Get on the TumbleBus

A playground on wheels? That’s the TumbleBus, and it’s a place that kids love. So do their parents

Melissa Moniz
Wednesday - April 06, 2005
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What’s big, yellow and fun? The TumbleBus!

Who would have thought that a colorful gym on wheels could have kids going absolutely crazy? Before doing this story, I pondered that exact question. I wondered what magical experience went on inside this bus that had my now 2-year-old daughter Taylor jumping up and down screaming, “TumbleBus!” at the sight of every bus on the road. My eye-opening realization of the immeasurable significance of TumbleBus to a child happened about six months ago when Taylor’s day-care provider called to tell me that Taylor was sick and she wouldn’t be able to go on the TumbleBus that day. I cried at my desk picturing her sobbing and heartbroken as she stood outside the bus watching all the other kids having fun at play. I frantically arranged to have her picked up before she had to go through such horror. And that’s when I began to understand the true power of this bus.

“It just trips me out how kids respond to the bus,” says Ben Voss, owner of TumbleBus Hawaii. “Just the bus, there’s something magical and the kids always just love being on it.”

Brannt Ibara gets a lift from
Brandie Freund.

In appearance, the TumbleBus is simply a red, yellow and blue gym on wheels, but it’s packed with lots of fun equipment and certified instructors who make each 40 minute class an awe-inspiring and magical experience for each child. The cheerfully decorated bus brings to neighborhoods and schools a great gymnastics fitness class that introduces children between ages 2 and 5 to physical education. And the equally great thing is parents aren’t daunted with having to shuttle their child to another destination for this to happen. This class comes to you.

TumbleBus Hawaii is part of a national program comprised of more than 200 buses currently in operation. Hawaii has one bus, headquartered in Kailua, that travels islandwide.

“I started TumbleBus in October 2001 because I saw a big need for physical education for kids in Hawaii,” says Voss. “Knowing that Hawaii has one of the highest obesity rates in the country, I felt that it would be a good business to help kids who wouldn’t normally get introduced to gymnastics and tumbling in the hopes that we would turn some of the kids on to something that they would have normally never have experienced.”

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