Sometimes you need to get crafty and creative without making a run to the store, and National Cereal Day is the perfect day to take advantage of what’s in your cupboard. From crispy fried chicken to science experiments, we’ve found 11 interesting ways you can amuse your kids with cereal. Scroll down to see how!

fruitloop necklace

1. Make a Fruit Loop necklace. Fruit Loops are perfect because they are colorful, but you can just as easily use a Cheerio or other round-with-a-hole-in-it cereal. This is less about the cereal and more about the hand-eye coordination involved making them.

2. Snack Necklaces. Since you’ve got that string out, add cereal and a few pieces of dried fruit and make an on-the-go snack. We love this easy, boredom-busting activity from Blair Lonergan. Get the details at The Seasoned Mom.

crunchy-baked-chicken-tendersphoto: Jessica Gavin

3. Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders with Cereal Flakes
Cereal: it’s not just for breakfast anymore! This genius recipe from Jessica Gavin swaps out the traditional breadcrumbs for super crunchy Honey Bunches of Oats. Kids will go crazy for the golden-brown coating, and the zesty orange dipping sauce adds an extra punch of flavor. Click here to get the recipe.

And click here for four more inventive cereal recipes.

4. DIY Surprises. Using Ziploc “snack sized” or smaller baggies, put little items in the cereal box to surprise the kiddos. It can be as simple as a note or a joke or a little trinket or plastic ring. Be sure and seal the bags well and watch little ones who might not know or notice.

DIY-cardboard-crownphoto: Momtastic 

5. Upcycle like the Royals. Keep that empty box around and make your kiddo a crown! Find out how Momtastic did it here.

6. Grow a cereal tree. This one is fall themed but you can use any kind of cereal to change the “seasons.”

rice krsipie treat
photo: Raspberri Cupcakes via flickr

7. Or a cereal treat! Nothing beats a gooey cereal treat. We love the Salted Honey Rice Krispie variation from Raspberri Cupcakes. Get the recipe here.

8. Go low. Transform a cereal box into a low-tech “TV” that plays a “film strip” with this tutorial by The Cheese Thief.

Magnetic Cerealphoto: Rookie Parenting 

9. Perform some cereal science. Find out how “fortified with iron” your cereal actually is with this cool experiment from Rookie Parenting. Click here to get the scoop.

cranberry garland with cheerios

photo: Kim Love via flickr

10. Feed the birds! String together a simple, low-sugar cereal (like Cheerios) with berries and make a decorative garland bird treat for an outdoor tree.

Rainbow Art

photo: Little Peanut Mag

11. Taste the rainbow. Kids won’t be able to keep their hands off this fruit loopy rainbow art. For instructions and a free rainbow printable, head over to Little Peanut.

What’s your favorite cereal? Tell us in a comment below! 

featured photo: fancycrave1 via pixabay

—Amber Guetebier