Category Archives: Education

Keep the Kids Entertained this Holiday with Surprise Ride #GiftIdea

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea
~ This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase. ~

In my family, holiday get together’s are a time when the adults sit, chat and catch up with each other, while the kids run wild, pretty much destroying whomever’s home we’re celebrating the holiday at. This year that’s going to change! Well, at least the part where the kids destroy the home.

This year, Surprise Ride will be making an appearance at our holiday gatherings. Perfect for ages 5+, Surprise Ride is a monthly subscription box that offers 2 fun and creative activities for kids, along with snacks and fun little extras, all related to a single theme.

One of the things I like about Surprise Ride is that I don’t even have to have a subscription to get their boxes, but can order a single Ride. And this means I can order as many Surprise Ride boxes as I want to keep the kids entertained during our holiday gatherings. With so many different Ride themes to choose from, the kids will get to enjoy different fun activities throughout the day.

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

My son recently got his first Surprise Ride box and it couldn’t have been more perfect for him. It was pirate themed! It was this first Ride that inspired me to get a few for the whole family and keep the kids entertained during the holidays.

The pirate themed ride contained the usual 2 activities, fun extras like stickers, a book and a bracelet, and even a Pirate’s Booty snack (told you everything was based around the theme). My son couldn’t wait to get started!

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

The first activity was decorating his very own treasure chest and everything he needed to do this was included. In fact, he even had his own apron to wear to prevent getting paint on his clothes. Unfortunately, he was being his typical self and refused to wear it. Kids (insert eye roll, haha). But we ended up using it under his treasure chest while he painted so that he didn’t get any pain on the table.

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

Once the paint dried he added some jewels and gems to the outside, because what’s a treasure chest if it doesn’t look as good as the treasure it holds?

The only problem now was that he didn’t have any treasure to put in his treasure chest. The next activity in the Ride was going to fix this problem. It was time for a treasure hunt!

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

He didn’t know it, but while he was decorating his treasure chest, I took a few minutes to hide the treasure and then created a map for him to follow. Again, all of the tools I needed to complete this were included in the ride, right down to the actual treasure.

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

His map read to start at the dining room table, walk between the living room recliners, tiptoe to the couch and then skip to the TV/entertainment center where X marks the spot!

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

I did something fairly simple and although my drawing skills aren’t that great, he found the treasure using his treasure map. Now he had something to put in his treasure chest and boy was it sparkly!

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

I also want to note that the treasure map itself is double sided, so I made a map for him to follow and later he can hide the treasure and make a map on the other side for me or his friends to follow. How fun is that and how perfect would that be for a holiday get together?!

Making Time 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Buy Surprise Ride now!

Single Ride – Want to purchase a few single Rides to keep the kids entertained this holiday? Choose from themes like this pirate one to polar bears, scientist course, Mars, superheroes and so much more! Each single Ride is just $30 and provides tons of fun, learning and entertainment!

Subscription – Interested in giving the gift of Surprise Ride for months to come? A subscription is perfect! Choose from a month-to-month subscription at $24/mth (pay as you go), a 6 month subscription at $20/mth, or a 1 year subscription at $19/mth!

And right now you can use promo code SHARK5 for $5 off  the month-to-month subscription option OR SHARK15 for $15 off a 6 month subscription! Gift giving AND great savings all in one!

Which Surprise Ride(s) will you get to entertain the kids this holiday?

*This is not a sponsored post, nor did I receive product in exchange for a review. The pirate themed Surprise Ride box was purchased independently by me. This post does, however, contain an affiliate link in which I may receive compensation for your purchase. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

DIY Book Shelf: From Shoe Rack to Book Shelf

DIY Book Shelf: From shoe rack to book shelf! I'll show you how I turned an old shoe rack into a useful book shelf for my son.

With my son’s collection of books getting larger and larger, his reading materials have outgrown their storage basket.  I have been browsing online to see what cute and effective storage ideas I could find and came across some pocket shelving.  The problem is that I wasn’t willing to pay its cost if it wasn’t going to hold all of his books.  So I held off.

 Book Shelf Idea

Shortly thereafter, while visiting my parents, my mom asked if I wanted a shoe rack she was going to toss out.  At first I said no because I had no need for it and certainly didn’t need any additional clutter in my home.

Then all of a sudden it hit me!  I was thinking about the shoe rack and it dawned on me that I could turn it into something similar to the pocket shelving I had previously been eyeing.

