We eat pancakes at least once a week for breakfast, and my kids have them for dinner periodically when it’s Wednesday date night at our place. Sometimes they’re doused in syrup, sometimes a dollop of yogurt, but there’s never a complaint when pancakes make an appearance on the weekly menu.
Last winter, we were fortunate enough to participate in an outdoor pancake Olympics held near our home. We spent a morning competing against other families in a pancake stacking competition, and I’m honestly not sure who had more fun—the kids or the adults.
This coming Shrove Tuesday, we’ve got a few friends coming over for a little pancake party. My boys are in school all day, so we’re doing this just before dinner, but you could easily do the same thing with preschoolers who are home all day or even suggest the idea for a fun classroom activity. Here’s how you do it:
Make plenty of pancakes well in advance. I suggest doing this from a boxed mix because they’re only going to be played with. I aim for 80+ pancakes which sounds like a lot, but if you happen to have an electric pan it will go by quickly. Store them in the freezer until you need them for your activities. I like to make large pancakes, about 6” to 8” in diameter—but any size will do.
Divide the kids/adults into teams of two. Give them one minute to stack as many pancakes as possible, as a team. Because they are frozen they will be slightly misshapen which adds a challenging element to the activity. When the buzzer goes, count how many pancakes were stacked, record the number and move on to the next group.
Award medals to the winning team or construct a crafty trophy from an empty bottle of maple syrup.
If time permits, pancake Frisbee is another fun game with the pre-made pancakes and so is a pancake replay race—where teams have to carry flapjacks on a spatula or wooden spoon to a finish line and back again without dropping the pancake.
When the games are done, sit down to a homemade pancake feast complete with maple syrup, fresh fruit, chocolate chips and whipped cream. Alternatively, make pancake hors d’oeuvres like in the photo above, by creating baby pancakes and threading them onto a wooden skewer, topped with strawberries and whipped cream or bananas and walnuts.