Disclosure: Compensation for 8 Carpooling Tips was provided by Chevrolet via Glam Media. All thoughts and experiences are my own.
8 Carpooling Tips
The secret to a successful carpool with kids has to do with organization, safety, and having fun! If you’re going to be stuck sitting in the car rider line waiting for the school bell to ring at the end of the day, at least the fun can begin once the kids pile in, right?
1. Find Locals
Now I don’t mean you’ll be carpooling with other families who live in another town. But if you live in a busy area like I do, finding carpool buddies that go to the same school is a breeze. Finding families who live close enough that I’m not driving all over the school attendance zone can be a bigger challenge. Find a carpool that has a sensible driving route. It will save your sanity and time.
2. Set the Ground Rules
The key to having a safe and peaceful (perhaps even fun) carpool experience is to lay down the law in your car on day one. Figure out your ground rules and put them out there. That way all of the riders know what to expect from you. Then you can lay on the fun! I would recommend sitting down with all of the parents in the carpool and agreeing on the basics so the kids know the expectations are the same no matter which vehicle they jump in.
3. Snacks, snacks, snacks!
Speaking of food, be sure you’re always well-stocked with snacks. What is the first thing kids ask for when they get home from school? A snack! You can find affordable options such as crackers and bag them yourself. Refill water bottles. If you have time, slice up some fruit and bag it yourself too! Maybe throw in a few sweet treats too.
4. Keep Plenty of Toys in the Car
Non-distracting toys work the best for obvious reasons. And if you’re going to be sitting in a car rider line at school, entertainment is even more important. Those lines can get long! Handheld games and dolls are some great options.
5. Word or Search Games
Any game that everyone can participate in and that involves talking and engaging is great. You can play I Spy, 20 Questions, or the Alphabet game with kids of almost any age!
6. Trivia Games
You’ve seen Cash Cab right? Well turn your carpool into a kids version of the addictive show! Trivia could be about school subjects but make it even more fun with things like trivia questions about their favorite TV shows, movies, songs, and even their friends! Bring some snacks or small treats as prizes and you’re golden!
7. Make It a Competition
My time as a teacher has taught me that kids like to compete at pretty much anything. Do you have multiple rows of seats in your vehicle or a mix of boys and girls? Maybe kids from two different families? Break them up into teams and turn the games into team competitions as well!
8. Make a Mix
No, not a cake mix or a snack mix. Make a music mix. Let each child in the carpool suggest 2-3 songs (depending on the size of your carpool) and put together a playlist to use during the drive. Of course, you’ll want to remind them that the songs need to be appropriate (especially if dealing with older kids)!
How do you make carpooling a positive experience?
This advice is brought to you by the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, with seating for up to eight and a five-star safety rating. Our crossover was #TraverseTested for everything from last minute road trips to daily carpooling, so you know it’s the perfect ride to get you and your family back to school in style.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Chevrolet via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Chevrolet.