Playing School Bus


I remember playing School Bus even before I started school. We had about six or eight old straight chairs. You know, the ones with the cane bottoms. We would line them up in two rows with one up front for the driver. Mommy loaned us her biggest pot lid for the driver to use as a steering wheel. The bus would “go”, the bus would stop, to pick up and let off kids. Everybody had to get off at school of course but in only a minute of so somebody would say “ding-ding-ding” and we would all pile back on the bus to go home. In truth most of the riders would have all gotten off at the last stop along with the driver.

The oldest kid always got preferential treatment of course and got to be the driver. That would usually be Harold except on rare occasions when he wasn’t there and I, being the second born, got to drive. The younger kids didn’t seem to mind. They were content just to be on the bus.

We also played Race Cars with pot lids. Those were smaller than the school bus steering wheel and we found then in old trash piles so they didn’t have to be checked in at the end of the day. Race Cars was much more animated than School bus what with roaring engines, squealing tires, crashes and such. Race Cars had sound effects provided by the drivers and played at full volume. Race Cars had to be played outside. Mommy insisted! “You git out of this house with all that noise and don’t you come back in til you can be quiet!”

Precious Memories!

~Ed Ammons


I hope you enjoyed Ed’s memories as much as I did. Although I never played school bus I can see why it would appeal to kids, especially those who aren’t yet old enough to climb aboard for the ride to school.

Ed’s comment about playing race cars reminded me one of my friends and I used shoes for barbie doll cars.


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    August 18, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Never did play that but my husband drove one for awhile. God Bless!

  • Reply
    aw griff
    August 18, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Living close to school, I always walked. Never played school bus, but did pretend to drive my uncle’s tractor. He had a tractor when most still had mules.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Mud pies decorated with glittery shingle “stuff” collected from under the down spout, “dinners” of green apples, cherries and black walnuts (oh the black – and hammer bruised – thumbs and fingers!), cowboys and Indians and cap pistols and playing bride with old lace curtains as veils …. those were the days!

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    August 18, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Country children used a lot of imagination to entertain themselves. I remember my stable of horses which consisted of long slender sticks with bridles which were nylon hose my Dad brought home from Van Raulte since they didn’t pass inspection. He intended to use them to tie up tomatoes but I always had several for bridles. I had race horses, jumpers and quarter horses depending on what I was playing at any given time.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 18, 2018 at 11:26 am

    When we lived in Atlanta, I worked at Davidson-Kennedy Company. One day I came home from work, dead tired and got into the Recliner. About that time my oldest daughter, Lauralea came into the room, saw me in the Recliner, and started hollering for me to get up. She had an Imaginary Pinquin named Freddie and I was sitting on him. What an Imagination!

    I never played School Bus or anything, but three of my older brothers drove one. Back then, it paid $60.00 and I got some of that, because I was the youngest. And when I got into High School,
    the Principal called me into his Office one day and tried talking me into taking a School Bus. I’d have nothing to do with that, cause I’d rather sleep that extra time. Besides, the Winters were Cold, and you had to walk about a quarter of a mile to the bus. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 18, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Private note to Ken: So you were right, it really was WordPress. But you know now that is isn’t your computer.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 18, 2018 at 9:31 am

    As much as I liked playing school bus, when the day came for me to first ride a real school bus I didn’t want to get on. The driver had to bribe me with candy to get me through the doors.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2018 at 8:51 am

    A little girl in the family is afraid to ride a school bus and never has. Maybe this game will help her get over her fear. I don’t recall ever playing the school bus game, but if given the opportunity, I would have been a rider, not a driver. I had so much respect for those guys who safely got us to school and back while driving over dangerous road conditions. Today’s bus drivers deserve an award for their ability to drive with dangerous situations that don’t include road conditions.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

    and Ed….Don’t recall playing school bus…but my Grandchildren played that game as I recall especially on a cold winter day…
    We played school and dolls and doll house. Using all the things that we could think of for pots n’ pans and all the weedy flowers and seeds for vegetables…water and dirt and mud pie cakes…One girl always insisted on being a mean teacher when we played school…I didn’t go to the same school as her and don’t recall ever having a mean a teacher as she liked to play…paddling hands, giving tons of homework papers, handing a pile of golden books to read before our so called lunch…She also made nearly everyone stay after school every day that ended in our game…After I grew up a bit and she moved away, I told Mom and Dad that I didn’t ever want to go to her school if we ever moved..LOL
    Most of the times because of brothers and more boys in the neighborhood we played rolley-bat, marbles and on occasion cowboy/girl and Indians…Every Spring when the Yo-Yo man visited the neighborhood store with a new line of Duncan’s the word got out. Soon he would have a yo-yo competition to win a brand new yo-yo to whoever could do the fanciest trick…My brother won several times. That was great fun. All the kids standing around thowing the yo-yo’s up in the air, out to the side, trying new versions of baby-in-the-cradle, etc. The only one I could do, however several times I knocked myself in the head when achieving the challenge was called ‘around-the-world”!
    I loved this post today. Ed I hope you were a careful driver of the school bus as you rounded those mountain curves. It takes lots of driving skills manipulating a sharp corner when meeting a truck-full of hay coming at you and bluffs on one side that drop off forever. Thanks for the memories..
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    August 18, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Nope, never played school bus, I was always the kid that hated school, fortunately I made good grades down through the years, was in the Beta Club in high school, loved my Vo-Ag teacher only class to me that had purpose, you leaned math by adding, subtracting division ect, and how to build things out of steel or wood, leaned about taking care of farm animals, we worked on farm equipment, but I hated school, I literally felt like I had gotten out of prison when I graduated, was class president my school year, love the kids, just hated school, I love being outdoors, whether it was hunting or fishing, or just playing in the rain, four walls smothered me, Boy did God show me different, you have to learn to deal with circumstances in life that come your way, now taking care of a handicap child, four walls are closer than ever before with purpose.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    August 18, 2018 at 7:47 am

    We did not have school buses in our town. We walked to school, home for lunch and back again in the afternoon.
    We did play tractors and tied a rake on the back for a tiller. We also hooked a wagon on the back to be the hay wagon.
    The smallest kid sat in the wagon. How times have changed.

  • Reply
    Cindy Pressley
    August 18, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Don’t you just love the imagination of children, it’s really a beautiful thing. I played all kinds of games that required imagination to support it. It’s just the way of life for children, I think.
    I could make a whip out of a rope or a limber branch, I could make a horse out of a broom, a bucking bronco out of a sofa arm, the sea out of a creek and on and on the child’s mind goes.
    Thanks Ed, for the memories!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 18, 2018 at 6:24 am

    What fun, rsised with girls (only 1 boy in the neighborjood) I don’t recall playing this game. We did play school all summer though

  • Leave a Reply