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Messy Play on Pancake Day

Flipping Fun - Mud Kitchen Activities For Pancake Day

This Pancake Day, get your pupils involved by providing Mud Kitchen Activities for your EYFS Class and teach them all about it!  

Pancake Day 2024 is just around the corner but when is Pancake Day and why do we have Pancake Day?

threechildren gather around a children stable with our essentials mud kitchen in the background

For educators in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Pancake Day presents an exciting opportunity to engage young minds in a hands-on, sensory experience. This blog looks at teaching children all about the history of Pancake Day in the UK as well as exploring the magic of Pancake Day in an EYFS setting and how EYFS Mud Kitchens activities can be a fantastic tool for creating memorable and educational activities.

Why Do We Have Pancake Day?

Before delving into EYFS Mud Kitchen activities, let’s briefly educate the children on significance of Pancake Day. Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is a traditional feast day before the start of Lent, a “40-day period” of fasting and repentance for Christians, leading up to Easter. On Shrove Tuesday, people would go to confession at the church and be “shriven” (absolved from their sins). On this day people would make and eat pancakes to use up the eggs, flour, and milk that they would not consume during Lent (the fasting period). Pancake Day always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year.

This year Pancake Day falls on Tuesday 13th February.

In the UK, pancake races form an important part of the Shrove Tuesday celebrations – an opportunity for large congregations (who usually are in fancy dress costumes), to race down streets tossing pancakes. The most famous pancake race takes place at Olney in Buckinghamshire.

It is believed that in 1445 a woman in Olney heard the church bells ring for “shriven” whilst making some pancakes so she ran to the church in her apron, still holding her frying pan. The Olney pancake race is renowned worldwide.

children stand around the mud kitchen island and role play as chefs

How Do We Celebrate Pancake Day Around The UK?


In England, the tradition is to have a large, round, thin pancake like a French crêpe with a sugar and lemon topping. Yum! However, times have changed, and more delicious toppings have been introduced from hazelnut spread to maple syrup and savoury pancakes such as cheese and ham!

Northern Ireland:

Traditionally pancakes would have been cooked over an open fire where family and friends would gather to enjoy the delicious pancakes made. The eldest daughter of the family traditionally was allowed to toss the first pancake.


Traditionally pancakes made in Scotland would be smaller and thicker and called “Drop Scones” or “Dropped Scones.”


The traditional Welsh pancake is called a “Crempog” and is again thicker than the traditional English pancake.

For EYFS children, Pancake Day is a chance to incorporate cultural celebrations into the curriculum, promoting inclusivity and diversity.

a little girl stands at the essentials mud kitchen and pretends to bake

Teaching children in EYFS the history of Pancake Day in the UK can be made engaging and age-appropriate through various activities and approaches. A great way to get all children involved is through physical and sensory EYFS Mud Kitchen activities.

Mud Kitchen Activity Ideas For Pancake Day:

Why Mud Kitchen activities?

Mud Kitchen activities, with their natural and open-ended elements, offer an ideal space for children to explore, create, and learn. EYFS Mud Kitchen activities provide sensory-rich experiences that enhance fine and gross motor skills, language development, and social interaction. Integrating Pancake Day celebrations into Mud Kitchen activities can make learning truly immersive and enjoyable!

Pentagon Play has an extensive range and packages of Mud Kitchens that can keep children happy all day long. From a Mud Kitchen with an Oven, a Mud Kitchen with a Sink, and a Mud Kitchen Island to a Mud Box for keeping soil in. There are lots of exciting resources for children to use and play with. Here are some EYFS Mud Kitchen activities to help you get all EYFS children involved during Pancake Day…

a little boy stands at the mud kitchen with oven and pretends to bake

Pancake Day EYFS Mud Kitchen Activities:

Ingredient Exploration:

Set up a shop for the children to visit.

An ideal resource to use which can be situated next to an EYFS Mud Kitchen is one of Pentagon Play’s Playhouses.

children stand in front of the giant playhouse

On the chalkboard write down the recipe and ingredients of how to make a pancake. Let the children select their ingredients from the shelves of the Playhouse and pay for them at the till.

The ingredients can be in clear, labelled, containers such as mud, sand, water, etc to make the pancake batter.

Plus, grass, leaves, sticks, flowers, coloured sand, feathers, and strips of coloured paper can be available for the pancake toppings for the children to buy.

a little girl stands with her friend and pretends to cook in a frying pan

Make sure there is a till, money, and a shopkeeper so that the children create a shop-like environment and choose and pay for their goods. Let the children engage in a “shopping” experience, picking out these items and bringing them to their Mud Kitchen for pancake preparation. This activity promotes language development and under of food and components as well as incorporating maths into a fun lesson

Pancake Making Station:

Set up an EYFS Mud Kitchen station with pots, frying pan, and utensils resembling a kitchen.

