Groundhog Day Activities and Fun Ideas for Kids

You have come to the right place if you are looking for fun, engaging and exciting Groundhog day themed activities to do with toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Our activities are widely used by teachers, moms, dads, child care providers and more!

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Groundhog Day— 2 February; in American folklore, a day that is popularly supposed to provide the key to the weather for the remainder of the winter. Specifically, if the groundhog, upon emerging from its hole, casts a shadow, it will return underground, thereby foreboding more wintry weather. One of the most popular Groundhog Day celebrations occurs in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, when the media gather at sunrise to see whether the local groundhog (named Phil) casts a shadow.

Groundhog Day Arts and Crafts

arts
Make a groundhog’s home
Find a box large enough for a child to crawl in & let them decorate it like a groundhog’s home. Paint it , draw trees on it, etc.. Then let them pretend to be groundhog’s crawling in & out of their “hole”.

Groundhog Puppets
Using brown construction paper, cut groundhog faces about 1 1/2 in across. Spread glue on face and attach thin whisps of cotton to represent fur. Glue on paper eyes, nose and mouth. Attach to a popsicle stick. Cut a slit in the bottom of a small paper cup & have the children push the bottom of the stick into it. Show the children how to make the groundhog appear & disappear. Using these puppets, sing this song & have the children act out the movements.

Imagine!
Let a child pretend to be a groundhog and “pop” out of a cardboard box. Light directed at the “groundhog” will produce his shadow. One time the child can see his shadow & “pop” back down & another time he will not see it so the “groundhog” stays up to “play”.

Groundhog Puppets
Use felt-tip markers to draw groundhog faces on the top halves of tongue depressors. Give them each a small paper cup with a slit in the bottom. Have them push the bottoms of their tongue depressors through the slits in their cups. Show them how to move their sticks up & down to make their groundhogs appear & disappear.

If I Were A Groundhog
Have the children draw pictures of what they would do if they were groundhogs & saw their shadows. Ask them to describe their pictures as you write down their stories on their papers.

Groundhog Mask
Have children color a paper plate brown & then cut out holes for the children’s eyes. Cut a nose & mouth from construction paper & glue on plate. Punch a hole on each side of the plate & attach yarn. Tie around child’s head.

Brown Playdough
Mix up a batch of brown playdough & sculpt groundhogs.

Groundhog Tunnel Game
Have the children line up in a row. To form a tunnel, have them stand close together with their legs apart. Let the last person in the row be the groundhog. Have the first groundhog crawl through the tunnel on his or her stomach. When the groundhog reaches the end of the tunnel, have him or her stand up & become a part of the tunnel while a new groundhog starts wiggling through.

Shadow Tag
Let the children play shadow tag on a sunny day. Choose a child to be “it”. Have “it” try to step on another child’s shadow. Then “it” steps on someone’s shadow, that child becomes the next “it”.

Shadow making
Explain to the children that shadows are caused by objects that get in the way of the sun or a bright light. Shine the light from a film projector, a slide projector or a lamp on a bare wall. Turn off the lights in the room. Let the children stand in front of the bright light & experiment with making their own shadows. Ask them to make big shadows, little shadows, animal shadows and moving shadows.

Mr. Groundhog
Let the children take turns being Mr. Groundhog popping out of his hole (a larger cardboard box). Arrange room so that you can create or take away a shadow. Overhead lights would eliminate a shadow & a low light aimed directly at the “groundhog” would create a shadow.

Groundhog Tunnel
Cut a hole in each end of a large cardboard box. Have children crawl in one end & out the other end.

Groundhog Maze
Set up a maze in room by using tables & chairs. Kids can pretend they are groundhogs crawling through their tunnels.

Shadow Project
Have the children make their own “shadows” out of black bulletin board paper. I send each “shadow” home with the children with the following letter:

Daycare Parents:
Let me introduce myself, I am ____________’s Shadow. My name is Flat_________________. I would really enjoy it if you would send me through the mail, to one of your family members or friends that live out of town. Please ask them to take me to two or three points of interest around their town and take a picture of me. (They can use tape and tape me up or prop me up against something. Get creative!!) I would also appreciate a picture of me with them and one with __________________ and their family. I also have a mini- journal that I would like someone to write about where I’ve gone and all of my adventures.

You can send this letter with me, so it can help explain.After that, please have them fold me up and send me, the journal, and the pictures back to ____________________ by March 10th. At that time, I will get with ______________________ and their class and talk about my adventures, read my journal and look at my pictures.

Other Flat Kids are going to other places and getting their pictures taken, I can’t wait to find out where I’m going!!!

