Project of the Week: Groundhog Hand Puppet

Groundhog’s Day is right around the corner…a fun, little holiday to teach about the seasons and changing weather.  As the legend goes, IF the groundhog sees his shadow, he will be spooked and burrow back underground, for six more weeks.  IF the groundhog DOES NOT see his shadow, he will stay out of his burrow, and spring is near.  With your Groundhog Hand puppet, you can demonstrate how to see the groundhog’s shadow, in the sunlight!

You Will Need:

  • paper bag (lunch size)
  • brown and black construction paper
  • scissors
  • google eyes (optional)
  • glue

Prep the Project:  Cut out a large heart, from brown construction paper.  The easiest way to do this is to fold the paper, in half, and cut half of a heart (the fold is the center of the paper).  When you unfold the paper, you will have a perfectly symmetrical heart!  The large heart will serve as the groundhog’s head.  Next, cut out a brown tail, small ears, and brown arms.  Finally, cut out a dome-shaped nose and several, thin whiskers, from black construction paper.

After explaining to your child that another holiday is right around the corner (Groundhog’s Day!) and the purpose of the holiday, invite him or her to make a Groundhog hand puppet!  It is much easier to create the groundhog’s face, first, before gluing the face to the back of the lunch bag.

Place the brown heart, upside down, on the table.  The groundhog’s cheeks are the curves of the hearts.  Henry and Teddy started with the groundhog’s white teeth and worked their way up, the groundhog’s face.  We used glue sticks and found it easier to add the glue directly to the upside-down, heart-shaped face, instead of on the little teeth.

Above the buckteeth, glue on the black nose.  Attach the thin whiskers, to each side of the nose.  You can choose two to three whiskers, per a side…my boys insisted on six whiskers total!  Teddy also kept insisting that his groundhog looked just like a beaver (there was definitely a bit of whining).  I explained that groundhogs and beavers do, in fact, look quite a bit alike! 🙂

Once the whiskers are in place, add some googly eyes.  If you don’t have googly eyes, you can draw in the eyes too!  Use lots of glue to get the eyes to stick…encourage your little one to hold the eyes down, as he or she counts to 10.  Finally, add the ears, to the back of the groundhog’s face.  You want to flip the groundhog’s head, over, before gluing on the ears.  The ears are placed toward the top of the head.

Now it’s time to glue the face to the brown paper bag.  You will want to glue the face to the bottom of the bag, so that, once glued, the face flaps loosely, up and down.  The arms are glued to each side of the brown bag and the little, brown tail, adhered to the back of the bag.

The puppets look adorable, propped up a on windowsill.  Once we completed the hand puppets, the boys LOVED having me pretend to be the groundhog, pop out of a ‘burrow’ and either stay out (no shadow) or dive back down (scared by his shadow).  They particularly enjoyed the hungry groundhog, who chased them around the house, grabbing at their arms and shoulders! 🙂


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