Today’s children are said to be digital natives; this means that they were born in the age of the internet and compact consumer electronics.
But there is a severe drawback to all this technological savviness; children get hooked on these computers, tablets, and phones (for the sake of ease, let’s refer to them as “screens”).
Sadly, this addiction to screens prevents them from learning the tactile and physical manipulation skills we all learned as children.
As a result, they struggle to do activities that we would otherwise consider easy.
For example, we learn how to use tools by playing with them as children, but since kids today have too much screen time, they don’t know how to use tools.
Enter Surprise Ride by Fat Brain Toys. Surprise Ride can help your child develop normally and undo the harm that screens can cause.
How Does Surprise Ride Work?
Surprise Ride is a subscription service that was designed by parents to help supply your little one with proven learning activities, such as books, or a surprise keepsake or toy to help him enjoy and practice tactile manipulation.
The goal is to facilitate screen-free education; each box will contain items that stimulate your child’s mind and curiosity.
For example, products that promote STEM, history, geography, and art can find their way into each box.
The goal is to help your child discover the enjoyment of play that does not involve a screen.
As with other subscription services, Surprise Ride is delivered right to your doorstep—no need to drive to specialty stores and shop for educational toys for your child.
Fat Brain Toys takes care of all the hard work by selecting good, wholesome toys for your child and then packing them up carefully to ship to you.
After you sign up for a Surprise Ride package, all you have to do is wait for it to arrive—and then have a ball opening it and unpacking its contents with your children.
Now sit back and watch them have hours of fun…or join in!
A Surprise Ride subscription is $24.95 a month with an option to sign up for 6 or 12 months; note that the price remains the same whether you pay for a whole year or subscribe one month at a time.
I guess the only practical difference is that a longer subscription will bill your card for a much higher amount outright, while monthly subscriptions will be small monthly payments of $24.95; it’s a matter of remembering to renew each month for the latter.
Sisters Donna and Rosy Khalife established Surprise Ride; having grown up in a very creative home, they were eager to share this creativity with the rest of the world.
Their father, an artist, always encouraged them to be creative, so he continually invented DIY activities for them beginning at an early age.
Since they were not from a privileged background, they did not have the money to buy the latest toys and gadgets.
Instead, they had to learn to amuse themselves by doing hands-on projects and experiments.
It was this upbringing that allowed them to recognize how different their childhood was when compared to the children of today that spend most of their time staring at screens.
Thus, the sisters resolved that they would create a service designed to help parents encourage offline activity for their children.
Surprise Ride was born out of their passion for DIY projects, and the desire for non-technology-oriented fun and exploration.
In 2018, Fat Brain Toys acquired Surprise Ride, greatly enhancing the Fat Brain Toys product line.
Today Surprise Ride is helping parents get their children off screens and doing hands-on activities.
By providing heaps of fun and hands-on learning, Surprise Ride hopes to encourage and awaken the native creative genius of every child.
They believe that they are developing future innovators and that there is no better way for a child to learn than by doing.
- Hoot For Kids – A customized box with three toys will arrive every month; the box is designed for your child’s needs because you answer a questionnaire when you sign up, which means that the toys are curated for your child.
- Boss Club Entrepreneur Kits for Kids – While Surprise Ride is designed to develop the tactile senses that a screen-addicted child misses out on, the Boss Club Entrepreneur kit is designed to awaken the inner capitalist inside your child. The toys included in this kit are designed to help your child play at starting their own business.
- Creation Crate – This box fosters the engineer inside of your child. While Surprise Ride is there to nurture your child’s creativity, the Creation Crate simulates engineering and invention.
These three alternatives are also monthly subscription boxes that will allow your child to have a constant supply of toys for his or her ongoing enjoyment.
- You receive a fresh supply of toys and educational items every month
- The toys are designed to help wean your child away from their screen addiction; this is very important in helping the child develop normally.
- Toys are an essential alternative to screens, to help foster socialization and communication skills.
- A subscription service can become an insidious expense if you do not keep track of the shipments and periodically ensure they are still a worthwhile investment.
- Toys and learning materials will not substitute for good parenting. You should still be present and involved in the creative play activities provided by Surprise Ride, to further the healthy development of your child.
Today’s toddlers know more about iPads, iPhones, and Androids than many middle-aged adults.
Permitting young children to have unlimited access to screens slows down their development in many areas because they do not learn to interact with people, situations, and many everyday objects and games.
The mission of Surprise Ride is to foster creativity in kids and expand their horizons.