Ground Hog Day Theme for Preschool

Ground Hog Day--what an American tradition! Poor Punxatawny Phil! They wake him from his hibernation to keep up with us all!

This one day theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom.

Let the planning begin!

You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your this theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.

GROUND HOG DAY THEME ACTIVITIES

Art Activities Block Area

Circle Time Activities Cooking Recipes

Dramatic Play Ideas Easel Ideas

Gross Motor Games Library and Literacy

Math And Manipulatives Activities Music and Movement

Sand and Water Table Science Activities

Writing Activities

Looking for Winter Theme Activities (for Snow, Ice, Weather, etc.)? Click here!

Looking for Winter Animal Theme Activities? Click here!

Looking for Hibernation Theme Activities? Click here

Art Activities

Ground Hog Day Theme Art

Paper Bag Puppets

Materials Needed: brown lunch bags, markers

Show the children pictures of a groundhog. Have them draw a circle on the bottom of the paper bag. Show them how to use the bag as a puppet. They can also draw arms and feet by decorating the rest of the bag.

Playdough Sculptures

Materials Needed: Brown playdough (store bought or your own home-made batch).

Encourage the children to make their own furry little critters!

With mittens on, have the children make a snow ball.

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Block Area

Ground Hog Day Theme Block Center Ideas

Shadow Blocks

Add flashlights to the block area. See what sized block shadows you can make with one block or a hugh tower of blocks!

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Circle Time Activities

Ground Hog Day Theme Circle Time Ideas

Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your Ground Hog Day Theme!

Ground Hog Discussion

Discuss these furry critters with your children! Provide pictures and books for them to lok at. They are also called woodchucks. They are furry and a bit bigger than a cat. They are vegetarians. They dig tunnels under ground and hibernate all winter. They are usually brown and sometimes have a gray tone.

There is a legend about the groundhog. It states that they come out of their homes on February 2nd to see if winter is over. If they see their shadow, it scares them and they go back to their homes and sleep for another 6 weeks. If they don't see their shadow, they stay above ground and winter is almost over!

A song to go with it!

Sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star:

Wake up, Groundhog. Time to see what the weather's going to be. Time to stretch. Time to think. Time to eat and time to drink. Wake up Groundhog. Time to see what the weather's going to be!

And a tongue twister:

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood? A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could chuck...IF a woodchuck could chuck wood!

I See My Shadow

A Poem to act out:

I see my shadow, my shadow sees me. (Hands over eyes like glasses) I wave to my shadow, and my shadow waves to me. (Wave to each other) I run with my shadow, and my shadow runs with me. (Run in place) I love my shadow, and my shadow loves me. (Hug self)

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Cooking Recipes

Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Ground Hog Day Theme!

Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!

Groundhog Lunch

Materials Needed: lettuce, watercress, cucumbers, ranch or other dressing

Provide these greens for the children to help you to wash and cut and put in a large bowl. Enjoy some at snack time with their favorite dressing!

Food with HOLES

Provide snacks that have holes in them to remind the children of the ground hog's burrows! Some examples are: pineapple rings, swiss cheese, bagels, or make toast and have the children cut out holes using a cookie cutter!

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Dramatic Play Ideas

Ground Hog Day Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area

Light Shadows

Ground Hog Day would not be complete without some light and shadow play! Set up a burrow by hanging a dark blanket or sheet in your dramatic play area. Provide flashlights and encourage the children to create shadows. Provide different shapes of paper as well as stuff animals to shine the lights on to see if there is a shadow!

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Easel Ideas

Themed Ideas for your Easel

What a Scene!

Provide green, brown and white paint! Encourage the children to paint our furry friend coming out of his tunnel...what will he find? Grass? Snow? Of course, it's paint...just let them paint!

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Gross Motor Games

Ground Hog Day Theme Large Group Games that help build their muscles while they have fun together

Find Your Shadow

If possible, go outside on a sunny day! Help the children to find their shadows. When they do, what happens when they back up, or move their arms or move their legs. Take pictures if you are able to show them later!

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Library and Literacy

Ground Hog Day Theme Ideas for Your Library and Literacy Activities for your Preschool Classroom

Book Suggestions for the Library

Bear's Shadow by Frank Asch

A Garden for a Groundhog by Lorna Balian

It's Groundhog Day by Steven KrollJan and Stan Berenstain

Additional Items for the Library

Provide pictures and newspaper articles with pictures in the library area. Save these from year to year!

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Math And Manipulatives Activities

Ground Hog Day Theme activities to help your Preschoolers develop those small muscles in their hands!

Shadow Matching

In advance, cut out a 10-12 shapes all in the same color. Also cut the same shapes out from black paper. Glue the black "shadow" shapes to the inside of a manilla folder. Provide the colored shapes for the children to match to the shadows.

Laminate the shapes for durability. Store the shapes in a ziplock baggie and then store inside the folder for future use.

VARIATION: This could be used when working with numbers or letters as well.

Cup Puppets

This is a traditional activity and great for fine motor development and name writing.

Materials Needed: Large craft sticks (tongue depressor size), thin markers; paper cups

Make a cut mark in the bottoms of the cups, wide enough for the craft stick to fit through.

Have the children print their name on one side of the craft stick.

On the other side, have the children use the marker to make a face on the top end of the craft stick.

Show the children how to slide the stick up and down through the cup for their Ground Hog to come out and check for its shadow!

Wake Up, It's Spring!

We have this game, but I'm not sure where I got the instructions from. It is a file folder game that three children can use. See the pictures so that you can make one of your own. This may be a little old for your children because of the +1, -1 and lose a turn. You could simply not put them on your game and for the spinner, do not write "lose a turn", pehaps change the wording to "still sleeping, stay where you are!".



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Music and Movement

Ground Hog Day Theme Music and Movement Activities and Ideas to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!

Shadow Moves

Choose a child to stand up and "strike a pose". The other children should copy, or "shadow" that move!

You could start to show them how. For example, stand up with one leg in the air and one arm up to the sky and invite the children to copy or shadow you!

Here's A Little Groundhog

Fingerplay

Here's a little groundhog, furry and brown (raise thumb up)

He's coming up to look around (pop thumb up and make it move up and down to look around)

If he sees his shadow (put and over eye as though searching for something)

Down he'll go (hide thumb in fist)

Then six more weeks of winter--OH NO! (put up 6 fingers)

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Sand and Water Table

Ground Hog Day Activities for the Senses!

Tunnel Time!

Materials Needed: Sand; small, plastic spray bottle with water in it, sand toys.

Encourage the children to make tunnels, holes, burrows, etc. in the sand. Of course, sand castles are fun to make ANY time of year!

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Science Activities

Ground Hog Day Theme Science Activities--for your Preschool Scientists in Training!

How Big?

Materials Needed: Ruler, paper, marker, a sunny day!

Take a favorite object outside and place it where the sun creates a shadow. Measure how tall the shadow is with the children and write it down.

Come out and check the shadow and re-measure every 1/2 hour to an hour and compare what happens.

Each time you go out, discuss shadows and the sun: Where is the sun now? Where is the shadow?

VARIATION: If you can, draw the outline of the shadow you are observing with chalk. The children will be amazed that the shadow has moved!

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Writing Activities

Writing Activity Ideas for Your Preschool Classroom's Ground Hog Day Theme!

Homework!

Send home a picture of a groundhog. The children can color it at home with their family. Attach the following note:

I HAVE HOMEWORK!

Today is Groundhog Day! Let's watch the news or read the newspaper together to see if Punxatawny Phil saw his shadow today! I need to write YES or NO on my groundhog and bring it back to school!

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