Thursday, January 14, 2010
My kids eat a wide variety of things for breakfast, but I confess, cold cereal is one of the things on the table most mornings. Now, most breakfast cereal boxes fall into one of two categories: either they're emblazoned with commercial character marketing, or they're organic/healthy cereal for adults and hopelessly, mind-numbingly boring. Considering our household's avoidance of high fructose corn syrup and emphasis on whole grains, we automatically avoid the colorful-advertising-disguised-as-entertainment. But we've got a wide variety of intensely boring granola boxes.
Kellogg's, General Mills, and Post are well-aware of what slack-jawed sponges our children are in the mornings. That's why those boxes are such effective vehicles for marketing messages. But I say, to heck with that! Yes, my children are slack-jawed sponges in the morning! Thus, I put in front of them my own custom-designed propaganda.
In the elementary school years, I can totally see the week's spelling words making an appearance on these boxes. If my high schooler would actually sit down and eat breakfast in the morning, I'd have her Spanish vocab words on her box. But since the sixteen-year-old is out the door at 6:45 (ouch! did I mention I'm not a morning person??), my captive audience consists of a five-year-old and a nearly-two-year-old. Therefore, our current boxes are adorned with animals, planets, and letters. Another fun addition to the morning routine (along with starting with art, of course).
The easiest way to do this, of course, would be to open up a word processing document and just drag a whole bunch of fun images into it, grab a few poems or science facts or spelling words or what-have-you, print it out, and glue or tape it on. Five minutes, max. However, my printer is on the fritz, so I had to spend some quality time with the scissors and that stack of magazines I keep around for moments like these. And if you really like the box you've created, no need to send it out with the recycling when the cereal's gone -- just swap out the inner bag for a new one. (This could also be a way to sneak generic cereal into the house without some brand-concious kid calling you out on it.)
Now, you think tomorrow morning I'll actually get a chance to drink my coffee?