The HP Are We There Yet? Challenge

I am a little late in posting this so I will start off with an apology. This challenge actually harks back to our Camp Bestival trip a few weeks ago.

Background: HP sent me some nice kit (a HP Pavilion X360 PC and a HP ENVY 4500 wireless printer) to help make a car trip with my children a little less stressful by combating what they call the scourge of I.C.C.I. (That’s In-Car Child Irritation to you and me). Hp wanted me to follow their Are We There Yet? route planner so I would hopefully experience a pain-free car journey and here’s how we got on!

The Pavilion X360 PC is a fantastic bit of kit. It’s essentially a notebook pc which you can switch between tablet and laptop modes by rotating the screen around the 360 degree hinges, as well as utilising other intermediary positions that made it easy to use the touchscreen browsing functionality and on-the-move media viewing. I fell in love at first sight. I adore being able to easily switch between touchscreen and keyboard. It’s the small things but it makes me happy!

1. Home!

The first stage was to make sure everything was set, charged and all papers etc were printed ready for the journey. Easy peasy. Out of the box and we were ready to rumble!

2. And we’re off!

Next was a game that included giving the children a map of the route we were taking and get them to draw five things that they see along the way. As we were in the VW we took the scenic route which made this a little more interesting than the M40 which probably would have been tree, lorry, car, tree, lorry.

3. Paper Plane Challenge

This involved using an app. The Paper Planes app shows children how to make paper planes. As we were in the van and I knew that my children would NEVER listen to my instructions not to throw the planes, we decided to jiggle the planner a bit and save this for camp set-up time – another time when distraction is very much required!  We found the best way to use the Pavilion for this activity was stand mode rather than tablet as it meant they could both see it at the same time.

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Well I never said they were any good at it.

4. Air Hockey

Next was Air Hockey, an app that is suggested as suitable for ages 12+ but my children (7 and 8) got on fine with. They both love actual air hockey so they also enjoyed playing the app – the touch screen functionality of the Pavilion makes this great fun. They would have played it for a long time however I am conscious of motion sickness so did limit how long they could do this activity whilst moving along!

5. Bingo!

As per last point it was good to give the children a break from the Pavilion to play an in-car game with the supplied Road Trip Bingo. We had printed off the template given to us in advance so we were all ready to go and the prize? Our road trip standard, a big bag of Starburst. The whole family enjoyed playing this, even Daddy. Though I did have to do most of the work for him as it was hard to drive and play bingo at the same time!

6. Colouring-in!

The next activity was colour in with some printables from Snapfish and through the built in Printables option on the ENVY printer. I’m a big fan of printable resources, they’ve saved the day many a time but I didn’t think this activity was conducive to traveling in a campervan as things tend to get thrown around so we left this for another point in the trip.  I’m lucky enough to be blessed with children that are more than happy to entertain themselves with some colouring and crayons for a few hours!

7. Video fun

Any piece of technology with a camera or videoing capability is GOLD to my children so they enjoyed playing with the Cyberlink YouCam app and messing around with all the effects. Honestly this kind of activity would keep them busy for hours! (and does!)  I especially like leaving them to their own devices and sneaking a look at what they’ve been up to later when they are in bed.

8. Animal magic

Animal Magic was a great app, suitable for all ages. You have to guess which animal the sound belongs too and you have three hints. There’s 89 levels and though it sounds easy, it really isn’t at times. Quail had us stumped for ages! I had to resort to Google in the end.

9. We actually are nearly there yet!!!

Finally we printed off the mazes we were supplied, themed to one of my sons favourite films from recent years, Turbo.

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We also used the Are We There Yet? tracker to note how many times our children whinged or bickered but I have to say I am generally blessed with non-bickering children so it was pretty much a non-event and as it was the first time they had ever seen the Pavilion, and they love a gadget, they were generally very happy and contented the whole way. Though my son was desperate to get there so he could play the Asphalt car racing game.

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The HP challenge definitely livened up a long and boring journey – 5hours+ in a campervan and the activities supplied also did a good turn at keeping the children occupied whilst we got the awning and camp area set up. Invaluable!  We loved the usability of the Pavilion, the kids were very taken by the fact it could be a laptop or a tablet and both preferred to use it in tablet mode. It’s light too and a nice size so very transportable and the battery lasted well too (which is a complete bugbear of mine!). I think the Pavilion will definitely become a staple ingredient on our future journeys!

With thanks to HP for supplying the kit and the fun challenge. We loved taking part!

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