I remember waking up on February 2nd with this question: “Will the groundhog see his shadow?” It was a big deal in Maine.
That was the question of the season every year of my childhood. We waited with great anticipation for that fateful day.
I grew up in Maine and Groundhog Day, a US “holiday”, is a big deal.
Most Mainers desperately hoping for the groundhog to send the message that spring is on the way. If the groundhog sees his shadow, bad weather is to come and he is to go back into his burrow for six more weeks. If he does not see his shadow (i.e. the weather is cloudy), he is to stay above ground because spring is soon to arrive.
Beyond the simple traditions of the “holiday”, there are great ways to use this day to teach kids about weather, shadows and the groundhog! I compiled a list of Groundhog Day Activities. Enjoy!
Celebrating Groundhog Day
Groundhog Fun Facts
- Not a big animal, he ranges from 12-15 pounds
- Short ears, short tail, short legs
- Strong Jaw
- Also called a “Woodchuck“
- Signature sound is a whistle (sign of spring but also sign of alarm)
- Baby groundhogs are called kits or cubs
- One of the few animals that actually hibernates (can you name others? Here are Printables of Hibernating Animals)
- Here is a “book” you can print for your older child
Related Read: 25+ Beautiful Gardening Books for Kids
Check out these Groundhog Day Activities for Kids
What a great opportunity to teach kids science! Simply: An object is blocked and a shadow appears. A few groundhog day activities:
- Ask your child how the sun's position or the size of an object changes a shadow
- Find pictures of different types of shadows and compare shapes and sizes
- Go out in nature and seek out shadows
- Go to the local library and check out a few books on shadows (the following list is for preschoolers)
- I stumbled upon this shadow puppet print on Pinterest (source: Lyla & Blu by Gillian) and fell in love with it. Shadow puppets. Easy and fun.
Toddler and Preschool Groundhog Day Activities
Yup, we love Pinterest, don't we? Check out this board that captures ideas for Preschool Groundhog Day Activities. My son is 2.5 so we're a bit limited in what we can attempt on this board but we're all over it.
So far, our favorite book about Groundhog Day is Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts the Weather. Cute story that gets the point across to preschooler and toddlers.
More Groundhog Activities for Kids
A few great activity resources from blogs I love:
- Adorable activities and crafts for Groundhog Day from The Educators Spin on It
- Hand and Footprint Groundhog – In love with this hand and footprint craft from Play with Me
- Groundhog Egg Carton – Cutest Groundhog ever especially considering that it is made from an egg carton from Play with Me
Beyond the Groundhog Learning: Seasons & Weather
- National Audubon Society Field Guide to Weather: North America
- The Weather Wizard's Cloud Book: A Unique Way to Predict the Weather Accurately and Easily by Reading the Clouds
- Weather Station
- The Reasons for Seasons by Gail Gibbons
Have fun! Thanks for visiting!
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