Friday, March 7, 2014

Pancake Party

Funfetti Pancakes!
I held a Pancake Party this past Tuesday for ages 2 and up at our library.  Appropriately, it was the same day as Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day as it's more widely known).  The game plan was to have a storytime, craft, and then eat pancakes.  If you think making pancakes in the library sounds daunting, it really isn't.  As long as you have someone helping you with this program, it is completely doable, easy, and fun!  Here is what we did:

BOOK:  If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff

This is a perfect song for a pancake or food-themed storytime.  The song lyrics and pattern are in Ready-To-Go Storytimes: Fingerplays, Scripts, Patterns, Music, and More by Gail Benton.  The children LOVE to help me out by putting felt pieces on the board, so before I started this song, I asked if anyone wanted to be my helper.  Since this song has a lot of felt pieces, I had enough for everyone.  This is a great way to make flannel board songs or rhymes more interactive.  This can be sung to the tune of "Aiken Drum," but honestly, I can never remember that tune, so I just chant the rhyme.

BOOK:  Hey, Pancakes! by Tamson Weston; illustrated by Stephen Gammell

SONG:  "I Know a Chicken" by Laurie Berkner from the album Whaddaya Think of That? 
This goes along with the "breakfast" theme and my storytime kids love using the shaky eggs.

BOOK:  Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle

CRAFT:  Paper Pancakes
We cut out circles from brown construction paper, as well as bacon and eggs from felt scraps.  Children each got a paper plate and were encouraged to put on their plate the foods they'd like to eat for breakfast.  We had blue and red circle stickers to represents blueberries and raspberries, as well as yarn to mimic maple syrup.  This is an easy craft to do with toddlers as long as you have the pieces cut out ahead of time.

FOOD:  Pancakes
Making and serving pancakes in the library sounds crazy, right?  It's actually pretty easy, but you do need to plan ahead.  I brought some supplies from home and borrowed others from staff members.  One way to keep costs down is to purchase pancake mix that only requires water to mix-in.  Granted, the pancakes aren't as fluffy as the ones made with a mix that requires milk and eggs, but depending on your budget and how much help you'll have, sometimes the easy way is the best.  Here is what you'll need to make pancakes at the library:

1.  Pancake Mix (1 box was enough for 15 toddlers; for older children, purchase 2 boxes - they eat a lot!)
2.  Maple Syrup
3.  Butter
4.  Mix-ins (chocolate chips, blueberries, etc.)  I used rainbow sprinkles and make "funfetti" pancakes.
5.  Other toppings (bananas, strawberries, marshmallows, whipped cream, etc.)
6.  Orange Juice
7.  2 Electric griddles (brought from home and borrowed from staff)
8.  Non-stick cooking spray (brought from home)
9.  Mixing bowls (brought from home)
10.  Dry measuring cups (brought from home)
11.  Liquid measuring cups
12.  Whisks (brought from home)
13.  Spatulas (brought from home)
14.  Plates, cups, napkins, forks and knives

I mixed the pancake batter ahead of time.  I had one long table set up with the griddles, pancake mix, spray and spatulas.  We set up a second table with the tableware, toppings and juice.  I manned (guarded) the griddles and make various pancakes (funfetti and chocolate chip).  Once pancakes were cooked, we put them on a plate and transferred them to the second table so kids and parents could help themselves.  I kept cooking until all the batter was gone and everyone's tummy was happy and full!