Flap-jacks, pancakes or hot cakes; no matter how you stack them, these delicious doughy treats are a breakfast hit for kids and adults alike. Your child is sure to enjoy the chance to get hands-on with pancake activities -- this is one time when it is okay for him play with his food!
Make a pancake breakfast bar for a special day or as part of a “brinner” (breakfast and dinner) spread. Your kids will love getting creative and decorating their own pancakes. Topping ideas include: whip cream, sprinkles, chocolate chips, blueberries, peanut butter, jelly, bananas and chocolate sauce. Make the pancakes even more exciting by letting your tot personalize the batter for their cakes with a few drops of food coloring. Your kids will delight in making pink pancakes for a Valentine’s Day treat, green for St. Patrick’s Day, or purple for any day.
Tired of circle flap-jacks? Break out some metal cookie cutters and help your child create fun shapes for your breakfast cakes, or if you want to get fancy, buy special pancake molds that your kids would enjoy. Simply place the pancake mold or metal cookie cutter -- no plastic -- on the hot griddle and fill with pancake batter, once your pancake is ready to flip, pick up the mold using tongs and your pancake will retain the shape of the mold. Quick tip: to make filling the molds easier, thin the batter and use a plastic squeeze bottle with a pointed tip to more accurately fill the mold. No molds? Help your child free-hand the first letter of his name for an easy personalized pancake. Due to the risk of burning, only older children -- 10 and up -- should help with the flipping and pouring, younger children can participate by mixing the batter.
Make breakfast fun and add a little early morning learning to your child’s day with some quick pancake inspired learning. A short stack of small silver dollar pancakes and a handful of chocolate chips or blueberries can easily become a counting game. Line the pancakes up and have your child put 1 chocolate chip on the first pancake, 2 on the next and so on to quiz him on his counting skills. He can also make letters out of the chocolate chips to spell words on his pancakes. Your child will never be more eager to practice his numbers and letters!
There is plenty of fun to be had with paper pancakes, too, and its as simple as cutting out light brown circles from construction paper. Make a pancake memory game using stickers, drawings or pictures printed from your computer. Have your child glue the same image on two pancakes to create one set of matches. (Make as many matches as she likes then set extras aside, adding just a few matches at a time to increase the difficulty of the game.) Place all the cakes face down and take turns searching for a match. For added fun, use a toy spatula to flip the pancakes over. Make the pancakes pair up in a non-identical way, and you'll have a completely different tool for learning. For example, a capital "A" and lowercase "a" would be a match, or 2+2 and 4 would match. Virtually any skill your child is working on could be on the pancakes.