A few weeks ago, Mazzy and I learned all about simple machines thanks to a partnership with General Mills Cereal. We were tasked to build some of the Rube Goldberg-inspired machines that you can currently find on select cereal boxes. Mazzy built a Cinnamon Toast Crunch pulley elevator that delivered cereal straight to her bowl and a Cookie Crisp lever catapult that flung cereal clear across the room.

It was pretty impressive. Also, a little bit messy. But all in the name of good old fashioned STEM-based fun.

In all seriousness, after we built the cereal machines, Mazzy really came away from the task with a good understanding of the six different examples of simple machines— 1) wheel and axles, 2) pulleys, 3) screws, 4) wedges, 5) levers and 6) inclined planes. It’s true what they say— kids really are like sponges.

Our next lesson in STEM was to have a simple machine scavenger hunt in NYC. I say “simple,” but really, how simple can a scavenger hunt be when it involves visiting places like the United Nations and Times Square?

I had major places in mind to take Mazzy that represented each machine, but Mazzy was also able to identify other examples that I hadn’t intended along the way. Like a crane that was a great example of a pulley and a random ramp off the side of a building that was an inclined plane. This worked out in my favor because I was planning on taking her to a skate park to see inclined planes in action but it was WAY TOO COLD. We’ll save that excursion for another time.

Check out our simple machine tour of NYC!

Would you like to inspire your kid to learn about simple machines with a SEE STEM EVERYWHERE KIT and your choice of General Mills Cereal, including Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp, Lucky Charms and Reese’s Puffs? Just “like” this post and leave a comment below telling me your favorite part of the video. I’ll randomly select one winner to be announced on February 23rd!


Congratulations to Leanna! Please email allie@mommyshorts.com to claim your prize.

If your kid creates his/her own simple machine out of a General Mills cereal box, you can submit their creation for the chance to win a $20,000 college scholarship! For details on how to enter, visit www.Rubecerealmachines.comNO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.  Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States & DC, 18 years of age and older.  Ends at 11:59 p.m. CT on August 1, 2018Click for Official Rules, which govern, including odds, free method of entry and prizes descriptions.


This post was sponsored by General Mills, but newfound interest in STEM activities is all our own!