How to Play the Categories Game, Otherwise Known as “Stop the Bus”!

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categories game

If you are looking for fun new ideas for games to play with the whole family, then the Categories game or “Stop the Bus!” is one of my family’s favourites. Here’s how to play:

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The Categories game, also known as “Stop the Bus!” is really fun! Your child will need to be old enough to write answers down, and we have made a free printable game sheet that you can use, or you can very easily make your own.

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How to Play the Categories Game or “Stop The Bus”

You need at least 2 players to play this game, but is also great for a group or at a party.

You Will Need

  • Game sheets (see below) or paper
  • One pen for each player
  • A timer

Printable Game Sheets for Categories/Stop The Bus

stop the bus gameWe have created free printable game sheets that you can use to play Categories/Stop the Bus with your kids.

Each sheet has some categories already chosen and then there are spaces for you to add your own. There’s a space to put the letter for each round as well as scoring boxes.

Categories on our game sheet include Girl’s Name, Boy’s Name, Food/Drink, Animal, Place (e.g. Country or City), Colour.

There’s also space on our free sheets to add your own categories. You could do historical figures, famous people, composers, song or movie title, sport – anything you can think of where there will be plenty of answers and possibilities for that category.

Download your free Categories game sheet and print one for each player playing the game.

How to Play

  1. If using our game sheets, then print one for each person. If making your own, you need to draw out squares in rows and columns for players to be able to fill out their answers.
  2. This is a game of rounds. One person start by silently running through the letters of the alphabet in their head. When the player to their left shouts “Stop the Bus!” the letter the first person was thinking of becomes this round’s letter. Take it in turns to be the alphabet reciter.
  3. Set a timer for e.g. 3 minutes (alternatively, if you have younger kids you can wait for them to complete their categories).
  4. Each person then has to fill out answers on their sheet for each category, starting with the chosen letter. For example, if the chosen letter is L, you could choose Laura, Liam, Lemon, Llama, London, and Lavender for your answers.
  5. Once the timer has buzzed, you then go through each category reading out your answers. If your answer matches someone else’s you get 5 points. If your answer is unique, you get 10 points. Mark the points on the answer square. Then add up your points for your round score.
  6. The person with the highest score at the end of the rounds wins.

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Have your say! Have you played the Categories game / “Stop The Bus” before? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

How to Play The Categories Game Otherwise Known as Stop The Bus!

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