Shrove Tuesday (otherwise known as Pancake Day) is the perfect opportunity to bring families together and serve some delicious, batter-based treats! Cook up something special with these tried-and-tested ideas...
'We decided to celebrate Pancake Day with some games and yummy pancakes. We chose a Friday straight after school so that families could stay after pick-up. We set up some games alongside the pancake kitchen. We had races with children balancing pancakes on their heads and pancake-throwing competitions (we used tortilla wraps to minimise mess!). What surprised us most was the demand for pancakes - we took advance orders and they just kept coming! There were four people on pancake-making and serving duties (we made quite a lot in advance, too), and six people coordinating the games, but demand was so high that some of the school staff came to the rescue. Our aim was not to make money, but to have fun and reinforce the community spirit of the school. We really succeeded, with the majority of parents and children joining us and everyone mucking in to help - and we raised an unexpected £150 from a 45-minute event!'
Sarah Ficken, PTA Chair, Hillmead Primary School, Bishop's Stortford, Herts (225 pupils)
Sponsored pancake flip
Transform your traditional Pancake Day celebrations with a sponsored pancake flip. Challenge pupils to flip one pancake as many times as they can in one minute, or measure the amount of time it takes them to complete 100 flips. Hand out sponsorship forms and ask pupils to collect donations from family, friends, or the wider community. Find some lightweight frying pans suitable for children, and purchase scotch pancakes from a local supermarket. If possible, cut costs by asking the supermarket to donate the pancakes. Wrap each pancake in clingfilm the night before, as this should stop them falling apart whilst being flipped. Create certificates for each child that takes part, with prizes for the most flips done in one minute, and so on. Have one volunteer per frying pan to count the number of flips, and one to keep time using a stopwatch. Offer help to younger children that may struggle to flip the pancakes, and consider creating different rules for each age group.
'For several years we have been making and serving pancakes for our pupils on Pancake Day. We prepare and cook the pancakes in a small kitchen in the school's activity centre, using just a table, cooker and sink. Four very willing adults start mixing the eggs, flour and milk very early to ensure that all the children get served at mid morning break. Then down to the cooking: two people, armed with two frying pans each, cook and flip pancakes, whilst another person mixes more ingredients as needed. A fourth person tears greaseproof paper to separate each pancake, and wraps each in foil to keep them warm in the oven until the children come out to play. The KS1 children come out first, and the race to serve all the children on time begins! It's a team effort, as we take packs of pancakes out to the teachers, who serve them to the hungry children with lemon and sugar or chocolate sauce. When the KS2 children come out, nearly 220 pancakes are cooked. The teachers collect the money at registration, this way anyone who forgets on the day doesn't have to go without. We charge 30p a pancake and raise some funds for the school (this year we made £18 profit). Everyone involved has a great time, and the children love it, which makes it all the more rewarding.'
Fiona Carlin, volunteer, Birchwood Primary School, Suffolk (200 pupils)