SO when I was offered a chance to let her review a Surprise Ride activity box, I knew she would ADORE having her own box to open and enjoy, so I said yes very emphatically!
Ever hear about them? I hadn't!
SurpriseRide is a new subscription service that sends 7-12 year old kids fun activities in the mail every month (younger children can also partake, but will need adult assistance). Their goal is to expand children's horizons and foster creativity with the activities included in the box. Activities are theme-based, and cover a wide variety of subjects from art and culture, to science and technology. Each ride includes a close-ended SurpriseAcitivity that encourages structured discovery, an open-ended SurpriseChallenge that allows kids to exercise their imagination, and other fun extras!
Here's what our box for January looked like:
Now what you need to know is that Grace is CRAZY about birds, and feathers, and birds. Seriously- last year she brought home AT LEAST 2 feathers a day she had found at school (we put a stop to that this year- she can only bring home unique ones, like eagle or blue jay). And she got other kids doing it too- one of the mothers told me she had enough feathers at home to cover 2 birds. As I had enough to cover 4, I knew exactly what she meant! We've even bought her not one, but two, bird guides, so she can figure out what birds are in our yard, or on trips! SO when Grace opened the box and saw all the bird related items, her face lit up like it was Christmas morning! Followed by an incredulous "is this ALL for me?" question. When told it was, I swear she did a happy dance, then dove into the box!
The first thing that Grace had to check out was the bag of feathers- and ooh and aah over them. Half are dyed feathers, but to a kid that is NO problem, she loved them without question.
The next thing to get opened was the Great Eagle. Based on ye old wooden plane gliders, it is made of a styrofoam product, painted to look like a bird. Now Grace is known to kill a plane/glider within an hour, so I was not holding out hope for the Eagle. She had it together in about 30 seconds, and flying through the house in another 20! Surprisingly, the Eagle got some pretty good air, as you can see from the photo above, his favorite landing spot was the blades of the ceiling fan which luckily was off!). Considering we have 12 foot ceilings, it was pretty impressive. Alas, he suffered from bo-bos and within 2 hours had lost his beak and was being held together with a lot of scotch tape. But he is still flying, just a little less high and long!
Her next endeavor was the binoculars. Is there a young child anywhere that doesn't LOVE binoculars? We have an expensive pair that we let her use with supervision, so she was thrilled to have her 'won' pair! She checked out everything in the house with them, and then the next afternoon, everything outside (from the porch, unfortunately we were in the middle of 10 days straight of rain...SIGH). She spotted the return of 'our' woodpecker and decided, "he might be a she, as she's rather chunky like she;s about to lay an egg!". Ah the wisdom of kids!
Now Grace also loves bird houses and painting, so I knew her next foray would be the birdhouse! I was really impressed with the quality of the kit! The pieces are of heaving duty wood and all snap together (glue is not required, but recommended, we used ye old school glue). They come with a set of 6 colors, and another 6 colors were provided in the kid, for extra creativity. As she was painting the box, I went through the activity book with her and she decided to paint the house with things that birds love to eat, like berries, seeds, grubs, and even trees and flowers, to make them happy while inside.When she took a break we went through the included Flight Plans: A Bird's Eye View Of Life book by Maryjo Koch (which is quite lovely and a $10 value), and she was quite taken with her 'reference book'. She went for the abstract look and since this was all HER activity (I just put it together for her after she was done), we didn't change a thing. A hint in case you ever work on one of these- make sure you're painting the outside of each piece! Our birds will be getting to collage paintings on the inside of their new home! We will be painting ours in a heavy duty coating of shellac, as Grace wants to put it out by her swing set. Seriously, this bird house set and the book alone are worth more than the monthly subscription cost for a box! Everything else is lagniappe!
When I told Grace that each month Surprise Ride has a contest on their Facebook page, where kids share pictures of their FunBox creations with the community, for a chance to win a special prize in next month's ride box, she put on her creative hat and checked out the remaining box items and decided to make her own bird!
Using the Crayola modeling foam (LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff), she made a bird with minimal (I made the feet) assistance from me. I was quite proud of her for looking at the Flight Plans book and deciding which type of bird to make, and how to shape the body. She was VERY serious about her crafting the bird (hmmm, a bit competitive? LOL)! Once she let him sit for a few minutes, she opened her bag of feathers and jazzed him up a bit, in true Lousiana Mardi Gras style! He is pretty darn cute for a 5 yr old's creation I think! Of course I'm, partial!
And because they are such super people, they are not only offering a Surprise Ride fun box to one lucky BTHM reader, but also a special bonus for all BTHM readers, of 20% off your entire order at www.SurpriseRide.com using the code: BTHM20 at checkout!
Ready to win a fun box for your kid(s)?
Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this box/products, free of charge, from Surprise Ride, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about the products.