- What is Pancake Day?
- How can we use Pancake Day to teach our kids?
- Pancakes and History
- Pancakes and Maths
- Pancakes and domestic skills
Pancake day is upon us! For some parents it brings the dread of having to clean up spilled batter from a toddler’s matted hair. For others, it is the anxiety of having to pretend to enjoy eating lumpy undercooked pancakes which your children have made for you. What is Pancake Day? Why do we celebrate it? And – most importantly – how can we use it to teach children?
What is Pancake Day?
A day to eat pancakes! But how did it start?
As with many Western celebrations, there is a pagan root which was appropriated by Christianity and subsequently turned into a secular excuse to gorge on decadent food with family and friends – in this case, pancakes! Of course, the Christain significance of Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday) is still very important to many Christians around the world.
Shrove Tuesday marks the last day before the start of the Lent fast. As such, people like to eat all the tasty things they have to give up before Lent starts. To use up their egg, milk and sugar (which were traditionally given up for Lent), people would make and eat an abundance of pancakes. The reason that people give up tasty food on Lent is to remember the time Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert. We wonder whether his fast started with an abundance of pancakes? 🤔
How can we use Pancake Day to teach our kids?
Here at GoStudent we’re fans of teaching kids in fun, creative and exciting ways – you might have seen some of our awesome posts about Montessori education. So why not use this Pancake Day as an opportunity to teach the kids? Whether it’s life, maths, science or history, pancakes have it all!
Pancakes and History
Would your child be brave enough to make pancakes of King Henry VIII?
Studying the Tudors at home? Well, Pancake Day has you covered! Did you know that even the Tudor Kings and Queens loved pancakes? In fact, there is even a dedicated page to Tutor pancakes which you can make at home – or just read through for a bit of fun (and practice).
If you want to go back in time even further, there is evidence suggesting that over 5,000 years ago, Otzi the Iceman ate pancakes before being murdered and frozen in the Italian Alps! Maybe don’t share that fact with the younger ones…
There are many ways to get your child excited about history and the history of Pancake Day might just be something they're into. The best thing is that, if they’re not into the history, you still get to eat the pancakes. It’s a win-win.
Pancakes and Maths
There’s weighing, measuring, calculating. Heck, maths can be found pretty much anywhere so why not use Pancake Day to improve your maths skills? Every recipe involves a certain amount of handling numbers. If you’re calculating how much batter you’ll need for how many pancakes for how many people, you can get into some pretty solid maths stuff!
Imagine this: person A wants five pancakes; person B wants two, person C wants eleven, and person D kinda just wants some orange juice. 300 grams of flour from this easy vegan pancake recipe will make 16 pancakes. How much flour will we need to make enough pancakes? What percentage increase is that? How does that affect the quantity of plant-based milk (which is 400ml in the original recipe)?
But wait! A bag of flour costs £1.25, a carton of oat milk costs £1.20, and that random bottle of orange juice is 90p. What if you made pancakes for 1,725 people?! What about 2,572,846 people? How many bags of 1kg flour will you need and how much will that cost?
On average, people in the UK consume two pancakes a day on Pancake Day. That is over 130 million pancakes. If one person eats five pancakes every day, it would take that person 71,232 years to eat all of those pancakes. 🤤🥞 So many pancakes! So much maths!
Pancakes and domestic skills
Pancake Day can be a great way to get cooking with your kids and teach them some of the important domestic skills they need for later life – especially around the kitchen!
With many families, cooking can be a collaborative process but the cleaning is a little one sided. 🧹 As well as teaching kids the importance of cooking we need to teach them the importance of cleaning up after themselves!
If you’re interested in cooking with your child, you might want to check out our blog post about the best cooking websites for kids to help you have fun in the kitchen.
So there you have it – Pancake Day: A day for contemplating world history – from mummies to Tudors; a day for calculating the simple to the ridiculous; a day for learning about the importance of good kitchen habits. Whatever you choose to do this Pancake Day, make sure to have fun and use it as an opportunity to do a bit of good old-fashioned teaching!