Thanks for taking care of me!

Signed,Flat _________________________

PS: If you have any questions about this fun project, please let Sharon (____________’s teacher) know! She’ll be more than happy to help!

Talk about shadows
Big, small, alike, different, making one at night, on a cloudy day, etc.
Make shadows with blocks and a flashlight or anything with a flashlight

Make a groundhog:
Collect several 2 liter bottles Wrap brown construction paper around the bottle and tape it closed
Use wiggly eyes, crayons, construction paper, pom poms, etc. to make the groundhog
When done slide it off the bottle
Find a groundhog shape and make a paper bag puppet

Talk about the groundhog.
A groundhog is a furry animal that is bigger than a cat. It is also called a woodchuck. Groundhogs are vegetarians, They dig tunnels under the ground and sleep there all winter. They eat alfalfa & clover.

Groundhog Stick Puppets
Cut out a groundhog & color it brown. Tape to craft stick.

Discuss that on February 2nd, it is believed that the groundhog comes out of his burrow. If the sun is shining, he sees his shadow & there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If it is cloudy, the groundhog cannot see his shadow, so he will come out & that is a sign of an early spring.

Groundhog Mask
Color a paper plate brown and then cut out holes for the children’s eyes.Cut a nose & mouth from construction paper & glue on plate. Punch a hole on each side of the plate & attach yarn and tie around each child’s head.

Groundhog Surprise
Use a cardboard box big enough that a child can sit in it. Have child get in the box and close the top flaps. Have the rest of the children recite the following poem:

Groundhog, groundhog,
What do you think?
Will the sun be shining,
Or cloudy today?

Use the light switches in the classroom. If the lights are on, the groundhog (child) will see his/her shadow and go back inside. If the lights are off, the groundhog (child) won’t see his/her shadow and will come outside. Change it around so that the child inside wonders whether the lights will be on or off.

Is Today a Shadow Day?
Check the weather outside today and ask the children if today would be a good day to see your shadow.

Shadow Hand Play
Use an overhead projector or film projector. Experiment on how to hold your hands to make different kinds of animals. Then hold your hands in front of the light projector & project the shapes onto the wall or a screen. See if children can guess what the shapes are supposed to be.

Shadow Play
Make sure children do this in a place where they can see each other’s shadows. Have them try to step on each other’s shadows. What is a Shadow?

Here are some materials that can be placed in the learning centers in addition to your regular materials.

Provide a pan of dirt (use a sand & water table if available) for children to dig groundhog tunnels.

Ground Hog Craft
You will need: A Ground Hog coloring picture or blank paper, markers, scissors, craft stick or popsicle stick, glue or tape, Paper cup, brown paint.

Have the children paint the cup brown….set aside to dry. Let the children color their picture of the ground hog (or draw one of their own) and have them cut it out. Next have them glue or tape the back of the picture to a craft stick. When the cup is dry cut a slit in the bottom of the cup and insert the craft stick through the slit so the ground hog is inside the cup. Now the children can make the ground hog peek in and out of his “hole” to look for its shadow.

Mr. Groundhog Folklore has it that on Feb. 2, Mr. Groundhog wakes up from his long winter’s nap and goes outside. They say that if he sees his shadow, he runs back inside his hole to sleep, indicating that there will be 6 more weeks of winter. If Mr. Groundhog does not see his shadow he stays outside to play, which means that spring will soon arrive. Let the children take turns being Mr. Groundhog popping out of his hole ( a large cardboard box) while everyone recites the poem below. Hint: Arrange the room so that you can create or take away a shadow. Overhead lights would eliminate a shadow and a low light aimed directly at the “groundhog” would create a shadow.

Art:
Have the children make a groundhog with a styrofoam cup or paper cup. Use a styrofoam ball or just use construction paper, straw, felt pens, glue, and scissor.

Glue a circle to the straw, decorate a face on the circle to resemble a groundhog. Place a hole in the bottom of the cup. While holding the cup upright, stick the straw down into the cup and out the hole in the bottom.

Social Studies:
Have the children talk about the sun and how it is night in some countries and daylight in others.

Science:
Have the children explain how shadows are made or explain it to them.

Create a groundhog tunnel.
Cut a hole in each end of a large cardboard box. Have the children crawl in one end and out the other end.
– Set up a maze in the classroom by using tables and chairs. Children can pretend they are groundhogs crawling through their tunnels.
– Since groundhogs are known for poking out of holes, let children sample some foods with holes, such as bagels or Swiss cheese.
– Discuss groundhogs and other animals that live underground. Make a list of animals that live in a burrow as groundhogs do.
If possible, display nonfiction books and pictures that show the different sections into which a burrow is divided, such as a sleeping area and a place to store food.

