Verna Hills. It is a very repetitive song with actions that children enjoy singing at various ages and stages of their life. This American Folk Song has been rewritten to be many different songs. It has been used for trucks, seals, spooky wheels, race car, and ethnic cars.
What makes this song very fun for younger ages is the fact that it has motions for the children to do while singing the song. When children get up a move they are better able to remember words and what is coming next. When performing this song with children it works on a lot of gross motor skills. The part where it is asking for the people to go up and down, you are also engaging core muscles, helping children get all over body strength. You are also able to have kids do mid-line crossing. When children bring their hands together to make the wheels go round and round, they are activating both sides of their brain. This engages on better learning and comprehension for the children.
Fine motor skills are also used during this song. A lot of children can struggle at a younger age with finger isolation. By have children shush with a finger to their mouth and use a thumb to say move on back, it is helping them figure out how to use just one finger. Without learning how to do this, children will struggle with pencil grip at later ages. It will also help them with other important skills needed for school such as scissor holding, muscle strength in hands to use glue, and so much more.
It also helps children with spacial awareness. Sometimes children have a hard time realizing how close they are to others, which can cause anxiety or anger with others. By doing songs like this where children get up and move, it gives children a chance to learn where their body is in relation to others. This song also gives other children a chance to move away from those that are too close to them, or gives them a chance to say that person is too close to them. By giving children these opportunities it will strengthen what they learn and can do in the future.
Parents or Educators can easily do this song with children, either in a small group or one-on-one. You can let the child/ren choose what comes next in the song, giving them a sense of ownership and pride. Make sure you are doing the hand motions along with the children, this way they will be able to see you enjoying it and know what they should be doing. The Wheels on the Bus is a very important song to help young children learn language, music and skills they will need for the future.