Early Years Pancake Day Ideas & Activities

When is Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day as it is sometimes known, is a traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – was traditionally a time of fasting, and Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the fast, and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients. As well as eating pancakes it is traditional to have pancake races and toss pancakes!

Pancake Races

On Pancake Day, “pancake races” are held across the United Kingdom. The tradition apparently started in 1445 when a housewife was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the church bells ringing for the service. She raced out of the house to church while still carrying her frying pan and pancake, tossing it to prevent it from burning. The pancake race is still a common festive tradition in the UK, especially England. Participants with frying pans race through the streets tossing pancakes into the air and catching them in the pan while running.

Shrove Tuesday Activities:

Have some fun on Shrove Tuesday with some different activities that can support learning and development in your early years setting. Let us know how you get on this Pancake Day via our Facebook or Twitter page!

1. Make Pancakes!

Why not try one of our fabulous recipes, from pink pancakes to animal face pancakes – children can get creative with their pancake design and their toppings.
As well as real pancakes – children could get creative with paper circles and design their ultimate pancakes with crayons, paints and stickers – what will they create!

2. Try new things!

Let’s talk pancakes! Discuss the various types of pancakes with children and explore different toppings with them – do they prefer the taste of savoury or sweet toppings? What can they mix and match? Does the topping taste sweet, salty or bitter?

3. Have a pancake race!

Explore the age old tradition of pancake tossing with a variety of activities! Why not set a timer and see how many times the little ones can toss their pancake. Or set a group of children in a race to flip their pancake 5 times and see who is the quickest! A great way to incorporate counting into physical development.

4. Explore measuring and counting

Maths forms a crucial element in the process of making pancakes as children measure out the different ingredients. Support the little one’s learning by seeing if they can do this unassisted.

Why not turn the decorating aspect into a maths activity also? Ask your children to put 2 strawberries, 4 banana slices and 5 chocolate chips etc and see how well they can count each of these elements out.


We would love to see how you get on! Send us pictures of your masterpieces on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and don’t forget to use the hashtag #EYRhub.

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