On Thursday, February 2, an otherwise cold and dreary mid-winter’s day, groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will awake from a long winter’s nap, and go outside of his den to see if he sees his shadow. According to legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow (a sunny morning), there will be six more weeks of winter. He then returns to his den and goes back to sleep. If however, he does not see his shadow (cloudy days), he plays around outside of his hole for a while and spring is just around the corner.
For the Record: Phil sees his shadow about 9 out of 10 times.
Groundhog day is a great opportunity to play with your child with shadows. Most children are fascinated by shadows. Regents Center for Early Developmental Educations explains, “Exploration of shadows is especially appropriate for youngsters because children are often intrigued by shadow phenomena. Shadows are mysterious-they come and go; appear sometimes in front of us, sometimes behind, sometimes on the ceiling, sometimes singly, sometimes in pairs; can be tall or short, partial or complete-and yet they are a part of children’s everyday experiences.”
Consider using mirrors and shadow making equipment, such as light tables, screens, flashlights, and overhead projectors, to allow your kids to watch their own images as they explore and play.
Do you think the groundhog will see his shadow?