Groundhog Day Today
Although Groundhog Day isn’t necessarily a worldwide holiday, it is definitely celebrated in both the United States and Canada, adding in a dash of excitement and fun to your early February!
In fact, Groundhog Day has been celebrated since 1887. Just like the first Groundhog Day, we still celebrate it on February 2 of each year.
Legend has it nowadays that if one particular groundhog comes out of a hole and sees its shadow on Groundhog Day, then it will get scared and run back into its burrow, causing there to be 6 more weeks of winter. On the other hand, if that groundhog comes out of a hole and doesn’t see its shadow, it means spring is on its way!
That particular groundhog (and its offspring) was (and is) known as Phil, the Punxsutawney, Pennyslvania groundhog. While Phil is the United States’ most well-known groundhog, other towns across the country also have their own weather-predicting groundhogs as well. Maybe you have even heard of Birmingham Bill, Staten Island Chuck, or Shubenacadie Sam!
The History of Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day is traced back to an ancient tradition called Candlemas, when candles would determine how long and cold the winter would be. The Germans took this idea and made it more familiar to what we celebrate today by selecting an animal to continue the tradition.
Groundhog Day Children’s Books
How can you make the most of your Groundhog Day with your children this year?
Well, we pulled the titles of some of the best Groundhog Day books that you can enjoy together! We recommend you start out with these picture books:
- Groundhog Gets a Say by Pamela Curtis Swallow
- Wake Up, Groundhog! By Susanna Leonard Hill
- Grumpy Groundhog by Maureen Wright
- Substitute Groundhog by Pat Miller
- The Night Before Groundhog Day by Natasha Wing
- Groundhog’s Dilemma by Kristen Remenar
- Groundhog’s Day off by Rob Pearlmann
- Who Will See Their Shadows this Year? by Jerry Pallota
Groundhog Day At-Home Activities
If you’d like some activities to go along with your Groundhog Day read-alouds, we also have some at-home activity suggestions as well!
- Before Groundhog’s Day arrives, have your child make a prediction (through writing and/or drawing) about what the Groundhog will do on the big day! You can provide a sentence stem to get them started such as: I think the groundhog will ______ because _____.
- Have your child go outside and observe their own shadow in various places around the yard. What makes them have a shadow? What makes them not have a shadow? How does their shadow look compared to them in real life? Have discussions about shadows to help them eventually discover the answers to some of these questions!
- Encourage your child to observe their shadow, draw their shadow, and then draw what a groundhog’s shadow might look like. Have a discussion or have your child create a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast their shadow to a groundhog’s shadow.
- Use a paperbag for your child to make a groundhog puppet. After your child has made their groundhog, they can put on a puppet show teaching your other family members about this holiday!
- Use the internet, or check out books at the library, that teach your child facts about groundhogs and this holiday. Your child can then write and draw an All About Groundhogs book, compiling some of their favorite facts.
Groundhog Day with Dailies
If you’re looking for a fun-filled and special online class, sign your child up for our Dailies Groundhog Day class! You can celebrate the holiday in your own way while we lead your child through activities to make the most of the holiday through online learning!