We love transforming everyday items into opportunities for fun and learning! And in this post, we’re sharing different ways to use bagels to engage your students. While bagels are delicious - and serve as a tasty breakfast -they’re also good for lots of other things, too.

Below we’ve compiled activities from Summer Sizzlers & Magic Mondays: School-Age Theme Activities and other sources to help your students discover the many possibilities of bagels.

1. Bagel Beginnings

Do you know how a bagel is made? A bagel is a hard yeast roll twisted into a doughnut shape. It is then cooked in simmering water and baked. To demonstrate the process, you can make homemade bagels, or you can simply buy them and allow students to make their very own pizza bagels. Either way, students will enjoy having hands-on fun with bagels!

2. Make a Word

How many three letter words can you make from the word “bagel?” On the board or a large sheet of paper, begin writing down as many words as your students can think of. To name a few, there’s bag, leg, gal, lag, beg and gab.

3. Beaded Bagel

For this activity, students can put their creativity on display! To begin, cut bagels in half. Then spread with cream cheese or another favorite topping. Give each student an assortment of raisins, snips of marshmallows, M&Ms and other treats. See who can “bead” the bagel in the most creative way. Choose the winners in the following categories:

  • Best Bagel (Best all-around)
  • Beautiful Bagel (Most attractive)
  • Better Bagel (Most creative)
  • Blimp Bagel (Most fattening)

Warning: Eating the beaded bagels may cause a stomach ache. Use your best judgment to determine whether students should eat their bagel masterpieces.

4. Bagel Bag

 Stale bagels are great for print art with bright, beautiful colors. In this activity, students will decorate a brown paper grocery bag for keeping neat stuff in! To begin, put tempera paint in a shallow tray. Cut the bagels into different shapes - triangles, stars, hearts, etc. Since stale bagels are fairly hard, this step should be completed by an adult. Once they’re cut into shapes, students can dip the bagels into the paint and make prints on the bag. Another idea is to fold the bags around books to make great book covers!

5. Bagel Bird Feeder

Stale bagels also make for great bird feeders! Plus, it’s an excellent way to feed our feathered friends in the cooler weather. For each feeder, students will need half a bagel, peanut butter and a spreader. On a paper plate, allow them to spread the peanut butter on the bagel. Make sure it’s completely covered. Then have them turn the bagel over - peanut butter side down - and press it into a paper plate filled with bird seeds. Next they can tie a piece of string or yarn through the hole in the bagel to hang the feeder. Be sure to place the feeders in a great spot so that students can enjoy a little bird-watching!

For similar activities for your afterschool program, check out Summer Sizzlers & Magic Mondays: School-Age Theme Activities