- Wake up early. The famous spokes-rodent for Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil, gets an early start. The festivities start before 6:00 am, and once the sun is up in western Pennsylvania, which is shortly after 7:00 am, the whole nation will be waiting to hear about whether or not he has seen his shadow. Well, probably that’s not the case, but if you want to catch the big event as soon as it happens, you might need to set your alarm. Even if you sleep in, though, you can still hear about it later.
- Learn some fun facts about groundhogs. You can do this by taking books out of the library or by visiting a groundhog day website. Here are a couple to get you started: Did you know that groundhogs average 12 to 15 pounds? That’s the size of a large cat! Groundhogs know how to whistle, and they do it in order to attract a partner. Baby groundhogs are called kits, and usually are born in litters of four to nine babies.
- Make themed snacks. Use your imagination; you could make dirt cake with crushed oreos sprinkled on top of a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, for example. You could also add cocoa powder and sugar to pancake mix and call them groundhog pancakes. To counteract all of that chocolate, convince the kids to eat some groundhog food: As vegetarians, they eat fruits and veggies, so encourage them to eat up like good little groundhogs!
- Have fun with shadows. Since the whole point of groundhog day is to predict the weather based on whether Phil sees his shadow, take advantage if it’s a sunny day. Have the kids stand in the driveway and trace their shadows with sidewalk chalk, then have them color them in. If your driveway is covered in snow or the sun is hiding tomorrow, you could do the same with a strong overhead light (or a big flashlight) and a roll of butcher paper. As an alternative activity, how about making shadow puppets?
- Watch Groundhog Day! This Bill Murray classic is probably better for older kids. Pop some popcorn and get ready to laugh on a cold afternoon.
Are you hoping for more winter, or for spring to come quickly?
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