Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog Day FUN!

Here are some fun "Groundhog Day" crafts and activities to do with the kids. 

Start out the day with a special Groundhog's day breakfast of Peeping Groundhogs and Sunny-side up Eggs.  Peeping Groundhogs are made by taking canned biscuits and balling them up in your fist, then plopping them onto a cookie sheet.  Take a half a link sausage and stick it in the middle of the biscuit - with only the top sticking out.  (This represents the groundhog's head.)  Then bake until biscuits are done.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, if desired.  Over breakfast, talk about the tradition of Groundhogs day. 

After breakfast, have the kids make a Groundhog day mask.  Then, get a large box (one they can climb into) and have the kids decorate it as the Groundhogs "house".  Have each child take turns playing "Groundhog" (think Jack in the box, without the crank). Experiment with a flash light or lamp (the sun) and pillows (clouds).  This way, you can discuss how the sunshine and clouds affect whether the Groundhog sees his shadow.  You can also experiment with the light source being closer or further from the Groundhog, and with the Groundhog being closer or further from the ground - see what happens to the size of his shadow.

If you do not have a box large enough for this, consider using a smaller box and making a Groundhog puppet - use the same concepts, but on a smaller scale.  Sock puppets are GREAT for this - and the more stained the sock the better! 

Also, do an activity involving their OWN shadows.  

  • Practice making shadow hand puppets. 

  • Have the children sit in a chair and create shadows using a lamp or flashlight and then tracing the shadow to create a silhouette. 

  • Or, my favorite - do a shadow dance.  Put a spot light (flashlight/lamp) behind a sheet.  Then, have the kids dance between the lamp and sheet while you record a video to watch back.
For dinner, there are a couple schools of thought:
*  Serve your favorite meal which includes ground port sausage (get it? ground hog?).  Or, if you are more like me...
*   Eat like a Groundhog... salads all around! If you're kids don't like salad, dress it up... make it like a party platter with raw veggies and dip.

Even if you skip the dinner options for Groundhog day, don't skip dessert:  Make a bowl of chocolate pudding, add chocolate whipped cream (if you have it), and sprinkle "dirt" - ground up chocolate graham crackers or oreo cookies (not the white middles -just the cookie part) - on top.  Then, put a popsicle stick with a picture of a groundhog in the middle.  Ta-da!  A groundhog coming out of his hole!

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