Mo Willems Books: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Rhyming Activity

It’s a new season of Virtual Book Club for Kids!  I’m so pleased to be participating again this year.  We all know I’m up for anything that celebrates books and reading activities.  The first featured author is Mo Willems.  Oh how my boys love Mo Willems’ books!!!  In fact, we featured Mo Willems for our summer story time series.

But first, let me tell you a little bit about how Virtual Book Club for Kids works.  The Educators’ Spin On It, Toddler Approved and Rainy Day Mum have put together a wonderful line-up of great authors to explore.  On the second Thursday of each month, talented bloggers will be sharing one of the three featured books by the highlighted author that month.  Each blogger will share an activity or craft to compliment one of the three books.  You are invited to try out as many of the ideas that you feel would be a good fit for your kids.

Now, onto the Mo Willems book we chose this month.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Rhyming Activity.  It's one of our favorite Mo Willems' books!

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Mo Willems’ Books

We love so many of Mo Willems’ books from Knuffle Bunny to the Elephant & Piggie books to the Pigeon books.  For this post we are focusing on Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

The Book:  Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

In the story the bus driver steps away and asks the reader to watch his bus and not let the Pigeon drive it.  Well, Pigeon enters the story pleading with the reader to please, please, please let him drive the bus.  When his pleading is to no avail, he loses interest and starts dreaming of the next vehicle he would like to drive.

The Activity:  Rhyming Pigeon Race

The Object:

Reach the finish line (the bus) by naming rhyming words.

Set Up:

pigeon bus for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

1.  Create a bus for your finish line.  We used a recycled cardboard box.  I cut out basic shapes (4 square windows, 1 rectangle door, 2 circle wheels, 1 octagon stop sign and 1 rectangle bus sign).  Together we talked about the shapes and glued them to the bus.

pigeon headband for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

2.  We also created pigeon headbands to wear for the race.  We used a brown paper bag to create the headband.  Then, we added the pigeon head which is pretty easy to do with a few ovals.

3.  You will also need a set of move cards.  Move cards have the number 1,2,3,4 and no written on them.  I’ve made those for you so all you need to do is print them out and cut them apart.

4.  You will also need a Rhyming Word List which I also have prepared for you.  I chose words from the story.  You can use any words for this activity though.


This activity works best with 1-6 children.

playing a rhyming game for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Each player puts on their pigeon headband and stands at the start line.  The adult calls out a word to the first player.  That player has to name a word that rhymes with the given word.  If they answer correctly, the adult turns over one of the move cards.  The player gets to hop the number of spaces according to number on the card.  If the no card appears, they can’t move at all for that turn.  Play continues for each player.  The first player to reach the bus wins.

Variation:  Instead of rhyming words you could also use flashcards with letters or sight words to identify instead.

Now, it’s time to explore some other great activities and crafts to compliment Mo Willems’ books.

Check out these great posts.

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 and Bus Activities inspired by Mo Willems by The Educators’ Spin On It 

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 
Follow all of our fun ideas for books on our Pinterest board!

About Jodie Rodriguez

Jodie Rodriguez is a mom of two young boys and an early childhood/elementary educator with over 18 years of experience. Jodie's passion is helping parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else interested in nurturing our youngest readers.


  1. Love love love this Jodie – so fun!

  2. What a fun way to play with Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Thanks for the printables. I’m so glad you’re a Virtual Book Club for Kids host this year! Can’t wait to see what you will share.

  3. Such fun ideas! I’m excited for when our daughter gets just a little older so we can try this out!

  4. What a fun activity! We LOVE LOVE LOVE the Pigeon books!

  5. You know, we have never read this book. How has this happened? Adding it to my list.

    Love these fun headband and all of the other activities you’ve collected! How fun!!

  6. What a super fun activity Jodie! My kids have always loved the Pigeon books. Love the game you created 🙂

  7. Fabulous idea! Looks like your little one loved it too. Thanks for sharing at the Outdoor Play Party 🙂

  8. How fun! I would love to participate in this book club, but I’m never quite sure how. Do I just post on the appropriate Thursday or do I need to sign up somewhere? I’d love it if you’d be willing to email me the details! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Hope to see you again next week.


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