Define hibernation.
Hibernation is when certain animals go into a very deep sleep for the winter. Talk about animals that hibernate during the winter as the groundhogs do. Mention that a groundhog is also called a woodchuck and is a member of the rodent family.

Mural
Make a large mural of an underground area, including such details as tree roots, rocks, and animal burrows and tunnels. Have each student make a small groundhog to place on the mural and give it a name. Brainstorm a title for the habitat such as “Woodchuck Acres Estates.” Label all the items found in the mural. (This could also be done as a bulletin board.)

Do a yes-no graph and have students vote on whether they would like six more weeks of winter. This can be done easily by drawing a line down the center of a large piece of tagboard and labeling one side “yes” and the other side “no”. At the top of the graph write the question, “Do you want six more weeks of winter?” Each student can vote by clipping a clothespin labeled with his or her name on the appropriate side of the graph.

 

Groundhog Day Recipes and Snacks

food
Groundhog Lunches
Groundhogs like to nibble on grasses & other greens that grow near their burrows. For “groundhog lunches”, make watercress & romaine lettuce salads to eat with a favorite dressing.

Shadow Cookies
Give children two different types of cookie dough. (Refrigerated sugar & chocolate chips cookie dough would work well.) Make two balls & push them into each other. Flatten the cookies and bake them to create a shadow cookie.

Making Shadows
Using chocolate chips and butterscotch or peanut butter chips, let the children create shadows. Using the light colored chips have them make a small shape, & next to it, use the darker chips to create it’s shadow. The shadow may be larger than the original shape.

Groundhog Stew
4 lbs. beef for stew, cut in 1 1/2″ cubes 1 lb. carrots sliced 2 1/2 lbs. potatoes, quartered 1/2 lb celery, chunks 1 onion diced. In large pan, cook the beef in water until it is almost done. Add vegetables and cook until tender. Two envelopes of brown gravy mix can be added for extra flavor.

Food with holes
Since groundhogs are known for poking out of holes, let children sample some foods with holes such as donuts, bagels, or Swiss cheese.

 

Groundhog Day Songs, Poems and Finger Plays

story
FEBRUARY 2
There’s only one day the whole long year, that I hope the pray the sun won’t appear.
The second of February, you all know, the ground hog goes searching for his shadow.
If he should find it, the story is told, we’ll have six more weeks of winter’s cold.
But if it’s cloudy, his shadow’s not there. There’ll soon be warm weather and days will be fair.
So please, Sun, for just this one day, find a big dark cloud–and stay away!

HERE’S A LITTLE GROUNDHOG
(sung to “I’m A Little Teapot”)
Here’s a little groundhog,
furry and brown,
He’s popping up
to look around.
If he sees his shadow,
down he’ll go.
Then six more weeks of winter
– oh, no!

GROUNDHOG, GROUNDHOG
Groundhog, Groundhog, popping up today.
Groundhog, Groundhog, can you play?
If you see your shadow, hide away.
If there is no shadow, you can stay.
Groundhog, Groundhog, popping up today.
Groundhog, Groundhog, can you play?

LOOK ALL AROUND
(sung to “I’m a Little Teapot”)
See the little groundhog,
Furry and Brown.
See the little groundhog,
Look all around.
If he sees his shadow,
down he goes.
There’s more winter,
Little Groundhog knows.

LITTLE GROUNDHOG
(“sung to “Little White Duck”)
There’s a little groundhog
Who lives in the ground,
A little groundhog
Who likes to look around.
She comes outside on
Groundhog’s Day
If she sees her shadow,
then she runs away.
There’s a little groundhog,
Who loves to stay and play
When spring’s on its way.

CAN YOU PLAY?
(sung to “Frere Jacques”)
Little groundhog, little groundhog,
Can you play, can you play?
Popping up your head, Popping up your head,
Can you play? Don’t run away.
Little Groundhog, Little groundhog,
Can you play, can you play?
Running all around, On the cold hard ground
Can you play? Please, please stay!
Little groundhog, little groundhog,
Can you play, can you play?
You can’t see your shadow, You can’t see your shadow,
Here comes spring, hip hurray!

I’M A LITTLE GROUNDHOG
(sung to “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a little groundhog,
Furry and Brown.
When winter comes
I sleep underground.
I’m curled up
As cozy as can be.
When it’s spring,
Please wake me!

