So, first mix up a favorite pancake recipe. Here you see just a regular round pancake. Ooops! A tiny drop of pancake batter is next to the large round pancake. Here’s an opportunity to talk about size and compare. Notice any differences? Which one is the biggest, smallest? Which one weighs the most? How many bites can you get from each? How do you know? What shape is each pancake?
Using a spoon, drop pancake batter onto the pan so it is the shape of the first letter in a child’s name, or the letter of the week, or the letter in the book for today, or the first letter of the study, etc. Be sure to have a smile and laugh in case it looks a little “out of shape”. So, here I made a “k” and a “C”.
Making pancakes into numbers gives an opportunity to reinforce which ever number a child is learning. They can trace the number with the peanut butter, jam, butter, syrup, or if you are with me you’ll get homemade grape syrup – low in sugar that way! :0) The tracing the shape gives another sense on opportunity to really look at the way the number is shaped. Make a number because that’s how many children are here today, that’s how old most the children are, it’s what time we eat, or because we are talking about numbers with curves, straight lines, or both.
Pancakes traditionally seem to be made round. My husband grew up eating one large pan-sized pancake per child – it filled the whole pan. He has 4 brothers who love pancakes! For our toddlers and preschoolers, we can use the spoon and create shapes with the pancake batter. I usually spoon the outline first and then fill in the middle. Here is a rectangle and a triangle. Even though they are not “perfect”, the children can still tell what shape they are. These shape pancakes offer an opportunity to match that shape with other items on the table, the walls, and around the eating area. Make only square pancakes of various sizes and compare the sizes.
Try to estimate how many bites each pancake will have. It’s never too early for a little prediction and math!
Putting a shape, number, letter pancake on the table can be a strategy for remembering. The repeating a number, shape, or letter in the every day environment builds children’s factual knowledge of their world allowing them to organize information better and to remember better.
Enjoy your pancakes!