I just realized that my kids have never received a prize in the bottom of their cereal box. Do you remember those? Rushing to be the first one to open the box. Pouring very slowly and carefully while peering up into the box and rotating it just-so in order to view as much of the contents as possible, or, if all else fails, (and mom isn’t looking) reaching elbow deep into flakes searching for the stickers or bike license plate?
My favorite were the cartoon character figurines. The challenge of “collect all 3” was never one I met, but I always dreamed the morning away wishing for a chance to do just that.
Those prizes drove my choice of breakfast food. My sisters and I would spend forever in the cereal aisle searching out the best prize, but the box was never opened immediately. We HAD to eat Cheerios, because Mom wouldn’t let us open the Frosted Flakes until the box was done.
And on the same thought, what happened to the back of cereal boxes? Maybe I just buy cereal that is too healthy and adult-ish, but I rarely see fun games printed on boxes anymore. It was always an honor to have the box directly in front of you during breakfast. We found all kinds of great stuff there: holograms, mazes, facts about rare animals. I learned a lot from cereal boxes.
We hardly ever eat cereal, and I have to admit, that I don’t have a need for any more little toys in our house. That doesn’t stop me from feeling a bit sad. Cereal prize anticipation was fun.