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How to Make Carpool More Enjoyable for Kids and Grownups

If you're a carpool parent, chances are that pick-up and drop-off times aren't always relaxing or enjoyable. In many cases, the car line at school can be a bit chaotic, and as a driver, you have to be ultra-aware of everything that is going on inside and outside of the car at all times in order to keep everyone safe. While carpool can be a lot of fun for the kids, it can certainly be stressful for parents. There are a few simple things you can do to help make sure that the carpool is safe and fun for the kids, as well as enjoyable for you as the driver.

Set Rules

If you're the carpool driver, go ahead and set rules for your car from day one. That way, there will be no guessing games with the kids as to what is or isn't allowed in your vehicle. Will you allow food and drink in the car? Shoes on or off? Will you allow loose items like balls to be held in laps? These might seem like they're not even worth worrying about, but you may be surprised how quickly something as simple as a backpack sitting on the back seat turns into a fight between siblings or friends. Sort it out from the beginning to eliminate tiffs in the car.

Have a playlist ready to go.

On the first day of carpool, ask all of the car riders what type of music they enjoy. Keep it family-friendly to avoid any questionable responses from other parents, out of respect for them and their children. Make note of favorite artists or songs and download the songs once you get home. Make a simple playlist that rotates the favorites of all of the kids. That way, everyone gets to hear the music they enjoy, making the car ride more fun for all! You can even throw some of your favorites into the mix to introduce the kids to a few 'oldies'. Here's a tip- Spotify has a premium option which gives six user accounts, and allows you to download unlimited songs, so you don't have to stream in the car and use up your data.

Make cleaning up a game!

No one likes to see trash piled up in their car, but it's just one of those inevitable things that is likely to occur when you have lots of kids in and out of your car every day. You can set rules about trash, but you can also turn clean-up into a game of sorts. Give each child a small plastic bag to collect trash in, and set a timer on your phone. Tell the kids to grab trash within their reach, while buckled safely. Whoever collects the most trash in their little bag gets a prize. You can keep a tiny treasure bin in the car, filled with items like wrapped candies, stickers, erasers, etc. Never give a plastic bag to a child young enough to place the bag over their head!

Have a busy bag in the car

Have a bag or backpack that you keep in the car for the kids. You can include snacks like Goldfish crackers, blank notepads and pencils or crayons, paint with water books, and various books for kids to read (for various ages). Stay away from items that could potentially make a big mess in the car- markers, play doh, slime, etc.

Time spent in the car can be really fun for everyone! Why not have a 'question of the day' that each child takes a turn answering to promote positive conversation in the car? Getting the kids talking and chiming in with support and encouragement can really make a difference in their day! Give it a try!

This post brought to you by Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

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