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Theme for the Week  - Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day! Since February 2nd is Groundhog Day, we thought we could have some fun with the loveable furry little creature. Also, if you were wondering the difference between a groundhog and a woodchuck, check out this link  for some fun facts.  Enjoy!

Who knows if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow or not but we'll have some fun making and decorating Groundhog cookies, singing Groundhog Day songs to familiar tunes, learn the signs for "shadow" and "Spring" as well as many Spanish words for 
this special week. This week also marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox and February 2nd is also the Christian day of Candlemas.  Here's an old English saying about Candlemas: 

If Candlemas be fair and bright,

 Come, winter, have another flight.

 If Candlemas brings cold and rain,

 Go, winter, and come not again.

Letter of the WeekG  - for groundhog. Point out things that start with "G" -  grape, go, girl, goat. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital G and a lower case g. Draw a G on paper, or use your child's finger to draw it in the sandbox or dirt. Use bath tub or refrigerator letters to show him/her this letter as well. I've been showing my toddler letters in the bathtub - he recognizes them now; he's got almost half the alphabet now. You can even use flashcards a little at a time. 

Number of the Week: 2  - When you show your child anything say "2 grapes" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 2. Write the number 2 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 2 things at a time and count them - "one, two"  - so your child gets used to the pattern. When I have been counting to my son, he now points to things and makes sounds like he's trying to count and he can identify 1-9 now. 

Songs of the Week:  Groundhog Day Songs - Here are a whole bunch of cute songs for the day from Preschool Education that are all sung to familiar nursery rhymes.  They're so short we've included links to all of these for the week. 

Story of the WeekGroundhog Day Books - Here is a whole list of Groundhog Day books for toddlers and preschoolers.  If you can't find them at your local library, you can try Amazon.com. 

Snack of the Week:  Groundhog Cookies This looks much harder than it is - this mom made these while her 3-week old baby was sleeping - AND THEN WROTE A BLOG ABOUT IT! You can do it too! I like how she suggests organic cookie options to make these. This link includes a step-by-step way to assemble. Good luck!

Spanish Words of the Week: groundhog = la marmota, wood = la madera, shadow = la sombra, Winter = el invierno, Spring = la primavera. 

Do It Myself: Find Your Shadow - Take your toddler outside either early in the morning or in the later afternoon or go into a dark room with a flashlight and let them see what a shadow looks like - either on the sidewalk or on the wall. You can show them how to make funny shapes with their hands too. 

Yoga PoseLegs Up The Wall - This is a big stretch since there is really nothing close to this week's theme.  We thought maybe it's like your legs are shadows on the wall...yeah, it's a stretch. But it's also very relaxing so try it!  Thanks to Yoga Journal for this link.  PS - Our kids always liked the Yoga Kids series if you'd like more ideas for doing yoga with your toddler. 

Sign Language Sign of the WeekShadowSpring. We could not find a specific sign for Groundhog - the sites we checked said to finger spell it.  If your toddler is still learning how to talk, sign language can be a great way for them to communicate.  And as they get older, they'll pick up signs faster and it can be more of a fun thing versus a way to communicate.  Hope you have a wonderful week!  

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