It’s Ground hog season again folks! So, what does that mean? That Bill Murray is living the same day over and over again with a disgruntled rodent? Possibly, or it means that Christmas and New Years are over and it’s not quite Valentine’s Day yet, so we need something to celebrate because it’s still so dark and cold. Read on for some fun free and low-cost ideas for celebrating February 2nd.
Books: I was pleasantly surprised to find more than a couple of kid’s books available on the subject of Groundhog’s Day. As always, check your local library for other fun titles or click on the links below to enjoy the read alouds for my three favorite picks:
Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox by: Susan Blackaby was a charming story about a groundhog that awakes punctually and sees her shadow, but she’s not the only one! A hungry fox is watching from afar and he and his empty tummy would like to make her acquaintance. In the end she both outwits the fox and makes a friend at the same time.
https://www.google.com/search?q=brownie+ground+hog+and+ferurary+fox+read+aloud&oq=brownie+ground+hog+and+ferurary+fox+read+aloud&aqs=edge..69i57.13036j1j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=_0ZXsYcSeMqq50PEP9beV4AY19 (Brownie Groundhog read aloud)
The Night Before Groundhogs Day By: Natasha Wing takes us on another fresh reinvention of the classic T’was The Night Before Christmas poem. She cleverly rhymes her way through all the preparations and celebrations that surround this fun, festive, February holiday! Do YOU think the groundhog will see his shadow?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuZ1YnD9O2Q (Night Before Groundhog Day read aloud)
Punxsutawney Phyllis by: Susanna Leonard Hill puts a fun spin on the classic Punxsutawney Phil character. You will find yourself introduced to a young, plucky female groundhog named Phyllis. Phyllis’s unusually adventurous behavior and above average intelligence typically get poo- pooed by her family who write her off as ‘just Phyllis’. But when Phyllis trusts her instincts and proves her uncle, the seasoned Punxsutawney Phil, wrong he promotes her to the position of head ground hog and concedes that ‘sometimes the best Phil for the job is actually a Phyllis’.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHY311GR84k (Punxsutawney Phylis read aloud)
History: Ever wonder where this bizarre holiday even came from? Click on the link below for a brief, kid-friendly history lesson from PBS kids.
https://illinois.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/83dfbd1c-ef5b-4925-a225-ff835bef4496/groundhog-day-all-about-the-holidays/ (PBS video about history of ground hog’s day)
Ground hog peanut butter cookies...not sure if they saw their shadows or not, but they were delicious! With the use of some Pez candies (broken in half for the teeth) and leftover icing my kids and I turned regular peanut butter cookies into tasty little ground hogs. Side note: my son felt they needed a Chase cupcake pic as a finishing touch.
https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/peanut-butter-cookies/6aa18699-bad1-442a-97bf-388003acce2d (Betty Crocker PeanutButter cookie recipe)
Reese’s PeanutButter cup Punxsutawney Phils. We used some instant chocolate pudding dumped onto a graham cracker crust to make a completely edible Punxsutawney Phil burrow and decorated it with Reese’s PeanutButter cups leftover from Halloween (they freeze really well). Add a little frosting, Pez candy teeth, chocolate chips (for the ears), and some candy eyeballs (available at Walmart) and you have a tasty little candy Phil that you can enjoy eating even if there are six more weeks of winter!
Fun with foam! We raided our stash of foam hearts for Valentine’s Day and fashioned these cute little google-eyed ground hogs from them!
Recycling at its best! Click on the link below for a cute image of a ground hog that will print out just the right size to color and glue to a popsicle stick. Use paint to decorate a toilet paper tube to be Phil’s burrow and you and the kids can have fun checking your paper groundhog’s weather report. Does it look like spring yet? How ’bout now?
https://www.google.com/search?q=groundhog+clipart&sxsrf=AOaemvJRyykdrObkBX4PHy25j00rb8p5Ww:1642546191127&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&vet=1&fir=QpWCvcsUyobAuM%252Cs1_GLKiyRK6YbM%252C_%253B8yRgPVxDe4-11M%252CYPMbrlpCFRY1CM%252C_%253B-5EUsPN1I-0-uM%252CvQtm-pi3kqzQ6M%252C_%253BVjRgl-FAMR7n_M%252CRxtr9Qa4y57gyM%252C_%253Bfwy_w-jwDcIk_M%252CfL4vcJ-FlkFbCM%252C_%253BYH3m7Eikgj9NCM%252CYPMbrlpCFRY1CM%252C_%253B3z2CQ5Hyo0JuzM%252Cmg23axyGAScxxM%252C_%253Besblc-XJYkEZPM%252CPFhSlyKVR5wKxM%252C_%253BytzfMor19ctr0M%252ClTuauSs_gL2lAM%252C_%253BhtE5Qrko0zzUhM%252CRCD0NyyN4Yx8FM%252C_%253BVGG_DqxThhTAKM%252C3bxQaVLnfHyiTM%252C_%253BL-DErS1mwbUGnM%252CwKiv9g2pI6RAUM%252C_%253BX5Hk9GCNO5nhcM%252C28Wh2scSAXW9eM%252C_%253BAw1lS8NQxLRgoM%252CJFnVkaDIz42fjM%252C_%253BQhykZcWNYmlAnM%252CYPMbrlpCFRY1CM%252C_%253BW4J3L0T9pvnPqM%252CWqUgBL1-ilZMiM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kSCn0FglrsAYgl1V9byJvYIt5mUOA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwib4P6xsbz1AhWEWc0KHalCDW0Q9QF6BAgtEAE#imgrc=htE5Qrko0zzUhM (Ground hog clip art for puppet)
Coloring Pages: Usually I rely on Crayola’s website for free coloring pages, but there wasn’t too much there for ground hog’s day. Use the links below to print out a groundhog to color in or a ground hog connect the dots that will entertain your older kids.
https://coloringhome.com/coloring-page/1868401?album=groundhog-day-coloring-pages-free-printable# (groundhog coloring page)
https://coloringhome.com/coloring-page/1774524?album=groundhog-day-coloring-pages-free-printable# (groundhog connect the dots)
Watch the Ceremony Live: Not everyone can make it to Pennsylvania to watch Phil do his thing, especially when Covid simply refuses to leave. However, you CAN watch the ceremony live from the comfort of your own home. Check for details on the ceremony time and links to the live video footage on Phil’s very own website! OR, you can click on the YouTube link below and watch last year’s ceremony at your leisure.
https://www.groundhog.org/ (Punxsutawney Phil’s fan club website)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMAg2f4yxFE (2021 puxantawny phil ceremony)
Hopefully, armed with these ideas for family fun, you will thoughourly enjoy your Groundhog’s Day….sun or clouds.
P.S. Featured image courtesy of: inquirer.com