Groundhog day is a popular day for who knows whatever reason. There’s a groundhog, more scientifically known as a woodchuck, that is kept from hibernation and is pulled out of a container to determine if there will be six more weeks of winter based on whether he sees his shadow or not. This long standing tradition that is not based on any real accuracy or science continues to be a part of the American February experience and finds its way into all of our hearts.
That being said, it’s incredibly hard to find a unique and inspiring craft to fit this holiday. That is why I looked to the inner shadows of my brain to pull this together for the story Groundhog Gets a Say by Pamela Curtis Swallow. For story hour I usually put together two different crafts as well as some outdoor time and an accompanying story. For the crafts I try to make one a product piece and one a process piece.
For my product piece I had the kiddos create groundhog puppets with a face to color, cut out and glue to a brown paper bag. For the process piece I put together a shadow tracing experience. For this craft my set up included two microphone stands, three bendable clamp lamps, butcher paper, computer paper, markers and kid blocks.
I clamped the three lamps to the microphone stands, all on the same side, and placed the butcher paper on the floor below the lamps (see picture above). The butcher paper was there for the kiddos that traced off their computer paper. Then the kids could use the kid blocks to create different shaped shadows and attempt to trace them. Once traced they could color them in or simply take home their shadows.
This craft, again, is more for the experience or the process versus the product. I found that many younger kiddos simply traced the blocks and then some of the other kids were more interested in making shadows and not tracing at all; all of these were just fine because they were having an experience that got them thinking about shadows. Goal accomplished!