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Pancake Day ideas for schools and kindergartens


Pancakes are the stuff of so many happy school memories: cooking them, flipping them, racing with them and, of course, eating them. Pancakes are very simple to prepare and this, together with the wealth of possible flavour combinations, makes them ideal for cooking in the early years. Shrove Tuesday falls on 4 March this year and is an important date in the Christian calendar. It is the last day before Lent, during which Christians abstain and take time to look inwardly. Shrove Tuesday – also known as Pancake Day – is a good opportunity to expand on this theme by reading stories about sharing and kindness, before cooking up a stack of yummy pancakes.


Shrove Tuesday

Find an animated video on YouTube that tells the story of Shrove Tuesday - video.


Talk about the meaning behind Shrove Tuesday.

Adult role

  • Gather the children together and explain that Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. This is a time when Christian people take time to think about Jesus ahead of the forthcoming holy week of Easter.
  • Tell the children the Bible story about Lent: Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights after giving up his job as a carpenter to begin his work teaching people about God. While in the desert, Jesus went without food and spent his time praying to God. He was tempted by the Devil many times, but managed to resist.
  • During Lent, Christian people remember Jesus by giving up luxury foods and drinks such as chocolate and alcohol.
  • Shrove Tuesday is the day when people traditionally use up all their rich luxury foods that they will not be eating during Lent. To do this, they make pancakes and eat them with a variety of tasty fillings.
  • Ash Wednesday follows and this is the day when many Christian people attend church services to pray to God and ask forgiveness for anything they have done wrong. During the service, they are marked on the forehead with a cross of ashes.
  • Ask if any children in the group attend church regularly. Can they tell the other children what it is like to go to church? Do any children in the group have any questions about going to church?
  • Invite parents of children who have attended a church service during Lent to come to the setting and help their sons and daughters share their experiences. Is anyone in their family giving something up for Lent?
  • Make links with other religious festivals that observe abstinence and fasting, for example, the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur and the Muslim festival of Ramadan. Are there any children or families in the setting who can share their experience of these?


Books to read on Pancake Day.

English Portal

The Runaway Pancake by Mairi Mackinnon. Download activities here.

If you give a pig a pancake by Laura Numeroff Download activities here.

Mama Panya’s Pancakes by Mary and Rich Chamberlin.

Mr Wolf ’s Pancakes by Jan Fearnley.

Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle

Rhinos Don’t Eat Pancakes by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie


Songs, rhymes, Games for Pancake Day.

Mix a pancake

Recite this traditional rhyme before flipping your pancakes:

Mix a pancake, stir a pancake (pretend to mix the batter)

Pour it in a pan (pretend to pour the batter)

Fry a pancake, toss a pancake (pretend to flip the pancake into the air)

Catch it if you can (pretend to line up the pan and catch a falling pancake)

Flipping fun

Provide pans, cold or rubber pancakes, and a large dice. Ask the children to take turns to roll the dice and flip their pancake the corresponding number of times.

Pancake pandemonium

  • Make this game yourself. Cut out and laminate four circular shapes.

Print out or draw and laminate some pictures of possible fillings – for example, honey, bacon, fruit, cheese, ham and lemon. Make a spinner out of cardboard, using a hole punch and butterfly pin to attach the arrow. Divide the spinner into segments and fill these with identical food pictures.

  • Children play the game by taking turns to flick the spinner and fill their pancakes with the corresponding foods.
  • Ask them about the food combinations in their pancakes and what they might taste like.

More Ideas

  • Provide small pans and utensils for the children to make pretend pancakes using play dough.
  • Have a pancake flipping competition using pre-cooked pancakes and a cold pan.
  • Make French galettes and crepes.
  • Invite parents in and serve up an American-style pancake breakfast.
  • Have a pancake race.

Also, you can watch something interesting:

Recommended articles

Useful links:

Christmas Listening
The Best Christmas Trivia Ever
Christmas Jeopardy
Present Continuous exercises. Grammar online.
Present Simple exercises. Grammar online.
Future Simple test. Grammar online.
Past Simple activity. Grammar online.
Present Perfect online practice. Grammar online.

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