I know the kind of bonds you mean. I have a pile of them for my own kids' college educations which are coming up in the next few years. If yours are the same, they are EE bought under YOUR name (not your child's), but they are marked under a special educational provision so that as long as you use them for college expenses for your children, their interest is not taxed.
The short answer, I think, is that if you cash them out and don't spend them on education expenses, you have to pay tax on the interest. My only suggestion would be to take all of the money and buy an IRA with it, if you are eligable to deduct IRA contributions from your income to avoid tax. If you make
over certain income limits, or are covered by a company IRA or 401k plan, you usually can't take advantage of the IRA tax benefits, but maybe you do not fall into those categories.
If they bonds from the government, they are completely exempt from tax so you probably have nothing to worry about.
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