Groundhog Day activities will make learning about this holiday fun and interesting for the kids.
This simple holiday takes place on February 2nd. Tradition states that if Punxsutawney Phil, the resident groundhog from... Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania sees his shadow, winter will continue for six more weeks. If he does not see his shadow, spring will come early.
Many children are not aware of what a groundhog looks like, how they live, what they eat, etc. so there are many ways to teach and have fun on this day.
Try some of the Groundhog Day activities below for an interesting day during what is normally (at least in the north) a fairly dismal month.
Groundhogs like to nibble on greens. Create an assortment of spinach leaves, assorted lettuces, bite sized pieces of cucumbers or watercress. Let the kids tear the spinach leaves and lettuce into bite sized pieces and add cucumbers or watercress as desired. Top with a favorite dressing to add a groundhog snack to your meal.
Make any type of cupcakes with chocolate frosting. This is the face of the groundhog. Use two vanilla wafers (upright) for the ears. Place them at the top edge of the cupcake. Use two blue M & M's for the eyes, and a brown M & M for the nose. Then use two mini marshmallows for the teeth.
For these you will need hot dogs and biscuit dough (store-bought or homemade). Slice a hot dog into three equal pieces. Put one piece into the center of dough, wrapping the dough up the edges of the hot dog. Make sure the top of the hot dog is peeking out to give the appearance of the groundhog's head sticking out of the burrow. Follow the oven temp for the type of dough you use. Bake for 12 minutes.
Using blankets and chairs, build a tunnel for your children to crawl through. Turn down the lights and when a child comes out of the tunnel, shine the light on them so they can see their shadow.
Guess the Shadow
Hang a sheet up in the middle of the room. Turn out all the lights. Remove a few children from the area. Then... have one of the children stand in front of a flashlight. Let the children who are remaining try and guess who's shadow is on the sheet.
Measuring Two Feet
Groundhogs are roughly two feet in length full grown. Show the children how long two feet is, and then look for items in your home or yard that are the same size.
Find the Shadow
Trace an outline of a groundhog on black poster board. Laminate if desired. Hide the outline in the yard before the children arrive for the day. Take the children outside (providing the weather is good), line them up and say "Go!". See who can find the groundhog's shadow first.
When planning groundhog day activities - hopefully you will get a sunny day for this one.
Show children examples of how their shadow changes when they move. Let them experiment with what their shadow does before the drawing
activity. One child "poses" while his or her partner traces the
outline of the shadow on the pavement with a piece of sidewalk chalk. If time permits, let each child color in their shadow with black chalk rubbed sideways.
Choose a child to stand up and "strike a pose". The other children should copy, or "shadow" that move!
The children will catch on to this rather quick;y. Expect giggles as children will sometimes do odd moves. Let each child have a turn being the one to lead the "shadowers".
Play Shadow Tag
If it's sunny outside and you can easily see shadows, play shadow tag. Instead of touching a person, whoever is "It" must step on someone's shadow.
At story-time choose a story about a groundhog!
Tape white paper to the wall. Have a child sit on a chair in front of the white paper. Shine a large flashlight on the child to create a silhouette on the paper. Have another child trace the silhouette.