Pancakes and Symmetry

Ah, the mornings when all four children sleep until 8. This does not happen often; their day usually starts at 7. Since the house was quiet, I decided to make pancakes while enjoying my tea (Mother’s Milk herbal with honey, if you were wondering).

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As so often happens, I became a little sidetracked. I saw the squirt bottle while putting away dishes and thought, “Oh! I haven’t made letter pancakes in quite a while!”

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Letter pancakes are simple:

  1. Use an old ketchup bottle, bag with a corner cut off, or cheap condiment squeeze bottle filled with batter to write a letter in mirror image (or shape, picture, word…). It must be backwards. When the pancake is flipped, it flips the letter.
  2.  Let the letter cook until it starting to set up.
  3. Pour the desired amount of batter on top of the letter to make your pancake as you normally would. (I use a large cookie scoop!)
  4.  Allow the pancake to cook until bubbles form around the outer edges.
  5. Flip the pancake  and continue cook until lightly browned on the other side.
  6. Don’t forget to entertain any happy babies or children who woke up in the middle of this  process.

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Aa for Declan (who is learning his letters), Bb for Bella, and Cc for Charlie.

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Declan was particularly impressed.

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These pancakes pulled a question from Bella: “But how did you do it?!” After explaining the process and writing in mirror image, I told her “They must be written backwards unless the letter is symmetrical.” Ah. You can guess the question that she asked next. So I explained by drawing some quick pictures.

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As is so often the case, quick pictures spark a desire to learn much more! Our entire week turned into symmetry week. We colored pictures…

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…we made name art…

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…we watched a video on symmetry…

…and we used legos, rocks, and apples to make more symmetry.

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They have been seeing symmetry everywhere: in our flowers and leaves, our kitchen sink, shirts and pants, faces, and animals.

All of this happened because of a simple pancake breakfast. Learning is FUN and it happens when you least expect. You have to be ready to run down the rabbit trail with your children, but why would you not want to do that?

For more ideas on activities using symmetry with young children, see my Pinterest Board: Mathematics and Nature Study: Symmetry

About Bethany

I'm a wife of nearly 8 years to partner in blogging and crime, Danny. We have four children: Bella, age 6, Declan, age 4, Charlotte, age 2, and Nikolai, age 4 months. I enjoy mothering, homemaking, crafting, and homeschooling and am in a nearly constant state of activity trying to keep up with all my little ones.
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