Unschooling Unplugged


Unschooling is a learner-led educational philosophy allowing students to learn through play, everyday chores, personal interests, outside activities, and social interaction. Some families are 100% unschoolers, while others use unschooling as a part of an eclectic style of education. Learning to count while baking cookies and practicing phonics by reading billboards are examples of unschooling for younger kids. An older homeschooled student, who is interested in agriculture, may join 4-H, grow food in a family garden, raise chickens, and sell eggs and produce.  This student is learning science, math, writing, and reading without cracking a book.

Regardless, of your stance on unschooling, Surprise Ride Kits  provide an unplugged method for kids to explore their personal interests. Here is a list of our currently available Surprise Ride Kits, along with ideas about how to incorporate them into an unschooling approach.

Science Experiment Kits

Make Monster Slime Science Kit  – Even the youngest kids can grasp the basics of the science behind making gloppy, gooey slime. This kit may even nudge them toward more complicated science experiments. Perhaps, they’ll long to read about monsters from literature and legend such as Frankenstein and Big Foot.

Build and Paint a Volcano KitKids who love the Disney movie, MOANA, will be drawn to this kit. It is also the perfect activity for geology and geography fans. Making a volcano model is a staple of science education. With Surprise Ride, everything your child needs is in one box.

Experiment with Mars Sand KitAh, the mysteries of the Red Planet! Mars is the fourth planet from the sun; Earth is the third. Awaken astronomical curiosity in your kids by giving them the chance to play with the brightly colored sand and bendable Martian figure. Who knows? Maybe your kid will write the next great science fiction series!

Build a Model Moon Activity Kit The Earth’s moon has inspired advanced space exploration and discovery for decades.  Along with the Mars kit, the Model Moon kit gives kids the chance to learn about our amazing solar system. This activity box is perfect for aspiring astronauts and astronomers.  

Animal Lover Kits

Paint a Birdhouse Activity KitBirding is not just for retirees wearing Bermuda shorts. An early interest in birding may lead to a long-term hobby or a profession in ornithology or animal science.  You can bird-watch no matter where you live: the coast, the mountains, the plains, or even the city. Plus, there are hundreds of annual festivals dedicated to specific birds, such as Eagle Days in Missouri and the Whooping Crane Festival in Texas.

Make a Penguin Pillow KitThis is another excellent kit for children who love animals or enjoy making crafts. Learning about these captivating birds opens doors to so many other fascinating subjects, including zoology, biology, and geography. Studying these majestic Antarctic creatures might also spark a passion for conservation and other environmental issues.

Build Beeswax Candles KitSpeaking of environmental issues, our planet’s food supply is largely dependent upon bees and other pollinators. Honeybees, now in decline, are vital to the growth of fruits and vegetables.  This fun kit not only shows children how we use beeswax and honey but also demonstrates how important bees are to the world. In addition, this is an excellent activity for kids who enjoy making useful things from natural materials.

Build a Dinosaur Science Kit – This kit will thrill budding paleontologists as they travel back to prehistoric times to learn about dinosaurs and fossils. In addition to paleontology, this kit may also appeal to kids who are interested in geology. This dinosaur activity is a great project to complete before a field trip to a natural science museum or dinosaur exhibit

Fun and Fantasy Kits

Design a Superhero Cape KitWho doesn’t want to be a superhero with superhuman strength and mysterious powers? This kit will foster imagination and creativity, perhaps inspiring your children to create stories about their own unique superhero. And with their own custom made cape, they’ll be brave enough to face any challenge.

Paint a Pirate’s Chest KitPirate lore has always fascinated kids. Pretending to hunt for treasure, search for the X, and sail on a stormy sea can fuel hours of imaginative play. A strong interest in pirates can also lead to geocaching – a real life treasure hunt that gets the whole family outdoors.

Magic Trick KitKids who like to entertain, amaze their friends, and figure out puzzles will enjoy learning magic secrets. Practicing slight-of-hand card tricks may pique your child’s curiosity about more advanced magic tricks. As long as they don’t make their siblings disappear, it’s all good!

Each of these kits, except for the Magic Trick Kit and Model Moon Kit, are part of  The Digital Detox Collection. The Collection is a great bargain, especially if you have multiple homeschooled kids or one child with a huge range of interests. Whether you unschool or not, you can count on Surprise Ride to help your child discover new and exciting things.  

Lillian Pluta is a former middle school language arts teacher, a published children’s book author, a seasoned homeschool mom with co-op teaching experience, and a freelance blogger. She currently lives along the South Texas coast with her family and a small menagerie of rescued animals. When she’s not teaching or writing, she enjoys learning to play classical guitar and watching sumo wrestling.