Use these Groundhog Day Activities for kids this year on February 2nd to teach them about groundhogs, shadows, seasons, and the tradition of Groundhog Day.
Groundhog Day is one of the most interesting holidays out there and kids love to get on board. Who wouldn’t love a holiday about furry little creatures and weather prediction, right? Groundhog Day Activities for Kids allow children to use their creativity, have fun and learn about groundhogs and the tradition of Groundhog day.
Groundhog Day Activities for Kids
If you want to entertain your wee ones with this February 2nd tradition, read on for some neat ideas and excitement to share.
Groundhog Day Learning Circle
This is a rather simple Groundhog Day activity that works quite well with a small group. Take the following Groundhog Day informative ideas and put them on index cards:
- Groundhog Day is held on February 2 every year.
- Groundhog Day is currently celebrated in the United States in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
- Phil is the groundhog that resides there and predicts the weather.
- If Phil can see his shadow when he comes out of his home, the weather is going to be cold for six more weeks.
- If Phil hangs out and has no shadow, then Spring is coming early.
- The first day of Spring in 2016 is on March 20th.
- Groundhogs are in the squirrel family (specifically rodents called marmots).
- Groundhogs are also called woodchucks, whistle-pigs, and land beavers.
- Groundhog Day originated in Germany and was originally called Candlemas.
- The Germans actually used a badger instead of a groundhog.
Once you write these down, have each child take one or more of them and sit in a circle. Use the facts as discussion points as each child reads off their Groundhog Day facts cards. This can take the conversation into all kinds of fun directions.
Getting to Know Your Groundhog
One of the first things kids are going to want to do is learn about the little groundhog. Why not set up a day trip to the local zoo, environmental center, or forest to look for the little guys? Generally speaking, the smaller centers will have groundhogs to look at and play with. If you prefer, you can actually stay in and go over some really cool groundhog information and facts. Here is a great groundhog information link and video of the little critters you can show.
Groundhog Day Masks
Some paper plates, crayons, string, and creative-minded children can make a fun Groundhog Day craft party. Making masks of groundhogs is not all that tough at all. Take the paper plates and cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth. Then have your little ones look over a good picture and create the rest. Run the string through the sides of the plates to make them tie on properly and you will have a whole slew of little groundhogs running around.
Books about Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day lends itself rather well to reading time too and there are books for every level of reader. Some of my favorite choices include:
These books all capture the fun and factual side of Groundhog Day and will entertain the kids fully. Spending time with books is always a good thing.
To really excite kids of all ages, get out a projector (or any light source and white backboard) and make shadow puppets. Most of us know the basics like bunny rabbits and dogs, but there are all kinds of things to create out there. Here is a great instructional video to help you learn about the various ones that you can do.
This Groundhog Puppet Craft for Kids is a fun moveable puppet that allows the groundhog to emerge from his “hole” and go back down.
On a sunny day, the kids are going to want to get moving outside. Now it is time for a Groundhog Day classic–Shadow Tag!
The game is simple. One person is “the groundhog” while the others try to avoid having them tag their shadow. This is especially fun if you add in a few variations. For example, have the groundhog wear a silly costume. If not, make all the others wear them.
Another great variation is to have the groundhog face a bigger challenge. Instead of tagging their shadows with his foot or hand, make them tag with their own shadow! This can lead to some pretty funny situations. If the game is too hard and people are avoiding the groundhog too easily, simply narrow the playing area.
Check out the Groundhog Chalk Pastel Lesson on this page (scroll down until you find the free video lesson). All it requires is chalk pastels and paper to create this art project.
Groundhog Day is a day to celebrate the passing of winter and the coming Spring. Having a great time with Groundhog Day activities for kids is a simple way to celebrate an annual tradition and have a good time doing so.