An easy math game inspired by the fun children’s book, If You Give a Pig a Pancake, this Pancake Math Flipping Game is a fun way to test your math knowledge!
Pancake Math Activity
Have you ever read any of Laura Numeroff’s “If You Give a…” books? The first installation was “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” – a cause-and-effect story about how if you give a mouse a cookie, he is going to want a glass of milk to go with it… then something else, then something else, getting more and more silly as you go.
We have three of these books and enjoy them all – even when you know the format, it’s still so fun to see all the trouble these animals can cause and guessing what they will want next.
We usually love playing our own version of “If You Give a Girl a Cookie” after reading any of these books, each of us coming up with silly things that we need if someone gives us something, but this time Ella came up with a great idea to make our own “Pancake Math” activity.
I was having a hard time picturing what she was describing, so she drew it out for me.
Basically, it’s an interactive math game that incorporates some pretend play and also some fine motor skill building with that pancake flipping wrist action.
We decided to work on some addition questions but you can use this method for whatever math skill set your child is working on. If you’re a decent artist, you could even use this game to work on word recognition – writing the word on one side and drawing a picture on the back. Either way, the back provides the answer and is a built-in self correction.
(For another example of how you can cater this basic set-up to your child’s focus area, check out how my friend Kim set up her Pancake Flipping activity – she and Ella came up with the same idea this week!)
This easy “If you give a Pig a Pancake” activity took less than 5 minutes to set up and we can use the pancake questions over and over again. I’ve added them to my daughter’s play kitchen to naturally work some math practice into her pretend play, and it would make a great activity for kids to play with on a low-key morning as they are waiting for you to make breakfast.
Materials for Pancake Flip Math
- Cardboard or foam
- Dark marker
- Round object to trace (cookie cutter or a cup)
- Mini spatula
- Mini frying pan
Tip: don’t use paper or cardstock for the pancakes, it’s too lightweight and flimsy and will be difficult for kids to pick up with the spatula and flip.
How to Do Our Pancake Math Activity
First, prepare your “pancakes” by tracing out a circular object several times onto cardboard and cut out the circles.
Write a math question on one side of each circle and the answer on the underside.
Stack the pancake questions and set up your activity by placing out the frying pan, spatula and plate.
Have your child place a pancake in the frying pan and work on answering the question.
When they are confident they have answered correctly, have them flip over the pancake to reveal the answer.
If they get the question wrong, the pancake needs more time to cook! Have them work on the question again to figure out where they made a mistake.
If they get the question right, they can flip the pancake onto the plate!
The game is done when all of the pancakes are in a “short stack” on the plate.
To play with multiple players, simply take turns making pancakes (and answering questions).
Grab your free printable for our pancake flip math activity:
This was such a fun and easy to make Pancake Math activity to follow up a reading of “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” – for more fun activities inspired by Laura Numeroff’s book, check out:
Pancake Number Stacks – Rainy Day Mum
How to Make Swedish Pancakes – Mama Smiles
Kids Cooking Lesson: German Pancakes- Teach Beside Me
Felt Pancake Busy Bag – Views From a Step Stool
Shape Matching Pancake and Butter Pat Game by JDaniel4’s Mom
Snowman Pancake Decoration Station- Toddler Approved