Making the Most Out of a Daily Commute with Your Child

Commutes to and from work can be stressful enough, especially if there is a long drive involved. If you are a working parent that chose a childcare center close to your office, you have an extra companion to keep you occupied during your ride! Look forward to the daily trips you make with your child by learning, starting conversation, and interacting with each other.

Engage with Education

The car is a great time to practice counting, telling stories, and expanding your son or daughter’s vocabulary. Get your child’s mind moving with a few of these fun ideas!

  • Mnemonic songs– Ask your child what they are learning at childcare or in school and create a song about it together. This is a great way for your child to practice memory recall.
  • Highway math– Practice counting while you’re driving by counting road signs and cars on the street or highway.
  • Storytelling– As you drive, create a story with your little one. Start with one word or sentence and have he or she add the next word. Go back and forth until your story comes to an end.
  • Rhymes and homophones– This is a great way to broaden your child’s vocabulary. Come up with a word at random and together think of as many rhyming words as you can.

Play Fun Car Games

There are plenty of fun games you can play to keep your child occupied during the ride. Interact with each other by playing some of these games!

  • I Spy– You can play this game with children of all ages by picking out an object and using one word to describe it while your child responds with what he or she may think it is you picked.
  • Spot the Car– If you have a younger child, call out a car of a specific color and see if she can find it. An older child can play by finding a car of a specific make and model.
  • Animal Name Game– If you take a scenic route to work, play the animal name game and see how many different farm animals your child can identify.
  • Guess Who I Am– Have fun playing this game by acting out a character from a book or movie to see if the other can guess who it is.

Ask Personal Questions

As your child develops his vocabulary and ways to exhibit how he is feeling, you can begin to ask him deeper questions. Get to know him or her on a deeper level by asking them these fun questions or variations of them.

  • What type of vegetable would you like to eat with dinner?
  • What was your favorite part of your day today?
  • Did (insert teacher’s name) do anything extra funny today?
  • What is your favorite word?
  • Did you make any new friends today?
  • If you could be any animal, what would you be?
  • Would you rather have a dinosaur or a giant whale as a pet?
  • If you had one super power, what would it be?
  • What is your favorite dessert?
  • What do you like to play with your friends?

Listen to Audiobooks

Audiobooks are a great way to keep children entertained during car rides, but they strengthen listening skills, concentration, vocabulary, and word enunciation. Below are a few audiobook suggestions.

  • The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

Keep Hands and Minds Occupied

Having a few tricks up your sleeve can be a lifesaver on days filled with traffic or congestion. Here are a few suggestions to keep your child occupied while you are concentrated on driving.

  • Busy boxes– Have a box or two in the car that is filled with matchbox cars, Legos, dolls, crayons, and paper. In a time of need, pull out these boxes to keep your child occupied.
  • Fun toys– Thankfully, there are toys like Etch A Sketch, Magna Doodle, or Aquadoodle to keep children busy and your car free of marker stains.
  • Sing-a-long songs– Make a soundtrack of songs like, “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” “Pat-a-Cake,” “This Old Man,” etc., and together, create motions to go with the songs.

If you choose childcare near your workplace, make the daily commute with your child enjoyable, interactive, and educational with these activities. Your child will have a blast, and you will too! Check out our locations to find a U-GRO center that fits you and your family.