Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cardboard Box Bus Craft & Number Game for Kids {Mo Willems Virtual Book Club for Kids}

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We are kicking off a new school year of Virtual Book Club for Kids and this month we are featuring books by author Mo Willems.

Our absolute favorite Mo Willems book is Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, so after reading the book we decided to create a simple cardboard box bus craft and then we made a life sized board game to help the pigeon get home and also practice counting. 

Shhh!!! Don't tell anyone that the pigeon actually drove the bus! :)

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is a super silly book by Mo Willems that features a pigeon who really wants to drive a bus. My kids love it when I read the book to them and act goofy and scream, "LET ME DRIVE THE BUS." I can't help but smile every time I read the book. The author's voice is awesome in this book and since my kids are also obsessed with vehicles, it is always a hit.

Lately we've been loving number activities and large life-sized board games so inspired by the bus in the book we decided to create our own bus for the pigeon and let him drive around and practice counting and moving. We made our bus yellow instead of blue though!

The Cardboard Box Bus Craft

The idea for making a cardboard box bus was not original. I found several awesome examples online and I pieceed ours together using several other blogs as inspiration. My favorites were the Shoe Box Bus from Craftulate and a Cracker Box Bus from The Intentional Momma. Instead of using small boxes we used a diaper box to make our bus into one that the kids could drive around. This craft is more of a mom craft for kids versus a craft that kids make... though elementary schoolers could easily make this.

Materials needed: cardboard box, tape, black/red/white construction paper, pigeon printable from Mo Willem's website (enlarged), large yellow easel paper, scissors, and colored cardstock (with out printable game pieces printed out)

All we did to make our big bus was to cover the box with large yellow paper (leaving the bottom and top open), secure the paper with tape, and then add details with construction paper. 

Once we added all of the details then I enlarged and printed out an image of the pigeon from Mo Willem's set of fingerpuppet printables on his website. Then I colored it and added it to the bus!

My kids had a blast just running around the house wearing the box. I could've added straps to hold it on, but they didn't mind holding the edges of the box as they moved. 

The only negative about my cardboard bus was that the paper wheels got bent when the kids sat down... the kids didn't seem to care though.

The game:

In our game the pigeon wants to get home. In order to do that he has to roll the die and move from space to space and count and do the actions on the space he lands on in order to be able to stay on his spot. If he doesn't complete the action, he has to go back one space. Players take turns until one player gets his bus (with the pigeon in it) home!

Technically having a bus for each player is best, but you could also use toy buses instead of a big cardboard box bus.

Materials needed: die, cardstock game board pieces, painters tape

I created a SUPER simple set of gameboard cards that you could print out onto colored cardstock and use as your gameboard or you could come up with your own movement ideas and write them on cardstock yourself. You'll want to tape them to the floor using painters tape.

Some of the gameboard ideas included... hopping, skipping, doing doggie kicks, arm circles, etc. This is a simple way to get kids moving and counting too!

This game is created for preschoolers but you could easily adapt it for toddlers or older kids.

Are you joining Virtual Book Club for Kids too? Come share any Mo Willems inspired activities that you do with your child or class! Come share your activity idea and photos on our VBC Facebook Page or in the comments section of this blog post.

Check out some of the awesome Mo Willems inspired activities by our Virtual Book Club for Kids Co-Hosts:

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Activities

Cardboard Box Bus Craft & Number Game for Kids by Toddler Approved
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Activity by Coffee Cups and Crayons
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Puppets by Playdough to Playto
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus: Puppets, Crafts and Storytelling by Playing with Words 365
Letter B is for Bus Craft by Royal Baloo
Pigeon Rhyming Race Activity by Growing Book by Book
Pigeon Handprint by Mama Miss 

Knuffle Bunny Activities

Mo Willems Inspired DIY Bunny Costume Felt Headband by The Educators' Spin On It
Knuffle Bunny Activity Mats by ready-set-read 

The Duckling Gets a Cookie Activities

Counting Chocolate Chips - Duckling Get a Cookie by 3 Dinosaurs
Nut Free Alphabet Cookies by Rainy Day Mum
Sticky Cookie Craft by The Pleasantest Thing
The Duckling Gets a Cookie Math Games by Inspiration Laboratories
The Ducking Gets a Cookie Printable Clothespin Activity by Lalymom

Don't forget to bookmark our Virtual Book Club for Kids author list so that you can join back in in October! We will be featuring books by Julia Donaldson on October 9th. I can't wait!


  1. Fantastic - I NEED a box NOW! that looks so much fun

  2. This is just adorable! A box is the perfect 'toy' :)

  3. What a super cute game. I can't wait to play this with my boys!

  4. That looks cool. Here is my post

  5. Didn't have 16 boxes for my class, so I used a half piece of yellow construction paper / yarn and made a bus necklace !


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