Cooking Disponible en español

Fun Pancakes with Mix-Ins for Adding and Subtracting

As you make tasty pancakes, your child can count small piles of ingredients and practice putting groups together or taking some away.

Activity Summary

Make pancakes with the mix-in of your choice! Whether it’s fruit or chocolate chips, these small ingredients can be counted, put together, and taken away for lots of operations practice. Our tips will help you start the conversation while you cook.



1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil for batter

Cooking spray or oil for griddle or frying pan

Mix-ins of your choice: 1 cup blueberries, ½ cup chocolate chips 1 cup sliced bananas, or other favorites


  • Cups for measuring 1- and ½ cup amounts


  1. Everyone washes their hands with soap and water while counting to 20 before starting to cook.
  2. If you’re using berries as one of your mix-ins, wash and drain them.
  3. Beat the egg with a fork in a small bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
  5. Pour in the milk, beaten egg, and oil. Mix until smooth.
  6. Add the mix-ins to the bowl and stir gently until they are evenly distributed.
  7. Lightly oil the griddle or frying pan using cooking spray or oil. Heat over medium-high heat.
  8. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle or pan, using about ¼ cup for each pancake.
  9. Allow pancakes to cook on one side until air bubbles start to form around the edges.
  10. Flip pancakes using a spatula. Cook until the second side is golden brown.

Math Tips

  • Give your child a pile of chocolate chips and count how many are in the pile. Then ask, “If we take away one chocolate chip and eat it, how many are left?”
  • You can also ask how many chocolate chips you’d have if you added one more to the pile.
  • Put three banana slices on one side of a cutting board, then two more banana slices on the other side. Have your child count each pile separately, then ask, “How many bananas are there altogether?” Ask them to check by putting the piles together and counting.
  • Put out a pile of eight berries and say you want to eat three berries. Have your child count out three and give them to you to eat. Then ask, How many are left?” Your child may need to count again to answer–that’s okay!
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