10 Ways to Pass the Time While Waiting In a Carpool Line


If back to school (aka back to carpool line) has you dreading the longest part of the day, you’re not alone. For me, using every minute effectively counts during our busy days. This means sitting in park unable to do much of anything is driving me crazy. If you’re like me, you’re probably looking for a way to keep yourself entertained and feel productive (besides endlessly scrolling social media). Here are 10 easy ways to pass the time while waiting in the carpool line:

What to do in the carpool line1. Add photos to contacts

It’s simple, but something I love is seeing the caller’s face pop up on my phone instead of just their name. Sometimes I intentionally set a photo from a funny memory we shared together, just to add a little smile to my face before I say, “Hello!”

2. File my nails

Back in my pre-pandemic days, I loved the way a gel manicure would keep me looking and feeling professional for weeks on end. These days, I’m still avoiding any indoor spaces, leaving my hands to resemble the claws on a wild sloth. Throwing a nail file and buffer into my center console helps me keep a natural french-manicure look going.

3. Reconsider all life choices and the meaning of life

Just kidding, don’t do that without a box of endless tissues. The carpool line is definitely not long enough for this. Or just see what is going on around town this month.

4. Think of blog post ideas (cough this post cough)

Anyone else have their best ideas in the shower or while actively driving? In hopes of not forgetting the most recent incredible idea I had, I love using the voice memo app on my phone to capture my thoughts on the go. Once in park, I just talk to myself while capturing more details than I could possibly scribble on the back of a napkin. 

5. Car yoga

Who says you need a mat to achieve stretching self-care? A little twisting can make a big difference in your day! Check out this site for some helpful images to get started.

6. Mindfulness practice

Maybe in combination with car yoga or maybe on its own, take some time to reflect on your day. Noticing any feelings of tension, taking deep breaths, and helping align yourself to a more regulated state are a few important ways to take care of you. Here are some ways to focus on visualization, breathing regulation, and thought refocusing.

7. Sing!! Carpool Karaoke!

“Don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear; just sing, sing a song.” Sesame Street summed up so much in those lyrics. Windows up or down, depending on your comfort level, singing can do so much for boosting your mood.  Belt out one of your favorite songs and you just might find someone parked next to you singing along too!

8. Clean the car

Do you know how much better my car looks when I have a few minutes to stare at the fingerprints and dust looking back at me? I keep a Swiffer, portable Windex wipes, and portable car cleaning wipes in my glove compartment so I can make this space feel like-new wherever I am. Reuse a plastic bag to capture any random trash too. 

9. 20 minute (or less) podcasts

I hope you aren’t sitting there for more than 20 minutes, but if so, just double up on a few of these. Combine your listening with cleaning the car or filing your nails for bonus points.  Here’s what I’m listening to:

10. Tell someone you love them

Whether by calling or praying, sitting in a quiet car is a great time to reconnect with someone you love. Honestly, the line isn’t long enough for me to get in all the funniness my grandma has to share and her conversations make time fly by. 

I hope you all have swift lines with efficient procedures this year! And if not, I hope you bookmark this list for fun ways to keep yourself sane as you wait for your little ones and pass the time in a carpool line! 


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