The drive to and from Cornerstone Academy in Kenosha, WI or your child’s preschool or care center can be stressful if you are not prepared. This is even more true if you choose a daycare near your home as your small child will be in the car with you for a much longer time each day.

The good news is that commuting with children doesn’t have to be scary or stressful. A little preparation and planning and it can instead be a quiet time to share and connect with your children each day.

Here are some tips for car rides with small children to entertain them and reduce your stress on your commute:

(1) CONVERSATIONS

Driving in the car is one of the few times where there aren’t a million distractions. You can use this time to communicate with your small child and learn more about them. It is great idea to ask your child’s preschool teacher or care provider about one or two things they did during the day and then use that as a way to start a conversation about their time at daycare that day. You will find that small children don’t always offer this information on their own but if the question is presented in that right way there is a good chance your son or daughter will have a lot to say which will make the commute go much faster.

(2) SNACKS

There is a good chance your child will be hungry after a busy day at preschool or daycare. If you have a snack ready for them in the car it will help them with their hunger and it will occupy them for several minutes of the commute. You can also occasionally give them a candy or a treat of some sort which is sure to please them during the commute home from daycare.

(3) MUSIC

You might not love children’s music as it can become repetitive over time but it is a good idea to have one or two CDs in your car for some variety if there isn’t much conversation that day or if you are distracted with other thoughts. Some vehicles let you sync your smartphone to the car audio system and then you can stream endless child songs from your device.

(4) CAR GAMES

A car game every now and then is a fun way to pass the time during a long car ride to preschool or in the evening drive home. Some fun games small children love includes spotting various shapes, colors and landmarks along the route. You can even see if they know how close you are to home or preschool by identifying landmarks along the drive home.

(5) TOYS & BOOKS

It is a good idea to have a small bag in your car at all times that contains a handful of children’s books, small one-piece toys and chew toys for babies and infants. A travel-size erasable whiteboard is a great idea so your child can complete works of art in the car and then erase it and start fresh the next day on the drive to daycare.

Try to enjoy commuting with small children. Your drive to and from your job is one of the few times there aren’t a lot of distractions for you or your child and you can instead get to know them even more.