If your child's birthday falls on February 2nd, or if you just want to celebrate this long-standing tradition (at home or in the classroom), summon the kids to your own personal Punxsutawney-inspired party for a Groundhog Day celebration.
Whether or not Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, the prediction for these party ideas is the same: furry, friendly fun for everyone on the guest list.
01 of 05
Invite the kids to come celebrate Groundhog Day with invitations made from brown cardstock paper that has been cut into the shape of a groundhog.
Decorate the cardstock by drawing the groundhog’s face on the front side with markers and crayons (or use googly eyes and craft supplies). Write the party invitation details on the other side.
Place the invitation in the envelope so the front of the groundhog faces the back of the envelope. When guests lift the flap, the groundhog will be peeking out at... them, just like he does from his hole in the ground!
02 of 05
Decorate for your groundhog party with a color scheme of brown (the color of the groundhog), green (the green grass of spring) and white (the snow of winter).
Balloons, streamers and disposable tableware in these colors set the foundation. Embellish the rest with a combination of groundhog items and decorations that reflect both winter and spring. Some suggestions include:
- Winter- and spring-themed party garlands: Make several paper cutouts of snowflakes and suns. String them together in an... alternating pattern along a length of ribbon.
- Decorate one side of the room as winter and the other as spring. Set up a party table on each side and let kids sit on the side they think the groundhog will predict.
- Hang paper groundhogs around the party space.
- Paint a small cardboard box green to represent grass. Open the flaps and paint them brown. Fill with brown, crumpled tissue paper to represent dirt. Stick a plush or paper cutout groundhog in the middle of the tissue paper, to look like he is popping out of the box. Use a large version of this as a centerpiece or make several smaller one and scatter them around the room.
03 of 05
Groundhog Day is the perfect excuse to get kids to eat more veggies! Since groundhogs are known for raiding gardens, set up a food table to look like a garden patch. Line the table with artificial turf and place small picket fencing (you can cut this out of cardstock) around the edges. Place platters of veggies and dip, and green salad inside of the “garden.”
For kids who just won’t eat veggies plain, try dishes like pasta primavera, stuffed peppers or vegetable-topped pizza.
For dessert, make... groundhog cupcakes by decorating a cookie to look like a groundhog and sticking it into the center of a chocolate-frosted cupcake. Sprinkle chocolate powder “dirt” around the groundhog.
Another easy idea is to make groundhog donuts by placing a groundhog cookie into the hole of a chocolate donut.
04 of 05
Entertain young guests with a variety of groundhog-themed activities that are both fun and educational:
Continue to 5 of 5 below.
- Discuss Punxsutawney Phil and the Groundhog Club’s inner circle. Then make inner-circle top hats that they can wear for the party.
- Use the top hats to play a version of musical chairs where the kids have to walk around a line of top hats. When the music stops, they must grab a hat and place it on their heads. The player left without a hat is out. Keep removing one hat and playing like this until... only one player remains.
- Make groundhog sock puppets or paper-bag puppets (decorate brown socks or bags to look like groundhogs). Turn out the lights, turn on a flashlight and put on a shadow-puppet show.
- Make groundhog crafts.
- Solve groundhog puzzles.
- Make paper-plate groundhog masks.
- Play groundhog word games, such as challenging kids to make as many words as they can from the letters in the word "groundhog."
- Play some weather games.
- Make groundhog dioramas.
- Make paper chains that count down to the first day of spring.
05 of 05
Suggestions for groundhog party favors:
- A bag of groundhog food, such as peanuts (check for allergies) or trail mix.
- Inner Circle top hats and bow ties.
- Plush groundhogs.
- Groundhog masks.
- Groundhog storybooks.
- Seed packets for spring, wrapped in wintery snowflake paper.
- Weather maps for kids.