Before diving into learning about groundhogs this week, take a minute to talk to your child about what the holiday is about. You can find more extensive descriptions of Groundhog Day online, but keep it age appropriate for your little ones.
I will be sharing something similar to this with my girls:
Groundhog Day falls on February 2 every year. It is a time when Americans wait to see if the official groundhog, Punxsutawney Phill, who lives near Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania sees his shadow or not. Everyone waits for Phil to awaken from his hibernation. When Phil comes out of his burrow, it is believed that if he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. However, if Phil does not see his shadow, spring is on its way.
This is only folklore, a custom or tradition that has been passed on for generations. It's a fun time to learn about ground hogs and to anticipate the ending of winter. Phil can't really decide what the weather is going to be. Only God can do that!
Explain to your child that groundhogs hibernate and live in burrows. Talk about what these words mean.
We will be getting out our tunnel to crawl through and to pretend to hibernate in. If you don't have a tunnel, use a large laundry basket or box and cover it with a blanket.
Take it further: Ask your child if he/she would like to visit a groundhog's burrow.
Here's a cute little song we did at story time last year to get things going.
sung to: "Are You Sleeping?"
Mr. Groundhog, Mr. Groundhog,
Please come out, please come out.
Tell us winter's leaving
Tell us spring is coming.
Bring good news! Bring good news!
I like to do crafts that we can use as part of the learning process and this is definitely one of them. Variations of this "oldie but goodie" can be found all over the web. Children just love this craft! We'll be doing this one on Monday.
Supplies Needed: toilet paper roll, brown paint (if your roll isn't already brown) or green paint, paintbrush, groundhog pattern, crayons, scissors, glue stick or tape and a large craft stick
*You can use any groundhog pattern. I have a pattern with the entire body from The Mailbox Magazine. Here is a cute pattern of just the groundhog's head that is sized for this project.
What to do:
- Paint the toilet paper roll if desired. (Let roll dry completely if you do paint it.)
- Color in the groundhog pattern picture and cut it out.
- Glue or tape groundhog to the large craft stick.
- Pop your groundhog in and out of his hole.
Take it further: Let your child shine a flashlight on the groundhog when it is peeking out of its burrow. Did he see his shadow? If the weather is nice, take the groundhog outside to see if he sees its shadow. Also, your child can use the groundhog for songs/rhymes done later in the week.
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