Interactive bus tours allow children live the magic fables

Katie Winner, mother of the 11-year-old Eric Lassard who founded Storybus, keeps children engrossed on a tour

Children in Galway will have the opportunity to step into a fairytale in August when the highly-popular Story Bus comes to the city.

The Story Bus will arrive in Galway on August 3 and again on August 20, bringing ‘The Fairy Story’ to kids, who will have the opportunity to ride the bus and take part in the excitement of the tale as they travel from the City Centre to the beautiful Brigit’s Garden in Rosscahill.

“The Story Bus is a four-hour long day tour, with live entertainment on the bus, interactive story-telling and after that, stepping literally into the story and discovering the beautiful place of Brigit’s Garden, where families will have to fulfil a mission as part of the adventure,” said event manager of Abrakadabra School for Creative Kids (ASCK), Irina Negrila.

The Story Bus is run by the ASCK and will travel to Brigit’s Garden to use its nature trails to enhance the story. The team wants to encourage families to spend quality time outdoors over the summer, making the gardens the perfect location.

“As they have a fairy trail, it suited our summer story about fairies, so we were delighted to choose them as a destination,” said Irina.

The idea of the Story Bus is to provide hours of technology-free entertainment, leaving behind the screens and game consoles that are so popular among kids today, and opening the door to the imagination.

“It is really hard these days for parents to convince their kids to leave television and other devices and to communicate with them. It is really challenging to offer a programme for the entire family and make all members happy,” explained Irina.

“Going on the Story Bus, kids and parents alike enjoy a stress-free trip with fun and learning. Kids get to experience the story literally and be part of the adventure. They learn by experiencing and by doing. And once they experience the story, they will always remember it.”

Abracadabra School introduces parents and children to an interactive way of learning, helping children and parents to communicate better and build trust-based relationships.

“Stepping up to a bus, train or plane always feels different to just hopping in your own care. Parents can relax, children are getting into adventure mode instantly,” said Irina.

“During the trip, there is live entertainment and music. Kids and parents have to participate and listen carefully to how the story is unfolding. They get a mission and they need to work in family or friend teams in order to succeed.”

When families arrive on location, they take part in field work, using maps and clues to complete the story, before returning to the bus, where they will continue the conversation, encouraging children to share the best moments of their adventure.

Abracadabra School for Creative Kids was set up almost two years ago to promote interactive learning through experience. Amazingly, the whole business is the brainchild of 11-year-old Eric Lassard who, together with his mother Katie, developed the stories and performed shows in different locations around Ireland.

With various camps and workshops taking place over the summer, the team came up with the idea to put the stories on a bus and travel the country, taking families on wild adventures, and that’s how the Story Bus came to life.

Eric, who founded the company at the age of eight, is not only teaching other kids through interactive learning. He’s also learning about business as he watches the world develop through “social entrepreneurship”.

“Social entrepreneurship is nothing other than connecting the already existing dots and bringing out the maximal benefits to all the society,” he said.

“The Story Bus is a great example: we have the stories, the bus rental companies give us the busses, the locations of the story get more visitors, the families get back precious time together and the kids get learning and fun.”

Abracadabra School also offers the Birthday Story Bus and is available for school trips. With four directors in Ireland, the company is looking for passionate people from Galway and surrounding areas to bring the programmes to life.

For more information, visit www.thestorybus.come, or to get involved, email or call 085 189 0191.