By Tracey Dowdy
Groundhog Day is next Tuesday, February 2nd. At the risk of stating the obvious, many of us have felt like the past ten months have been the real-version of Bill Murray’s classic movie.
But, you can make Groundhog Day a little more fun for your kiddos with these fun, family activities.
- Start the day with groundhog shaped pancakes. Find a simple recipe and pattern instructions here.
- Then, read Groundhog’s Day Off by Robb Pearlman. Since groundhog is tired of answering the same old question – will there be six more weeks of winter? – ask your kids what they would ask groundhog. Pearlman’s book is a sweet story that, along with being engaging and funny for kids, teaches the importance of friendships and the need to care for our friends.
- Learn about Punxatawney Phil from the groundhog himself – well, at least the people charged with hosting his website.
- Really, could there be a better day to learn about shadows than Groundhog Day? There are a host of shadow-themed activities and lesson plans out there. Scroll through and find the ones that work for your age group and access to supplies (some activities are classroom-based, so there may be elements you don’t have access to).
- Make Groundhog Day themed snacks – Pinterest has roughly nine jillion suggestions.
- Kids can also have fun learning about shadows through What’s That Shadow?: A Photo Riddle Book by Christopher L. Harbo. After you’ve read the book, have your kids gather random items from around the house and see who can guess what they are just by their shadows.
- You could even read Moonbear’s Shadow by Frank Asch and learn about how shadows move with the sun. Trace your child’s shadow on butcher paper or with chalk at different times of the day and show them how their shadow moves similarly to the hands of a clock.
- Make a peeking groundhog puppet from one of the many templates online (See here, here, or here for just a few examples).
- Take a few minutes to learn about Groundhog Day’s history, and separate fact from fiction.
- Have your kids make their own predictions about whether or not we’ll see six more weeks of winter or whether we’ll get an early Spring. Learn about probability with this fun activity using items you have around the house.
- Homeschooling Simplified has a whole Groundhog Day unit with activities, coloring pages, word searches, writing prompts, and crosswords.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.