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Making pancakes



Suitable for children: 
Man making pancakes on a outdoor frying pan

Making pancakes with your child can be an opportunity to talk, read and create together. You can choose to use a packet or make them from scratch using flour, milk and eggs.

Before you start, talk about what flavour pancakes you want to make and what you will need. If you are going to change the recipe explore the different flavours together and talk about when to add the extra ingredients.

We could make savoury ones and add cheese and grated zucchini.

Talk about the different properties of the ingredients and the order they need to be added. Will you add the dry ingredients first and then slowly pour in the wet ones, whisking as you go?

The recipe says to pour the cup of flour in first and then to add the milk and an egg.

Once all the ingredients have been added and whisked into a smooth batter talk about how the pancakes are cooked.

Let’s see how many round pancakes we can fit into the frying pan in one go.

How long do we have to wait till we see the bubbles appear on top of the pancake? When the bubbles appear and pop it's time to flip them over.

Materials you will need

  • Measuring cups
  • Mixer or spoon
  • Self-raising flour
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Measuring spoons

Alternative tools

  • Ready-made pancake mixture
  • Electric frying pan
  • BBQ grill
Skills this activity improves
Why does this matter?

When children help to make pancakes they are developing motor skills and learning to sort and classify. As they pour out the ingredients they are experimenting with the different ways we can measure. They are also learning to plan and think about the order of a task.

As you work together and read the recipe, your child is learning to listen and follow instructions. When you talk to each other while cooking you will using vocabulary about food and planning.

What does this lead to?

As children make the pancakes they are learning that we can use different words and tools for measuring. As they make their creations they are exploring time, quantity, space and size as different forms of measurement.

Scooping the dry ingredients, pouring the liquid into the containers and mixing the ingredients together helps children to develop hand dominance and strength in their fingers and hands. Hand dominance and control is required for children to become skilled writers who can write for a long time without needing to rest.

Language to use
  • Flour, milk, eggs
  • Ingredients, recipe
  • Wet, dry
  • Bowl, spoon, measuring cups, whisk, frying pan
  • Raw, batter, cooked
  • Pour, scoop, turn, flip, crack, spread
Questions to use
  • How many can we fit into the pan?
  • Can we fit more if they are bigger or smaller?
  • Are pancakes always round?
  • How do we know when to turn them?
  • Can you eat more if they are bigger or smaller?
Useful tips
  1. If you don’t have a recipe, look for one online or in a magazine.
  2. For safety information, especially about burns and scalds, see Living with toddlers or visit www.parenting.sa.gov.au
  3. You might also like to take a look at the activities Bake your cake and eat it too and Edible iceblocks.
  4. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.
More ideas
  1. See if you can pour the mixture to create different shapes or the letters of your name.
  2. Make a family pancake recipe book that has everyone’s favourites.
  3. Add vegetables and cheese to the pancakes so you can practice grating and cutting.
Variation by age

Three to five year olds

  • Set up a timer to time how long the pancakes take to cook. Will both sides take the same time?
  • Create a book about making pancakes.
  • Set up a measuring tub with sand and containers in all different shapes and sizes.

Questions to ask

  • How long will the pancakes take to cook?
  • How do we know when they are cooked?
  • If you change the shape of the pancake will it take longer to cook?