NINE LITTLE GROUNDHOGS
(sung to “Ten Little Indians”)
One little, two little, Three little groundhogs,
Four little, five little, Six little groundhogs,
Seven little, eight little, Nine little groundhogs,
Sleeping down under the ground.
Have fun singing this song with loud voices, with “inside voices”, with whisper voices, & then with “lip” voices (lips move but no sound comes out).

WHAT IS A SHADOW (finger play)
If I walk, my shadow walks. (Use two fingers, in walking motion)
If I run, my shadow runs (Same fingers in running motion)
And when I stand still, as you can see (Same fingers, standing still)
My shadow stands beside me. (Use first two fingers on other hand and stand beside the first two fingers) When I hop, my shadow hops, (First two fingers, hopping)
When I jump, my shadow jumps (Same fingers, jump) And when I sit still, as you can see, (same fingers, bend at knuckles to sit.) My shadow sits beside of me, (Use as before, both sets of fingers sitting beside each other. )

MR. GROUNDHOG
(sung to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”)
Mr. Groundhog in the ground.
Pop your head up, look around.
Do you see your shadow?
Look up high and look down low.
Mr. Groundhog in the ground.
Pop your head up, look around.

GROUNDHOG SONG
(sung to “Oh, My Darling Clementine”)
Mr. Groundhog, Mr. Groundhog,
Where are you today?
Mr. Grounghog, Mr. Groundhog,
Are you coming out to play?
If your shadow you do see,
Will you run away and hide?
Then more days of winter
We’ll expect to see outside.

GROUNDHOG
(sung to “Camptown Races”)
Who is scared of his shadow?
Groundhog, Groundhog!
Who can make the winter go?
That’s the groundhog, too.
If his shadow shows,
Six more weeks of snow.
Little groundhog, do not fear,
Spring will soon be here.

I’M A LITTLE GROUNDHOG
(sung to “I’m A Little Teapot”)
I’m a little groundhog, it’s my day.
Wake and stretch; go out and play.
Down in my burrow, down so deep,
Time to wake up, from my long winter’s sleep.
Grumble, grumble, scratch, scratch, (dramatic action)
Grunt, grunt, yawn.
I’ll eat my breakfast in your front lawn.
I’m a little groundhog, it’s my day.
Wake and stretch; go out and play.

FIVE GROUNDHOGS
The first groundhog digs a home in the fall,
And curls up all winter rolled up like a ball.
The second groundhog comes out of his lair.
On February second to get some fresh air.
The third groundhog looks up at the sun.
He then sees his shadow and goes on the run.
The fourth groundhog at his dark shadow peeks,
He goes into his deep home for six more weeks.
The fifth groundhog hopes that skies will be gray
So that he’ll know that spring’s on its way.

WAKE UP SONG
(sung to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”)
Wake up, Groundhog.
Time to see
What the weather’s
Going to be.
Time to stretch,
Time to think,
Time to eat,
And time to drink.
Wake up Groundhog,
Time to see
What the weather’s
Going to be!

THE LITTLE GROUNDHOG
(sung to “Pop goes the Weasel.” The children will all curl up on the floor and “snore” and “pop” as the song indicates.)
Sleeping, sleeping in the ground, All winter long, The little groundhog sleeps so sound. Snore! Goes the groundhog!
Sleeping, sleeping in the ground, All winter long, The little groundhog stetches and wakes. Pop! Goes the groundhog!
He rubs his eyes, and looks around What does he see? He sees the sun so bright and warm. Pop! Goes the groundhog!
He’s sleeping, sleeping in the ground, All winter long, The little groundhog sleeps so sound, Snore! Goes the groundhog.

GROUNDHOG GROUNDHOG
Let the children take turns popping up out of a cardboard carton
“burrow” as everyone recites the poem below.
Groundhog, Groundhog,
popping up today. Groundhog,
Groundhog, can you play?
If you see your shadow, can you stay?
Groundhog, Groundhog,
popping up today.
Groundhog, Groundhog, can you play?

If desired, arrange room so that you can create or take away a shadow. Overhead lights would eliminate a shadow and a low light aimed directly at the “groundhog” would create a shadow.

HERE’S A LITTLE GROUNDHOG
(sung to “I’m a Little Teapot”)
Here’s a little groundhog, furry and brown
He’s popping up to look around
If he sees his shadow, down he’ll go
Then six more weeks of winter – Oh, no!

Do this poem with a puppet groundhog, made by gluing a picture of a groundhog on a craft stick and inserting the craft stick in a paper cup, poking the stick through a hole in the bottom of the cup.

 

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