This was supposed to post this morning :-/ It's been a while since we braved the car journey down to Auckland. As you read this, we will be squeezed into my little car - two adults, two kiddos and two cats (that's a whole other story). Four hours (not including stops - and with two kids plus two cats, there will be stops) is a long time to be stuck in a car with little people, so we always do our best to make it as comfortable and fun for them as possible. Blankets and soft toys are essential (especially now that it's chilly ole June), and we also tend to pack an array of 'distractions' for the journey. Fingers crossed, they will sleep some of the way there and back, but if not we just hope that these bits and pieces will keep them happy for a time.
+ Little Hidden Pictures - bought at The Book Depository for a ridiculously amazing price - it is just a little wee book filled with colour-in pictures, but there are heaps of little things to find so I think it will entertain her.
+ Stuck On You Artist Pack - we were sent this by Stuck On You, in thanks for this review - perfect timing! The set contains an activity book, scribble pad (both personalised), coloured pencils and felt tip pens.
+ Schleich Animals - these ones and more. Schleich animals have always been her favourite, and I'm hoping these will buy us a few hours of whine-free time.
+ Abe's Fresh Bagels - made up as sandwiches for the journey. We tend to snack on long trips, but I know we'll feel a ton better if we eating something proper (and yum) too.
+ Mother Earth Dried Cranberries to dole out along the way when a treat is needed. My guys adore these.
+ Mother Earth Cereal Bars - to a three year old this is the same thing as a chocolate bar and therefore equally coveted. Mother Earth is our fave muesli bar brand, but a mile.
+ Stuck On You lunchbox & Drink bottle. We will sneak some toys in here, as well as her lunch.
+ Mama May i Story Starter & Memory Game - because they're easily transported (will be useful when we're at our accommodation too), and serve as multi-games.
+ Bubba & the Foxes. Can't leave home without our best friends.
+ Abe's Bagel Bites - in handy little snack sized packages. Eleanor calls these 'Toast Biscuits' and adores them. I adore them because it's great to have a healthy alternative to chips.
+ Select Flaves - um, well... And we like chips too. I secretly doubt that the kids will manage to score any of these because Zan is a big-time fan.
+ Ari Bars - I anticipate these will last about 0.05 secs. They are too delicious (but a great option too - made with organic ingredients, and ridiculously yum).
+ And some current favourite books. Alison Lester is the current favourite-of-all.
For Garland -
+ Favourite books (any will do, they're all good as far as he's concerned).
+ Select Fruit in Jelly. This will be messy, but these are his favourites and it's handy to have some non-choke snacks for the journey.
+ Stuck On You Lunchbox & Drink Bottle - so great that they each have their own - no fighting, and we can pack appropriate snacks for each.
+ Mother Earth Baked Oaty Slices - these are for everyone, but really they are for me the most. Something about these. Addictively good
+ Bubbub - his little buddy. I'll be removing him from the scene when the food comes out.
+ Etch-a-Sketch - handy to travel with, but will definitely be fought over...
Particularly hoping this guy will sleep for a large portion of the trip as he is by far the hardest to please when it comes to car journeys.
I'm sure we will accumulate even more along the way. A bag of fruit and the odd toy that can't be left behind, amongst a thousand other things.
NB: During the planning of this trip I contacted some of my favourite food brands to see if they would be interested in tying in some reviews with this Mini Break series. All of these brands are already favourites, and we would have purchased these items anyway, but I am so grateful to these lovely businesses who so graciously sent our little family enormous boxes of treats! We were totally blown away by the response and generosity of these businesses, who were so willing to support our family Mini-Break with more delicious goodies than we could possibly hope for.