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Groundhog Day Activities for Preschoolers

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Groundhog Day is a unique holiday, and sometimes it's hard to know how to celebrate. Try these preschool activities that include sorting, singing, science, and pre-writing options all related to Groundhog Day.

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is February 2. Tradition states that the groundhog, emerging from its hole on February 2, can predict when spring will arrive. Why celebrate this somewhat abstract holiday with your preschoolers? You can use it as an opportunity to discuss seasons, weather, and holidays. This year try a few of these Groundhog Day activities to add variety to your February calendar.

Signs of the Seasons

Objective: Identify signs and accessories of each season.

Materials: Seasons book, cards with pictures of seasonal items, sign for each season

  • Preparation: Gather, print, or make a set of index card-sized pictures for each season. Consider both natural signs (hibernating animals, falling leaves, budding trees) and human responses (snow boots, bathing suits, rakes). Gather five to ten pictures for each season.
  • Talk about Groundhog Day and how the groundhog is supposed to predict when spring will arrive.
  • Read your favorite book about seasons, such as Four Seasons Make a Year by Anne Rockwell and Megan Halsey.
  • Arrange four signs at the front of the class: Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring.
  • One student selects a picture from your collection.
  • The student names the item on the picture.
  • The student decides which season the picture goes with (dried leaves go with fall, flowers with spring, etc.).
  • Give different students turns until all the cards are sorted.

Chart the Weather

Objective: Keep track of the weather to see if the groundhog's prediction is correct.

Materials: Chart paper, picture symbols indicating various weather events, materials for drawing, scissors, glue

  • Preparation: Make a large chart with six rows and seven columns, to represent the six weeks of the groundhog's prediction.
  • Talk about Groundhog Day and the groundhog's weather prediction.
  • Find out whether or not the groundhog sees its shadow on Groundhog Day this year.
  • Show students your empty weather chart.
  • Ask students to brainstorm different weather events that could happen in the next six weeks (snow, sun, wind, rain, hot weather, cold weather, cool weather and warm weather).
  • Students make picture symbols that can be used for each type of weather.
  • Beginning with Groundhog Day, keep track of the weather daily to see if the groundhog's prediction is accurate.
  • Each day, as a group, talk about the weather and select a picture symbol (from the symbols the students created) to attach to the weather chart.
  • At the end of six weeks, look at your chart and determine if the groundhog's weather prediction came true!

Holiday Roundup

Objective: Talk about what makes different holidays special.

Materials: Go to Sleep, Groundhog! by Judy Cox and Paul Meisel, paper and craft materials

  • Read the book Go to Sleep, Groundhog! by Judy Cox and Paul Meisel, in which the groundhog keeps getting up early and meeting the mascots of other holidays (witch, turkey, Santa).
  • Ask students to think of as many holidays as they can. With each holiday named, ask students what makes that holiday special and different from other holidays.
  • Each student draws a picture of a groundhog meeting a character or performing a tradition from their favorite holiday.
  • Students dictate a one to two sentence explanation for their picture.
  • Optional: Bind the pictures together to make a class book entitled Groundhog Has a Holiday.

Shadows

Objective: Experiment with shadows.

Materials: Bright light (such as a spotlight or lamp), blank wall or solid-colored sheet

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