February can be a bit of a difficult month. The holidays are over, but it's still cold and dreary outside.
That's why lots of teachers make a big deal out of Groundhog Day -- it's a celebration to look forward to in the midst of the winter doldrums!
Here are some fun ways to celebrate the holiday at home.
1. See the local groundhog -- Sure Punxsutawney Phil may be the famous groundhog, but we've got our own groundhog celebrity right here in Milwaukee. Grab the kids and take them to the Milwaukee County Zoo on February 2 to see the resident groundhog Wynter make its own prediction.
2. Dress up your predictions -- The night before the big day, explain to your kids the folklore behind the holiday -- if the groundhog doesn't see its shadow, spring will come early; if he does see his shadow, there are six more weeks of winter. Tell the kids to make their own predictions about whether springtime will arrive early this year, but also tell them to keep those predictions to themselves. Then, when they wake up on February 2, they should come to the breakfast table dressed as their prediction -- bundled up in cozy sweaters and hats if they think winter will last awhile, decked out in shorts and sunglasses if they foresee an early spring.
3. Fun with shadows -- Hype up the shadow theme of the holiday. Play shadow tag (You're tagged if "It" steps on your shadow.), cut out silouhettes of yourselves out of black paper and fill in details with white crayons or chalk, or snuggle up to read "Peter Pan," especially the part where Wendy sews on Peter's shadow.
4. Movie time -- If your kids are old enough, show them "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray. It's a funny, yet touching take on the idea of making the most of every day of your life. And ask your kids -- what day would you most like to repeat over and over?
Happy Groundhog Day!