Ode to Groundhogs

I never thought much about Groundhog Day until I met my husband.  He is a big Bill Murray fan and Groundhog Day is his all time favorite movie.  We have watched the movie together countless times (most recently on his iphone during a flight to New Orleans).  So these famous words are now etched into my mind permanently, "Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today!"  It sure is cold at our house today, my thermometer is reading 17 degrees but with the windchill it seems like 7 degrees.  It is a good day to stay warm and cozy inside and if you are a silly 3 year old named Lance you will not even get out of your pajamas all day - what a life.  

So the other day I was at Barnes and Noble and I came across these cute books about Groundhog Day and I just could not talk myself out of buying them - I am a sucker for books.  Even though tomorrow is Groundhog Day I pulled out the books this morning and read all sorts of fun info about little Punxsutawney Phil with my boys.  The Facts and Fun book has a chapter about throwing a Groundhog Day Party.  Even though I was not quite up for inviting a bunch of kids over to celebrate Groundhog Day with I still thought it would be fun to do some of the activities in the book.  

One of the suggestions was to make shadows on the wall so we pulled out the flashlights and toy animals and my boys had a blast.

The book also suggested making shadow art which we had never done before.  Honestly it was so fun!  The kids loved it.  It was so easy to do and all it took was a flashlight, a toy and some paper taped to the wall.  Liam and Lance just traced the outline of the animals.

Then they wanted to color their drawings.

The shadow art reminded me of the new tracing toy my kids received for Christmas.  My kids LOVE this thing!  There are tons of different pictures to trace.

We also liked the little craft recommended in the Groundhog book so we decided to make them too.  We basically just wrapped green paper around a paper cup and cut up brown lunch sack paper for the inside of the cup.  Then we cut a groundhog face out of brown felt, added googly eyes, and then glued it to a craft stick.  The stick moves up and down making the groundhog come out to see his shadow.  They actually ended up playing with them all afternoon so I think they were a hit.  

Here are a few other suggestions from the book that I thought were cute:

Shadow Tag:  Instead of touching a person, whoever is "it" has to run and step on someone's shadow.

Guess the Shadow: Fill a bag with lots of objects to make shadows with like a paintbrush, a toy car, a spoon, a toothbrush, etc.  Everyone takes turns picking objects for others to guess.

Hot Groundhog:  Sit in a circle and as the music plays pass a stuffed groundhog or brown beanbag around acting as if the animal is hot and must be passed quickly.  When the music stops whoever is holding the groundhog is out.

Get the Groundhog back into his burrow:  You need a brown beanbag or a ball and a box with holes in it.  Each person gets 3 chances to send the groundhog home by throwing the beanbag or ball through the holes in the box.  This can be played with teams.

I hope you all have a great Groundhog Day and here's hoping for an early Spring!


  1. oh my heck! Mads will love this! I need that lamp! Seriously! You ar such a fun mom!

    saw you on Design mom!

  2. I saw you on Design Mom, too! We haven't done shadow puppets in years... thanks for the reminder. :-)

  3. (Am I being silly or can I really find no where to comment on the other posts...?)

    Anyway, I saw you on Des Mom, too and loved your project. Yay for process oriented and abstract work for children! I graduated in art ed, but have had a hard time finding the energy to do art with my homeschooled children. which makes me crazy sometimes.

    I would love to see your favorite art books from the baskets in the below post! I can see a few we have, too - but always looking for more! ;)

  4. I saw Rob's post on facebook about design mom! I am looking forward to trying that with my 3rd graders! Great ideas for groundhogs day, even though it was yesterday, I think I will do some of those activities! I am going to follow along with your spring class. I know Jacob(my kindergartener) will love doing art more!


  5. Found you via Design Mom and am so glad I did. I can't wait for your preschool art series - hoping you'll incorporate some ways to adapt the projects to my 2 year old.

    I also think it is so great that you're doing an art exhibit at the end of the class with your students. I believe that it is so important to honor kids' artwork that I'm doing a 5 part series on how to do it: