groundhog-dayCelebrating a day that focuses on a groundhog—also known as a woodchuck or whistlepig—is pretty humorous: shivering adults hovering around a hole in the ground in Pennsylvania on Feb. 2 to receive a weather prediction from a rodent. Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow? If so, we’ll have six more weeks of ice and snow. No shadow? Spring is on its way!

Phil’s track record isn’t perfect. In fact, his success rate from 1887 through 2015 is only 39 percent—pretty dismal. But, that’s OK. You can still use Groundhog Day as an opportunity to make learning fun for your preschooler.

If you’re looking for a good, age-appropriate overview about groundhogs and their special day, download The Groundhog Book from You have to set up an account to get the book, but both signup and the book are free. This book provides tidbits about the groundhog:

  • It’s related to the squirrel
  • It eats plenty of green leaves, fruits and vegetables, but doesn’t drink much water
  • It whistles when scared (or when looking for a new girlfriend)

The book then shares a few details about Groundhog Day, plus a graphic where children can fill in how many of their friends expect Punxsutawney Phil to see his shadow, and how many don’t—along with a couple more age-appropriate activities.

Groundhog Art shares a fun groundhog art project that’s appropriate for preschoolers through early elementary-age students, although your preschooler will need some help. Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • Construction paper:
    • 7-by-12 sheet blue construction paper
    • 9-by-12 sheet white construction paper
    • 4-by-3 pieces light brown construction paper (two needed)
    • 2-by-1 piece dark brown construction paper
    • 4-by-5 piece black construction paper
  • Paper bag
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors, glue, black crayon or marker
  • 2 pieces of hard white chewing gum
  • Craft stick and cotton balls

You’ll need to follow the instructions provided by Scholastic (it also includes helpful photos) and the end result will be a picture of a groundhog looking outside of his hole. If Phil sees his shadow, have your child glue a shadow to the picture as shown in the instructions. If he doesn’t, then no extra steps are needed.

Looking for something simpler?

Happy Groundhog Day!

Looking for more ways to enrich your child’s learning and life? Horizon Education Center provides affordable quality care, including educational and enrichment opportunities for children in the following Northeast Ohio locations.

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