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Groundhog Puppets

Let the children use felt-tip markers to draw groundhog faces on the top halves of tongue depressors. Give them each a small paper cup with a slit in the bottom. Have them push the bottoms of their tongue depressors through the slits in their cups. Show them how to move their sticks up and down to make their groundhogs appear and disappear.

Groundhog Tunnel Game

Have the children line up in a row. (If there are a lot of children, have them line up in two rows.) To form a tunnel, have them stand close together with their legs apart. Let the last person in the row be the first groundhog. Have the first groundhog wiggle through the tunnel on his or her stomach. When the groundhog reaches the end of the tunnel, have him or her stand up and become part of the tunnel while a new groundhog starts wiggling through.

Shadow Tag

Let the children play shadow tag on a sunny day. Choose a child to be "It". Have "It" try to step on another child's shadow. When "It" steps on someone's shadow, that child becomes the next "It".

I'm a Little Groundhog

Sung to : "I'm a Little Teapot"

I'm a little groundhog,

Furry and brown.

When winter comes

I sleep underground.

I'm curled up

As cozy as can be.

When it's spring,

Please wake up me!

Nine Little Groundhogs

Sung to : "Ten Little Indians"

One little, two little,

Three little groundhogs,

Four little, five little,

Six little groundhogs,

Seven little, eight little,

Nine little groundhogs,

Sleeping down under ground.

Have fun singing this song with loud voices, with "inside" voices, with whisper voices and then with "lip" voices (lips move but no sound comes out).

If I Saw My Shadow

Have the children draw pictures of what they would do if they were groundhogs and saw their shadows on February 2. Ask them one at a time to describe their pictures as you write down their stories on their papers.

Mr. Groundhog

Folklore has it that on February 2, Mr. Groundhog wakes up from his long winter's nap and goes outside. They say that if he sees his shadow, he runs back inside his hole to sleep, indicating that there will be six more weeks of winter. If Mr. Groundhog does not see his shadow he stays outside to play, which means that spring will soon arrive. Let the children take turns being Mr. Groundhog popping out of his hole (a large cardboard box), while everyone recites the poem below.

Hint: Arrange your room so that you can create or take away a shadow. Overhead lights would eliminate a shadow and a low light aimed directly at the "groundhog" would create a shadow.

Groundhog, Groundhog, popping up today.

Groundhog, Groundhog, can you play?

If you see your shadow, hide away.

If there is no shadow, you can stay.

Groundhog, Groundhog, popping up today.

Groundhog, Groundhog, can you play?

Shadow Making

Explain to the children that shadows are caused by objects that get in the way of the sun or a bright light. Shine the light from a film projector, a slide projector or a lamp on a bare wall. Turn off the lights in the room. Let the children stand in front of the bright light and experiment with making their own shadows. Ask them to make big shadows, little shadows, animal shadows, and moving shadows.

Groundhog Lunches

Groundhogs like to nibble on grasses and other greens that grow near their burrows. For "groundhog lunches" let the children help make watercress and romaine lettuce salads to eat with a favorite dressing.

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Visitors since July 4, 1998