Groundhog Day

Do Like Groundhogs – Go Outside For Groundhog Day

Need something to do today? Kids and grownups can make like the creatures themselves and go outside for groundhog day. No matter the weather or prediction.

We know kids need more outdoor and nature time. Need some ideas? Here are some we can do any day:

  1. Check out the sky. Any sun? Clouds can be different in the winter. In some areas, the entire sky seem to be lower.
  1. Look on the ground. The ground may be all white for some people. Or, it could be just brown, with or without puddles. Where it’s hot and dry, the winter months may be the only time the grass is green because summer sun turns it brown.
  1. Any action down there? There might not be a great deal of action, but that’s something to notice too. What’s happened to the worms and bugs? Animals may have left some prints in the snow.children and nature wonder
  2. Did you know trees can talk? Well, not in words, but they are still telling us their news. The news might be a few buds on the branches if we can get close enough to see. The message could also be “Stay tuned and check back again soon.”
  1. Close eyes and turn face up to the sky. If you are lucky, some sun will kiss your cheek. Feel any wind today? If it’s cold, you might want to bring your nose back down pretty quick.
  1. Take in a deep breath. What does the air feel like today?
  1. Turn around slowly and see if you have a shadow. If the groundhog sees its shadow, it’s back to sleep for 6 more weeks of winter.

groundhog day for kids
Whether or not your area gets more winter or starts spring, groundhogs need two things, a good sleep and outside time. Outside time helps kids with sleep, and that definitely helps grownups. As a matter of fact, Parents Get Some Sleep is an even better day, er night, to celebrate. Can you and your child go outside for groundhog day?

Groundhog Day: Outside Nature Time for Kids

While nature may not dictate our activities as completely as for the ground hog, we can follow his example and include some outside nature time for kids.outside time in natureDuring the cooler months of the year, we often don’t encourage kids to be outside. With warm clothes and either snow or rain gear, kids can still enjoy being outdoors. There’s so much to see and do. Need some ideas?

  1. Check out the sky. Any sun? Clouds can be different in the winter. In some areas, the entire sky seem to be lower.
  2. Look on the ground. The ground may be all white for some people. Or, it could be just brown, with or without puddles. Where it’s hot and dry, the winter months may be the only time the grass is green because summer sun turns it brown.
  3. Any action down there? There might not be a great deal of action, but that’s something to notice too. What’s happened to the worms and bugs? Animals may have left some prints in the snow.
  4. Did you know trees can talk? Well, not in words, but they are still telling us their news. The news might be a few buds on the branches if we can get close enough to see. The message could also be “Stay tuned and check back again soon.”
  5. Close eyes and turn face up to the sky. If you are lucky, some sun will kiss your cheek. Feel any wind today? If it’s cold, you might want to bring your nose back down pretty quick.
  6. Take in a deep breath. What does the air feel like today?

We can help kids build a connection to nature in small gestures like these. Oh, and since it’s Groundhog Day, we’d better add another:

  1. Turn around slowly and see if you have a shadow. If the groundhog sees its shadow, it’s back to sleep for 6 more weeks of winter.

groundhog day for kidsWhile it’s close to nature, the groundhog is not a very accurate predictor of weather. Being close to nature is a gift that lasts for a lifetime, giving us joy and healing when needed. To celebrate the day, include some outside nature time for kids. Isn’t this a gift you’d like to share with your child?

Shadow Play for Groundhog Day

Groundhog day is a day all about shadows, one way or another, and a perfect time to have some fun with light and shadow. We’ve all watched videos about very young children discovering their shadow for the first time. Their reactions vary from fear to delight. Older kids take great delight as they play with shadows, both outdoors and inside the house. Sometimes, they too get scared of shadows and parents have to reassure them that they are not seeing monsters but instead something ordinary, like clothes in the closet or a jumble of toys.

shadow play groundhog dayOutdoors gives tons of space for shadow play. For some fun today, if the weather is sunny, kids can discover how to make their shadows long or short. Can they bend their body to make different shadow shapes? Two hands can make a shadow with a pointy head by putting hands together or a shadow with bunny ears using two fingers. When walking along, shadows can bend along walls and fences. Do bodies do that? It’s fun to try and catch each others shadows. Make up stories about shadows and light up the imagination.

shadow play groundhog playInside, one of the most fun things to do is to make shadow puppets with hands and fingers. Some people are so good at making images out of shadows that is almost magical. There are lots of fun videos that show how to make shadow puppets. With a flashlight, you and your child can try a few of these.

shadow play groundhog playThere are wonderful books about shadows. One of the most known is Dr. Seuss, The Shape of Me and Other Stuff. Silhouettes are like shadows and this whole book has images in black that tell a story. In the book, Who Will See Their Shadows This Year? By Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by David Biedrzycki, other animals show their shadows and wonder why the groundhog is famous for his?

For a play-of-the-day what fun can you and your child have with shadow play?