Looking for some pancake fun with your little ones? We’ve got toy cookers and pancakes to make, songs to sing, games to play and a lovely ‘Pancake Toppings’ free printable. Lots to keep your little ones busy and help them explore the traditions, tastes and fun of Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday.
Home-Made Shoe Box Cooker
I made this toy cooker for the pre-schoolers I work with to begin our exploration of pancake day and its traditions and tastes. I won’t bore you with a detailed step by step guide of how it was made because you’ll get the idea just from looking. It was really quick and easy to throw together and it’s been quite a hit with the little ones.
It only took a few minutes to make this little cooker, just a shoe box, 2 old CDs (tinfoil would work just as well), 2 milk bottle tops for knobs and a paper clock all held together with 3 split pins and some sticky tape. If you’ve got a bigger box you could easily cut a door out of the front for an oven space too.
Home-made Frying Pan and Pancakes
I whizzed up lots of these little frying pans so that each child in my group could have one. They are simply tin foil pan shapes laminated and then strengthened on the back with a lolly stick. The pancakes are little circles of felt, but paper works just as well too.
The children have really enjoyed cooking and tossing their own pancakes. We’ve been using them to do all the actions to this traditional Pancake Poem…
Traditional ‘Mix A Pancake’ Poem…
What do your little ones like on their pancakes? Of course there’s the traditional lemon and sugar and children love exploring the difference between bitter and sweet. (Lots of opportunity for great facial expressions with that one too, I love a good lemony grimace!)
Our printable is a great way to explore and chatter about different foods and what tastes work well together; the children can draw on whatever pancake topping takes their fancy and they may have some very inventive ideas!
Here’s a selection of simple games to play with paper pancakes:
- Pancake Treasure Hunt
Cut out some paper pancakes and hide them round the house and garden (like an Easter egg hunt). Older children could have clues on the back of each one that leads them to the next.
- Pancake Stepping Stones
Cut out some large paper pancakes for the children to put on the floor as stepping stones. Great for balancing and counting skills.
- Pancake Stepping Stone Races
Older children love races where they have just 2 pancake stepping stones each and they have to use them to cross the floor, standing on one and putting the second in front of them. Moving onto the second and reaching behind to pick up the first and putting that in front and so on, and so on. Who can get to the other side first?
- Team Pancake Stepping Stone Races
As above but done as competing teams where each team has enough stepping stone pancakes for one each plus one extra. In a line they all stand on their pancake and the leader has the spare pancake. On the word ‘Go’ the leader puts the spare pancake on the floor in front and steps on to it. all the team steps forward to fill the empty pancake in front. The last team member then picks up the pancake left empty that’s behind him and passes it to the team member in front. The team members pass it down the line to the front person who puts it on the floor, steps on to it and the whole process starts again. This is repeated until they reach the finishing line. This is a great game for building team co-operation and encouragement.
- Pancake Balancing
Balance a paper pancake on your head, knee, toes etc. a great opportunity for little ones to listen to body part names and find them. Can they walk across the room while balancing a paper pancake.
- Blow the Pancake
Young children will enjoy simply resting a paper pancake on their hand and blowing it off, super for working those lip muscles and extending the breath. (If your little one finds blowing difficult, sometimes blowing through a straw can be easier as they can pucker their lips around the straw.) Older children might like having a blowing race across the floor.
- Flap the Pancake
A fun activity to do with paper pancakes and a book or newspaper for flapping to create a wind. Perhaps your children could experiment with different flapping tools to find out which one creates the best gust.