If your child's birthday falls on February 2 or you just want to celebrate this long-standing tradition—at home or in the classroom—summon the kids to a personal Punxsutawney Phil-inspired party for a Groundhog Day celebration. Whether or not the groundhog sees its 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 the Groundhog Day party with invitations made from brown cardstock paper 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 and other craft supplies). Then, 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 it does from its hole in the ground.
02 of 05
Purchase and Make Festive Decorations
Decorate for your groundhog party in a color scheme of brown (the color of the groundhog), green (the grass of spring) and white (winter snow). 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:
- Make winter- and spring-themed party garlands with 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 ask the kids to 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 it is popping out of the box. Use a large version of this as a centerpiece, or make several smaller versions and scatter them around the room.
03 of 05
Cook up Healthy Food Options
A Groundhog Day party is the perfect excuse to get kids to eat more veggies. Because 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 (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 such as 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
Groundhog Day Activities
Entertain young guests with a variety of groundhog-themed activities that are both fun and educational:
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- Discuss Punxsutawney Phil and the Groundhog Club’s inner circle—the group of local dignitaries responsible for holding the Groundhog Day every year—then make inner circle top hats that they can wear for the party.
- Use the top hats to play a version of musical chairs, in which 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 until only one player remains.
- Make sock puppets or paper-bag puppets by decorating brown socks or bags to look like groundhogs. Turn out the lights, turn on a flashlight, and put on a shadow-puppet show.
- 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."
- Make paper chains that count down to the first true day of spring.
05 of 05
Send the party guests home with a memento of the event. Suggestions for Groundhog Party favors include:
- A bag of groundhog food, such as peanuts (make sure to 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