If you’re raising young kids in the Green Bay area, you’re going to be so excited to hear about this unique opportunity that not only gives us parents a well-deserved break, but an unforgettably fun experience for our little ones at the same time.
If you’ve ever wondered about the bright green school bus at a local event, or parked outside of stores like Festival, Target or Woodman’s – that’s the Bouncin’ Bus.
It’s the only traveling gym and fitness center for kids in all of Wisconsin. And you’ll find it right here in Green Bay!
Don’t be fooled by the name. This bus is way more than a bouncy house on wheels! The Bouncin’ Bus offers one of the most memorable preschool fitness classes, and one of the best birthday parties a kid could ever ask for.
The inside is filled with fun and challenging activities ideal for kids ages two through seven. It’s equipped with special preschool gymnastics equipment, and exercises taught in class help the kids improve their balance and coordination while strengthening their muscles and bones.
Inside the bus you’ll find a climbing wall, ball pit, rope ladders, a slide and lots of mats for tumbling – there’s even a zip line!
Do you remember that show The Magic School Bus with Ms. Frizzle – the teacher? I think the Bouncin’ Bus is more like that.
Just like the students in Ms. Frizzle’s class, Bouncin’ Bus kids will never know what they’re gonna get next. The lessons, activities, themes and fun fitness challenges are always changing.
And instead of Ms. Frizzle, Maria Karas and her helpful team of instructors are the teachers that your kids will look up to.
Maria is the Wisconsin talent and brains behind the operation. Her husband, Mr. Matt the maintenance man, works hard to keep the bus working properly, running safely and toasty warm during the winter months.
Maria has a good 15 years of experience as a competitive gymnast and certified instructor. She’s worked with kids of all ages and really enjoys it.
After she earned her park and recreation management degree from UW La Crosse, and completed her USA Gymnastics Safety Certification, CPR and First Aid training, Maria and her husband were ready to give the local community something it’s never experienced before!
Now just three years into the Bouncin’ Bus, Maria and her team have already made a huge impression on hundreds of kids lives. “It’s so rewarding to be the highlight of the kids’ week and provide such a fun service for the community.” Maria says.
Bouncin’ Bus drop-ins give you a chance to run your errands or enjoy some solo, stress-free shopping – while your kids have a blast exercising, socializing and learning the basics of gymnastics during their 45-minute class.
Maria says that right now the Target in Bellevue is the most popular Shop N’ Drop location, but she also makes the bus available at Walmart, Woodman’s, Festival Foods and the East Town Mall. Plus, Maria is definitely open to suggestions for new Shop N’ Drop locations or times.
In addition to the weekly theme, Maria always incorporates a wellness lesson into her classes. When I asked her to give me an example of one of the lessons, she said “Oh gosh, we have so many awesome lesson plans. I don’t think I could do my program justice by just sharing one.”
Maria said this week, “We are learning about digestion. Where does digestion start? What happens to food after we chew? Where does energy come from?”
Other lesson plans have focused on the importance of nutrients and healthy eating. The kids are taught to fill their plates with all the colors of the rainbow. Maria says it’s “a simple reminder for children to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables so they get all the vitamins and minerals they need.”
They recently had a dental health theme. One of the instructors dressed up as the Tooth Fairy and handed out toothbrushes to the kids – donated by Park West Pediatric Dental in Green Bay.
The Tooth Fairy told the kids to brush their teeth in the morning and at night so when she came to visit them on the Bouncy Bus next time their teeth would be sparkly white.
“The kids got so excited,” Maria said. “All of our stations somehow incorporated a dental health theme for activities (crawl through the cavity, slide down the tongue, walk across the balance beam and reach high to brush the teeth taped to the bus wall, etc).”
It was such a big hit that one of the mom’s wrote Maria an e-mail weeks later.
Here’s what she said,
“Hi Maria! I have to tell you that after the Dental Hygiene week, Braxten insisted on brushing his teeth at all hours. As well as brushing mine and the dog’s teeth – not necessarily in that order, either. We’ve been through a few toothbrushes since then. Also, we recently saw you at our neighbor’s for a birthday party and it was all I could do to keep Braxten from yelling “BUS, BUS” and running over there uninvited!”
Speaking of Bouncin’ Bus birthday parties, they seem to always be a huge success. If you’re looking for an original and memorable idea for your kid this year, you should definitely check out their party packages.
You can even upgrade your basic party package to incorporate a special theme like Spider-Man, Angry Birds, Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and more. The activities, decorations and challenges will all go along with the theme you choose.
Here are all of the themed parties you can choose from.
The Bouncin’ Bus will come right to your own front yard – or another location of your choice, and the kids will have an hour of free play along with some organized activities, fun music and balloon animals, too. The birthday child will even get a special medal at the awards ceremony!
If your child’s birthday is in the winter, don’t worry, the Bouncin’ Bus is available for parties, in Green Bay and the Fox Cities, anytime of the year.
There are so many positive reviews to choose from, but here’s one from a mom who says the Bouncin’ Bus was one of her favorite parties yet.
“Having three children, I’ve thrown a lot of birthday parties and the Bouncin’ Bus is definitely a favorite! My daughter’s friends had an absolute blast! Every one of them asked their parents if they could have the Bouncin’ Bus come for their next birthday party! Miss Maria and her assistant are wonderful with the kids and gave me a much-appreciated break from the party chaos. I actually had time to visit with the other parents and get cake ready without worrying what the kids were doing. My daughter is still talking about it a month later. It’s such a unique experience and one the kids will never forget!”
Maria and her husband have worked so hard to get the Bouncin’ Bus to where it is today. It’s such an original idea for our community and a once in a lifetime experience to offer our growing kids.
There are lots of ways to help support this awesome local business!
- Like the Bouncin’ Bus on Facebook. Even if you don’t have kids and just think it’s a great idea.
- Book the Bouncin’ Bus for your next special event, or attend a special event where the Bouncin’ Bus will be.
- Give an upcoming Shop N’ Drop a try – You can click here for locations and times.
- Book the Bouncin’ Bus for your child’s next party!
- Sign your kids up for a year-round class. Ages 2-7. If you register online, your child will get the green Bouncin’ Bus Kid t-shirt Free.
- Share this article with parents of young kids if you think they’d love to know about it.
- Join the team. Maria is looking for qualified people to become party of the Bouncin’ Bus family. Click here to find out more about an ideal candidate.