Pancake Day is upon us again. That wonderful time of year where we get to measure, mix, fry and flip to our heart’s content. So do you go for banana and chocolate sauce, lemon and sugar, perhaps a savoury filling, or even one of each? Whatever variety floats your boat pancakes are the ultimate versatile treat, so there’s an option for everyone.
Traditionally Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is a day of good times and feasting. It allows you to indulge yourself before the 40 days of Lent, when people would sometimes fast in the run-up to Easter Sunday. This year people across the globe will celebrate Shrove Tuesday on the 28th of February, in the UK that means pancakes, while elsewhere in the world people will hold celebratory carnivals and Mardi Gras.
It’s easy to get excited about making pancakes and – more importantly – eating them, but once the pancakes are made, flipped and eaten does that mark the end of the fun? It doesn’t have to. Take a look at our suggestions below for keeping your kids busy this Pancake Day and keep the fun going long after their tummies are full…
There’s something very satisfying about a stack of pancakes, but little hands might enjoy playing, stacking and counting pancakes if they’re made from cardboard rather than greasy batter. Corrugated card pancakes are easy to make and can be used in a number of Shrove Tuesday-themed games:
- FLIPPING FUN – Pop your cardboard pancakes into a clean pan to help children practice their flipping skills minus the mess. Kid’s kitchen play sets usually contain pans if your little ones aren’t strong enough to wield the real thing.
- MEMORY GAME – Pair up your pancakes and on each pair draw a different topping, strawberries, banana and chocolate chips are good ones but your little crafters will be able to think of more. Then flip your pairs over and mix them up to create a simple memory game where the players have to find the matching pairs. Younger children may struggle with more than 4 or 5 pairs but older children will enjoy more of a challenge, so up the number of pancake pairs accordingly.
- PANCAKE HUNT – Create a pancake treasure hunt around the house. To prepare make sure your kids are distracted and go from room to room hiding pancakes in crafty places. You can make the hiding places trickier or easier to find depending on the age of the players.
- PANCAKE BALANCE – Put a cardboard pancake on your child’s head and challenge them to walk across the room. If they make it add another pancake to the stack. If they’re struggling make the distance a bit shorter. And if you’ve got more than one child to entertain then set them up in a race against each other!
- PANCAKE TOSS – Pop a frying pan on the floor and arm your children with cardboard pancakes. Their job is to drop or toss as many pancakes into the pan as they can. Depending on how old they are, they could either stand directly over the pan or a few metres away.
For older children
There are a number of traditional games associated with Pancake Day, but since they involve real pancakes and real pans they’re best for older children or perhaps fun-loving adults.
- PANCAKE RACE – Set the length of the race track and give the racers a pan containing a pancake. They then have to make it to the finish line first, without their pancakes slipping out. Any contestant who drops their pancake has to return to the starting line.
- PANCAKE TOSS CHALLENGE – As above, each contestant must have a pancake and a pan. You then set a timer for one minute and the contestants have to flip their pancakes as many times as they can before the buzzer. This one is much trickier than it sounds!
For when they’re tired out…
After all that flipping, racing, hunting and balancing, your little ones will probably be pooped. Give them a breather with the following activities, which all involve handy printables to keep them amused:
- Colouring – Familiarise your kids with the ingredients needed to make pancakes as they colour them in.
- Puzzles – These Pancake Day themed word-searches, mazes, crosswords and letter jumbles will keep growing minds active.
- Vocabulary builder – Get your kids more familiar with the kitchen through these word mats and flashcards.