February 2nd is the official day when Punxsutawney Phil will emerge from his cosy den to predict our weather future. If he sees his shadow, he will get scared and run back in meaning we will have six more weeks of wintry weather. If the weather is overcast and he doesn’t see his shadow, early spring is on its way. As a child, I was very interested in this famous animal. He is probably the only rodent resembling animal I have ever really liked. I had family that lived in Punxy and have always though it neat that such a small town could be so famous. For more information on the official celebration of Groundhog Day go to http://www.punxsutawneyphil.com/
I thought it would be fun to suggest some shadow/light play for the children for this weekend. Here are some fun things to do that require minimal equipment, space or time.
For the babies: Babies are fascinated by light. Dim the lights in a room and use a flashlight to make dancing circles on the walls, ceiling and floor. Move the light closer and farther away. Make hand shadows on the wall in the light. Actually all children enjoy flashlight play so this is really good for any age.
For the toddlers: Shadows can be scary at this age. Show the children their shadow on a wall (stand them between the wall and a light source in a dimly lit room). If the weather is warm enough and sunny, go outside and trace the child’s shadow on the driveway or sidewalk. Make hand shadows on the wall. There are some ideas at this website to get you started http://mindbluff.com/shadow.htm
For the preschoolers: Turn your dining room table into a Groundhog den. Have your child pretend to be the ground hog and come out. Encourage him to pretend to either see the shadow or not. How will he react. Another idea is to draw outlines of familiar objects and have your child guess what the outline shadows.
For the school age child: Go to the library and read about groundhogs. Or, do an internet search for more information. Encourage your child to form an opinion as to whether or not a ground hog seeing his shadow really has any bearing on the weather or not. Can your child make up a story about other ways to predict the weather? Let them dictate the story to you while you scrib for them. Then your child can illustrate it.
However you decide to celebrate, spend some time playing together this weekend.Enjoy!