Pentagon Play's Head Chef Mud Kitchen Package would be the perfect resource to use.

children stand at the mud kitchen and pretend to cook

This pack features double the mud, with a double Mud Kitchen offering, with sinks and accessible play ovens. As well as an Island that includes a removable stainless sink and chalkboard, giving children the option of three surfaces to interact with. Ideal for a whole class activity allowing everyone to get stuck in and develop their spatial awareness and coordination.

The inclusion of chalkboard surfaces on all three surfaces allows the children to develop their writing, spelling, and phonic skills, as they write down their pancake recipes and shopping lists.

Verbal communication will also improve as the children work together and chat away with their peers while they make and flip their pancakes.

Provide mud or sand, and water to use to make the “pancake batter” and encourage the children to mix, pour, and flip their mud pancakes using frying pans. This hands-on experience mimics the real-life cooking process and allows the children to explore textures and sensory elements.

three children gather around the essentials mud kitchen and pretend to cook for the guest sitting at the table

Pancake Toppings Art Station:

A wonderful Mud Kitchen activity idea is to incorporate an art activity by setting up a Pancake Topping Station.

Provide materials like coloured sand, feathers, and fabric scraps for children to decorate their mud pancakes (these can be bought from the Playhouse shop!). This not only enhances creativity but also encourages discussions about different tastes and preferences.

Pentagon Play's Essentials Range Mud Kitchen is a great resource to use as a Pancake Toppings Art Station. With a large worktop, stainless steel sink and shelving for putting resources on and into, children can use different materials to enhance their pancake's appearance!  

6 children gather around the essentials mud kitchen

Pancake Storytime:

Pancake Day 2024 can be introduced to the children by integrating literacy into their lessons by reading pancake-themed stories (for example Ladybird Tales “The Big Pancake”), in a cozy corner of the outdoor space such as Pentagon Play's Secret Garden Gazebo.

Bringing nature to the children whilst they listen and learn on comfy benches about pancake-themed stories.

Follow this up with discussions about the characters, ingredients, and the process of making pancakes. Use the Secret Garden Gazebo’s chalkboard to note down the ingredients and how to make pancakes. This activity promotes listening and comprehension skills in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.

a birdseye view of the secret garden gazebo

Numeracy with Pancake Flipping:

A fun Mud Kitchen activity idea is to add numeracy into the mix by introducing a counting and flipping game. Children can take turns flipping mud pancakes and counting how many successful flips they achieve. This activity enhances hand-eye coordination, and numeracy skills, as well as promoting taking turns!

a little girl stands with a bowl and mixes things together at the mud kitchen island

Pancake Race:

A fun Mud Kitchen activity idea could be organising a friendly pancake race either individually or in groups of 5, where the children move from one Mud Kitchen station to another, performing different tasks related to pancake making such as:

  • Pick a bowl from station 1
  • Move to station 2 and scoop some mud into your bowl
  • Move to the Island and pour water into your bowl
  • Go back to station 1 and mix your pancake mixture
  • Finally at station 2 pour your mixture into a frying pan and flip your pancake!

This dynamic activity encourages and develops, communication and comprehension skills, physical development skills, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.

a little girl kneels down in front of the mud kitchen and points into the oven

Pancake Day Collaborative Art:

A fantastic collaborative Mud Kitchen activity idea is to create a large collective art piece representing Pancake Day. Provide paints or natural materials for children to express their understanding of the celebration.

Along with using Mud Kitchens to create pieces of artwork, another resource to integrate into the lesson would be Pentagon Play’s Essential Art Easel where children could work in groups to create exciting artwork together in the same environment.

Being a 4-sided Group Art Easel with 2 transparent panels. Children can peer at each other from one side to the other, enabling them to engage with each other, build valuable friendships, and develop their communication skills. This group activity encourages cooperation, interaction, and a sense of shared achievement.

children gather around the art easel and draw on it

Pancake Day in an EYFS setting provides a wonderful opportunity to blend tradition with modern educational practices.

Mud Kitchens, with their versatility and sensory-rich experiences, elevate the learning journey. By incorporating these engaging activities, educators can ensure that children not only learn about Pancake Day but also develop crucial skills in a playful and enjoyable environment.

So, Let the EYFS Mud Kitchen magic unfold as your little ones immerse themselves in the joy of flipping pancakes and creating lasting memories!