I love getting surprises in the mail, so it’s always fun when a subscription box shows up on the porch for me to explore. It’s like getting to open a Christmas present every time the mailman drops one off. When I found out I was going to be reviewing the Surprise Ride subscription box, I was quite excited – Surprise Ride is a subscription service full of fun and educational hand-on activities geared towards kids ages 6-11. So technically, this subscription box wasn’t for me. It was for my kids. But any parent knows that giving presents to your kids is even more fun than receiving them. (Usually). And I did make them share with me. For review purposes, of course.
Each Surprise Ride box includes:
Checked Bag (everything you need to complete the projects for that month’s theme)
Carry-Ons (a book, snack, or other fun surprise to go along with that month’s ride)
Travel Guide (a booklet with interesting facts, lessons about that month’s theme, and ideas for continued learning)
The company was started by sisters Donna and Rosy, who were searching for unique gifts that would add value to their nephews’ lives. They recalled the hands-on creative activities that entertained them as children, and created Surprise Ride to help parents give their kids the opportunity to learn, imagine, and evolve through play.
Donna and Rosy even made an appearance on Shark Tank last November! While they weren’t able to secure the investment they were seeking, Laurie stated “I think this is one of the finest and best made gift box for kids that I’ve ever seen. I love it.”
And I have to say, I’m with Laurie on this one! The folks over at Surprise Ride aren’t kidding when they say they include everything you need for the projects in the box. They did, in fact, think of and include everything, right down to a little bottle of Tacky Glue and even a plastic spoon for mixing and shoveling dirt! And when they say the activities in the box are perfect for kids ages 6-11, what they mean is perfect for kids ages 6-11 plus also their younger and older siblings. And their parents. Because I had just as much fun with the goodies in this box as the kids did!
When I first opened the box, I was nervous, because we received the Green Thumb box. And I don’t have a green thumb. I have a black-as-death thumb. I did once manage to keep an ivy plant alive for over a year, but I’m pretty sure it was part vampire, because most plants don’t last a week under my care. (It is amazing that I’ve done okay – so far – raising kids. I think it’s mostly because kids will you know if you forget to water them). Thankfully, being designed with younger kids in mind, I think our creations will survive.
Our Surprise Ride box contained a bunch of Green Thumb themed goodies: everything we needed to make a Plant Buddy and a Garden Windchime, plus a solar powered dancing insect, a garden spray bottle, a packet of organic mixed herbs seeds, a book, and a snack.
The first thing we did? Ate the snack – a bag of Plentils Dill & Sour Cream lentil chips. The seed packet contains dill (among other herbs), so this gave the kids a chance to taste dill flavored chips (that are also allergy-friendly). We had to eat them first, since we wanted to use the included bowl to eat them out of, but we needed to have the bowl empty available to create our Plant Dude.
Next we were required to read the book. If my 18-month-old sees a book, it must be read. Now. Several times. No arguments. And he saw the book. The book, Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective: Bad Bugs Are My Business by David Biedrzycki, is a beautifully illustrated picture book with a fun storyline. Although I’d estimate it at the 6-7 age range, even my 13-year-old thought the story was cute. (There are a couple of other books in the Ace Lacewing series – we checked – and the author has several other children’s books out as well).
I seriously considered keeping the solar powered dancing insect for myself – I’ve actually been wanting one for a while – but instead I snuck it out of the box before the kids saw it and set it aside for my October birthday boy. (I did, of course, remove it from the packaging long enough to make sure it worked – and the ladybug danced even with the dim light coming though the window next to my desk on an overcast day).
We had a lot of messy fun making our plant buddy (helpful hint for a project like this: wear smocks or clothing that you don’t mind getting some dirt on!) This was a simple but fun project – you just put some grass seed in the toe of a stocking, scoop in some dirt (we actually received a soil pellet that turned into dirt when mixed with water), and tie off the bottom. Then you flip it over and can add features like a nose and/or ears by rubber-banding off sections, and glue on googly eyes and other facial features. We even gave our buddy a pair of pink earrings. There was enough grass seed included that we can make another plant buddy, probably even two – although we may stick to markers instead of gluing on features, since the some of the bits we glued on fell off when we soaked the plant buddy in water the next day. (We’ll be gluing her face back on once her hair grows in enough that we can let her face and ears dry out some).
The windchime was another fun activity. We colored our windchime with markers before gluing on the mosaic tiles that were included in the box, and then the two middle kids each decorated one side. I think it turned out quite beautifully.
There have been a lot of fun themes and activities in past boxes, including: Birdsville (building and painting a birdhouse), Chocolate (make your own all-natural chocolate), Hidden Treasures (sand and paint a treasure chest), and Mars (experiment with sand that behaves like Martian soil). I’m quite interested to see what they come up with for future boxes!
If you’d like a Surprise Ride delivered straight to your house every month, there are several different subscription options:
Frequent Flyer: Monthly plan – $29.95/month – renews automatically, cancel anytime
The Excursion: Three month plan – $29.95/month – one-time payment of $89.97
The Road Trip: Six month plan – $24.99/month – one-time payment of $149.94
The Jet Setter: 12 month plan – $24.99/month – one-time payment of $299.88
Right now they have a pop-up on their site where if you enter your email address, you’ll get $5 off a new subscription. They’re also going to be offering a Surprise Ride for grown-ups in the near future!
Surprise Ride is going to be sending one lucky winner their own Surprise Ride subscription box! (Keep in mind that it’s almost certainly going to be a different theme than the box I arrived – so it will truly be a Surprise Ride!) This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends October 20 at 11:59pm.
DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides, Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. You must be a new customer to enter/win this giveaway (not previously registered with Lilla Rose or its independent consultants). Dividing by Zero is not responsible for prize fulfillment; the sponsor is responsible for shipping the prizes to the winner’s valid address (no PO Boxes). Your information will not be sold or shared; it is used by the blog owner only and solely for verification/prize fulfillment.