According to folklore, on Groundhog Day if the groundhog pokes his head out of his hole and sees his shadow (retreating back to his burrow), there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he doesn't see his shadow and leaves his burrow, then spring weather will begin very soon. Groundhog Day celebrations take place across the country with the largest in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil lives. Enjoy Groundhog Day with these fun family activities.
Young kids love puppets. You can make a simple groundhog puppet out of a paper lunch bag. Kids can draw the groundhog's face on the bag with crayons, markers or paint. Also try one of these other fun Groundhog Day crafts — perfect for preschoolers and other young kids.
Teach your little ones about their shadows. All you need is a big roll of butcher paper and a lamp. One child can trace the other child's shadow onto the paper, and then they can trade places. Your kids can trace shadows to create silhouette pictures, or just color in the tracings when they are finished.
Help your kids create a chart to track the weather and see if this year's Groundhog Day prediction is right. Set up columns for the high and low temperatures, precipitation, etc. for the next six weeks. You never know — the groundhog just may be right this year!
Teach your children about the groundhog (also known as a woodchuck). National Geographic offers some great pictures and information about the animal. Even young kids can learn about the groundhog. You can find free coloring pages featuring a Groundhog Day theme on various websites. This Groundhog printable is adorable and perfectly suited for the holiday.
Celebrate Groundhog Day by watching the 1993 film of the same name. The town of Punxsutawney and its groundhog, Phil, are portrayed in the film, even though it was actually shot in a town in Illinois. The movie Groundhog Day stars Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Phil Connors (Murray) is a weatherman covering the Groundhog Day events in Punxsutawney and finds himself repeating the same day over and over again.
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