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Every week we feature a fun and/or educational activity you can try at home or in the classroom. Tomorrow is Groundhog's Day, so naturally I chose a simple activity that shows you how to make a groundhog puppet.

Groundhogs are cute, but it's no secret they have a bad reputation for digging up yards and farms. Their burrows can be very large, with up to 45 feet of tunnels as far as five feet underground. But groundhogs do have a beneficial role, too. The soil is improved with all that digging, because more air and water goes underground to break down the dirt for more valuable topsoil. And abandoned dens and burrows become homes to other animals like foxes and skunks, who aid farmers by getting rid of harmful smaller rodents and damaging insects.

Groundhog Puppet Materials:

  • Paper cup
  • Popsicle stick
  • Brown construction paper, or white paper that has been colored brown
  • Crayons or markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Cut a circle or oval from the brown construction paper for the groundhog's body, making sure it will fit in the cup. Cut a smaller circle out of the brown paper for the head. Glue the two pieces together and draw eyes on the head. Glue your groundhog to one end of the stick. Cut a slit as the bottom of the cup and decorate the cup with greens and browns. Insert the bottom of the stick into the hole, and you now have a pop-up groundhog puppet!

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Linda Meyers

Linda Meyers, an Arkansas transplant originally from St. Louis, Mo., started working at Heifer International in 2011. She enjoys dragging her three children on nature hikes and snapping photos of them and everything around her. She has a bachelor’s degree in English has been “in the process” of writing the great American novel for 24 years.