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Free, Fun, Mardi Gras Learning

Fun with Pancakes!

Pancakes....mmmmmm my favorite!Did you know that Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 is Pancake Day? It kicks off Pancake Week throughout the world! Pancakes provide all of the ingredients necessary for lots of learning fun!

Pancake Day is also known as “Shrove Tuesday” among various religions. The origin of the name “shrove” comes from the old English verb “to shrive” which means to absolve people of their sins.

It is common for priests to hear people’s confessions on Shrove Tuesday, which is the day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the 40 days of penance, prayer, and fasting that precedes Easter.

Traditionally, people abstained from eating eggs and fats during Lent, and pancakes were the perfect way of using up those ingredients before Lent began. Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday is also known as “Mardi Gras” which is French for “Fat Tuesday.”

Here are some fun and educational ideas for celebrating Pancake Day with your little one.

  • Free, printable pancake coloring page.
  • Free, printable pancake maze.
  • Have a pancake sing-along! Click HERE to get lyrics and music to a pancake song.
  • Pancake Batter Finger Paints – Put some plain pancake batter on a paper or plastic plate. Add a drop of red food coloring and let your child mix it into the batter with his/her fingers. Make fun designs in the batter. Add a drop of yellow food color or blue food color. What color does the batter turn? This is a great way to introduce primary colors and how combining them makes other colors. Talk about how the batter feels – – is it cold, squishy, smooth? Add some syrup to the mix and see if the texture changes — is it sticky? Don’t forget to remind the kids that this batter is a science and art experiment — it’s not for eating.
  • Free Pancakes! – In celebration of Pancake Day, the International House of Pancakes offers guests a free short stack of pancakes from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. while supplies last. (They do ask you to consider making a small donation to the Children’s Miracle Network.) Visit the IHOP website for details and to find an IHOP near you.

Get lots more ideas for fun, pancake- themed math, science, geography, literature and art in our “Pancake Curriculum”.

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