A few weeks ago we were asked by HP if we would like to take part on the Are We There Yet? Challenge. The main thrust of this was to try to make our car journeys this summer much easier. I’m all for that, believe you me, three children all fighting in the back and saying that they are going to ‘tell mummy’ does not make for an easy drive. There are times when I have literally had to stop the car and tell them all to behave as I’ve nearly had an accident. I can see where they care coming from a bit, when I was little there were no seat belts and the seats were plastic vinyl so you could have endless fun sliding about and making noises when you were stuck to the seats. Children’s car safety has put paid to all that fun now and unless you’re a child deeply engrossed in the middle of a gripping book a long journey can be a bit of a bore.
HP came to our rescue by providing a fantastic HP Pavilion x360 PC which I’ve hardly had a chance to use as the kids have taken it as their own. This is a fab laptop and very kid friendly, it uses the latest version of Windows and the HP team kindly loaded it with loads of free windows apps which have kept them busy for lots of the summer holidays. I’m chuffed to bits as the eldest has now mastered windows (I’ve got a Mac) and is much better at it all than me.
We were also given a fab HP ENVY4500 wireless printer. Again, this has proved endless fun for the children as they can now print out their own colouring sheets to their hearts content. And photographs of each other doing silly things…
I’ve given them all the responsibility to print out stuff for our car trips and so they were all cheerfully clambering into the car for our trip to Nozstock armed with Road Trip Bingo (one of the best car games EVER invented) and colouring sheets. I cant tell you how handy it is to have a PC and printer that not only works but can be worked by the children. The fact that they prepared all the things for the trip really helped, its over two hours in the car and I didn’t feel remotely stressed for once!
Road Trip Bingo has to be the greatest car journey game ever it was great fun laughing over the cheating going on (did you really spot a postbox on the motorway?). The two year old could scribble and colour to his hearts content on the Rio colouring sheets his elder brother had printed for him as well, this made things easier!
|Road Trip Bingo!|
The great thing about the HP Pavilion 360 is that it can be used as a tablet as well as a conventional laptop and that means that its perfect for taking along in the car. The eldest two children really enjoyed playing Air Hockey which takes advantage of the touch screen of the PC.
|This was taken as the boy was playing Asphalt 8: Airbourne. Brilliant fun!|
We thought that it would be a great idea to get them into the music festival spirit so let them loose on the HP Music Maker Jam game which was perhaps the most fun we all had out of all the games as the adults could actually join in with our own percussion. This will be getting another airing on our trip to Norfolk, possibly with video so watch this space…
The HP Pavilion 360 is also great for playing films, I must admit that towards the end of the journey we relented and let them watch Scooby Doo which prevented any moaning whilst we were sat in the queue to get into the festival. Its a real testament to the power of the HP Pavilion that it didn’t run out of battery for our entire trip meaning that they could carry on where they left off for the return journey.
|Watching Scooby Doo|
All in all this was a brilliant solution to travelling with three kids, it really did make a massive amount of difference to the quality of our journey. It did of course help that we were off to the brilliant Nozstock festival which is one of the highlights of our year.
|This is what happens when you have too much fun in the car on the way to a music festival!|
We had a little challenge of our own as parents we were asked to keep track of various indicators to see how successful the journey was. During the Are We There Yet? journey to Nozstock we had 1 bickering incident, 1 ‘are we there yet?’ and no ‘I’m bored!’. I’d view this as a massive success compared to the usual 5 or 6 of each usually before I’ve even left the town we live in. Thank you HP, we are so impressed with this that we will be doing the challenge again when we take our annual holiday to North Norfolk and I will try to get some video this time!