What to Buy for the School Bus Driver {Guestpost by a former bus driver}

Bus Driver Gift Ideas {From a Former Bus Driver}
Hey, party people! It’s almost the end of the school year! Is everyone pumped for summer?? Last week, Marya shared some teacher-approved end-of-year gift ideas. Today, we’re SO excited to have Marja Fledderus guest post for us and share some bus driver-approved end-of-year gift ideas! 

In spite of the fact that Bus Drivers take our children’s lives into their hands daily, they often get left out of the appreciation gift loop. We wanted to take a little look at what it’s like to be that bus driver and encourage you not to leave them out this year. Let’s give a warm welcome to Marja! 

One of the things I learned as a parent watching my kids get on the school bus was that it brings your heart into your throat every time. Not just the good-byes, but the-what ifs. What if there’s an accident?

What if my kid is bullied on the bus? What if the bus driver doesn’t notice?

And that is the big question. Does the bus driver notice? Can the bus driver concentrate on driving a giant vehicle through narrow city streets while at the same time care for up to 70 children? Is that even possible?

Well, one of the things I learned as a school bus driver was to watch. Watch everything. Check your mirrors every twenty seconds. Watch that kid in the back, especially if everyone else back there is also watching him. Watch for shyness, watch for happiness, and watch for kids who are going green. Watch for other drivers who are distracted, and somehow have not seen the giant yellow vehicle with flashing lights.

Watch, and respond. Draw out the shy ones, laugh with the happy ones, grab a bucket for the green ones. Brake cautiously. Wait until everyone is at a full stop. And lay on your horn if necessary.

Precious cargo requires careful watching.

As a mom, I know how much I appreciate the bus driver! As a bus driver, I have enjoyed many expressions of appreciation. My favorites have been the thoughtful words, expressed throughout the year—especially in winter when the roads are dangerous and the bus needs to be scraped off and warmed up long before the 7am start time.

However, at the end of the year, if you want to send a little thank you to your bus drivers, here are a few ideas from my collection of favorites:

Handmade cards. Always the best.

• Homemade preserves or baking. Yum!

• Bobble heads and/or dancing figures to stick on the dash of the bus. Deeply entertaining.

• Key chain gadgets. I never lost my keys again after a couple of good gadgets were added to the keychain.

• A cosy, gigantic beach towel. I don’t know why that one stands out, but it really does.

• The classic gift card. I know you think it’s impersonal, but it really isn’t. Kids who know you, know there is usually a coffee in the cup holder. Therefore, there should be gift cards to get that coffee.

• And, of course, chocolate. A no fail.


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Jenn vanOosten

I live in Hamilton, Ontario, and love my city. I'm a Netflixer, choral music geek, bookworm, inventor of recipes (I take Artistic Licence on EVERYTHING that I make), wife of one, mother of two, and owner of a neurotic Schnauzer. I respect people who respect others. I love good food that's well done, but my favourite lunch is KD & hotdogs. With ketchup. I'm addicted to Clearance Shopping. I will ALWAYS get the product that I want at the price that I want, eventually.


  1. Hey Marja! Great post – very clear and helpful! I loved reading what goes on in a bus driver’s head. They deserve so much credit for the amazing job they do! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great ideas. I wonder what I need to do to get some baking….

  3. These are all such great ideas!

  4. Ah, yes, I can still recall Ernie the milkman, who doubled as my busdriver. And, Janet who always wore driving gloves. Collectively, they drove me to and from school (a 40 minute journey) for five years… I can’t recall the other souls, because they didn’t give a darn, though.

  5. These are great ideas! My mother-in-law drives a school bus for disabled children – she deserves to be remembered, for sure!

  6. I think school bus drivers should have their own Olympic-style podium, I get stressed enough with two daughters in the car and school time traffic let alone have a large group of mixed ages in a pretty yellow gift box. Cheers to the the dedicated bus driver!

  7. so thoughtful of you to think about the bus driver – they tend to be forgotten…
    I prefer handmade gifts of my own so I really like your article

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