First, the movie Groundhog’s Day is one of my favorites. I can’t wait to show the kids this one when they’re older, and I have daydreams of taking the kids to Pennsylvania someday for the big event.
So, it’s time for Groundhog’s Day! Here’s a few fun ways to celebrate. And, no silly, you don’t have to do them all. Pick one. Pick two. Rest. Relax. Don’t stress. You do too much as it is.
1. Yum, Yum: Here’s my favorite recipe for groundhog nuggets…kidding, but here’s a cute groundhog dessert sans minced groundhog meat from Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons!
2. Geography: Where in the world is Pennsylvania? Check a map together!
3. Craft: All ages of kids will have a hard time turning down this quick, fun, art activity. Fingerprint Groundhogs! Too cute.
4. Social Studies-History: The Punxsutawney Groundhog Day Club Website where you can see the event, all the history including videos of past predictions, what’s the deal with those old guys in tuxes and top hats. There’s also a TEACHER link (where I found the groundhog fingerprint idea!)
Here’s a quick recap of the history courtesy of above link so you can show off to your kids, friends, significant other, or spouse: Thanks to drinking an elixir of life “Phil” the groundhog, originally called Br’er Groundhog and later named after King Philip, has been a weather forecaster since the 1800s when he began with Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers. On Feb 2nd, he comes out of his burrow on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, PA to tell the Groundhog Club president in “Groundhogese” if he saw his shadow (6 more weeks of winter) or not (early spring.) According to Phil, in the past 5 years he’s seen his shadow (long winter) 3 times and not (early spring) twice, including the 2011 prediction, but keep in mind, Phil’s stats are said to only be 37% accurate. Glad I’m not a 37% accurate mom.
5. Science-Zoology: Study those varmints! Turn this coloring sheets from About.com Homeschooling over and, with your child, write some other facts on the back about groundhogs. Compare/Contrast a groundhog to a squirrel. If , like me, you forgot to grab some Groundhog Day books at the library, use this link from National Geographic to learn more.
If your child is younger, practice the letter G or make a list of other words that start with G. Write a groundhog story or poem or joke or draw a picture if he saw his shadow or not. Cut out the groundhog, add a straw or chopstick or ruler or popsicle stick and turn it into a puppet. Go on a “G” hunt and use the groundhog as a “word wand”. Or act out the whole see or not see his shadow and include a flashlight!
6. IMPOSTERS! Lesson. You don’t have to be first to be successful. Ask these copycats…copygroundhogs. I think this would be a GREAT idea to let your kids write a story about!
7. Science-Math-Meteorology: Use all this weather prediction talk as a springboard into learning about weather! Ask your child! What do you want to know? How can you find out? Write down a list with them and go forth into the world of weather if the interest is there. That’s potential for a great 5 minute conversation, or month long theme on it’s own.
8. Science-Arts… the coolest part of this whole thing, besides the movie, is the SHADOW part! I’ll leave you with a tease…a life lesson to philosophize over. Click here or on the picture to visit a post about shadows!
Here’s to world peace, Shelisa