Once I got home with the shoe rack, I took to Pinterest to see if I could find if someone else had done something similar.  I mean, why do trial and error if someone else already has it figured out?  But I couldn’t find anything.  So I decided to just do it my way and I absolutely love how it turned out!

DIY Book Shelf: From shoe rack to book shelf! I'll show you how I turned an old shoe rack into a useful book shelf for my son.

I’m certainly no seamstress, but I do know the basics of sewing.  And not only that, but I don’t even have an average sewing machine that has all of the basic functions.  I have a miniature sewing machine that only does a straight stitch and was still able to pull this off.

Step 1 – Find the perfect material to make the shelves/pockets.

I decided to go with a canvas-like material so that it would be sturdy.  And I liked this particular design because the words were fitting with books and reading.  I purchased 1.5 yards and used it all.

Step 2 – Take measurements.

As far as width I lucked out with not having to do any measuring because when folded in half, the sheet of material was exactly the width I needed.

Width Measurement

Measuring the length was a little more tricky and required some little helping hands.  Before measuring, I made sure I had the poles I’d be using in their appropriate slots and removed any excess poles I didn’t need.  Each pocket requires two poles, one in the top back and one in the bottom front.  Just repeat the pattern all the way down the shoe rack being used.  My shoe rack was tall enough for four shelves.

Next, I literally strung my flexible measuring tape around the poles and draped it how I wanted the pockets to fall.  I preferred to have deep pockets so that I could fit as many of my son’s books in them as possible, without having any topple out the front.  I ended up with three deep pockets and then the bottom pocket I had to make some adjustments on because it would fall closer to the floor.

Length measurements can be tricky.

To take the length measurement we started at the top back pole and wrapped the measuring tape around it because I was going to be sewing a slot to insert the pole.  Then we draped the measuring tape down to the pocket depth we wanted.  Next, we continued the measuring tape around the bottom front pole and made sure to add enough extra length so I could sew a seam on the bottom side of the actual drape.

Add additional length so there's no oopsie like this.

I know – sounds pretty confusing, but take a look at this and you’ll kind of see what I mean.  This is my first attempt at a pocket and a big oopsie on my part, haha.  The back of my one-sided designed material was showing!  So much for trying to plan and think ahead.

Now you can see why it’s important to add some extra length to create that seam on the underside of the drape.  Luckily, I was able to fix it by sewing on some additional material and you can’t see the seams where I added it on.

Step 3 – Mark your measurements and make your cuts.

As I just mentioned, I needed three pieces with the same measurements for the deep pockets.  And for the bottom pocket I needed to cut the material a little shorter in length since it was closer to the floor and wouldn’t drape as deeply.

Step 4 – Pin and sew.

Now we’re getting to the meat and potatoes!  When ready to start pinning and sewing, the first thing I did was sew a finished look to the sides of the pockets.  I simply folded the edges back slightly and sewed a straight seam all the way down.  This will give a simple finished look and no frayed threads along the sides of the pockets.

Fold sides slightly and sew to provide finished edges.

Nice finished edges.

Next, take a pole and wrap the top of the material around it and pin it in place.  Remove the pole and sew along the pins.  If you have a one-sided and one-directional design as I did, make sure you’re actually doing this at the top of the design.  I would have hated to end up with the materials wording design upside down.Pin along the pole and sew.

The last part of sewing was the bottom part.  With the back side of the material face up, I folded back the bottom about 6″ (according to my measurements), pinned it in place and sewed along that edge.  This seam lies on the underside of the pocket’s drape so it can’t be seen when in place.

Fold the bottom back.

The seam will be on the underside of the drape.

Not only does this create a finish to the bottom, but now you have a slot to place the bottom front pole.  And that’s all the sewing you need!

Slot to insert the bottom front pole.

Repeat the same pinning and sewing for all pockets.

Step 5 – Put it together.

It’s finally time to put everything in place and admire the finished product!

DIY Book Shelf: From shoe rack to book shelf! I'll show you how I turned an old shoe rack into a useful book shelf for my son.

If you’re using a super flimsy shoe rack, you may have to do something to the sides to stabilize it.  Once we put the books in ours, it was fairly stable I think because of the weight of the books, but it’s final resting home also provides some stability in case it were to rock side to side.

DIY Book Shelf: From shoe rack to book shelf! I'll show you how I turned an old shoe rack into a useful book shelf for my son.