Groundhog Day is coming up soon — here’s a lesson you can use with your kids with a Groundhog theme that focuses on the point that, just like the Groundhog has to get up out of his nice comfortable home to see his shadow and share his findings with the world, we need to be willing to move out of our comfort zones to share God’s news with the world.
Hope you can use it! Keep sharing God’s love with your kids!
- Have your kids make groundhog masks. You can have them design their own using paper plates and craft sticks, or you can print off the template found here. When the kids have their groundhog masks made, have them put them on and complete an obstacle course while wearing the masks. Say: Today is Groundhog’s Day. That means that very early this morning, a groundhog had to make his way out of his home and into the cold to “predict” how long it will be until winter ends. Just like the groundhog goes through an obstacle course to share his news with those around, YOU also sometimes need to go through obstacles to share the GOOD NEWS of JESUS with everyone you see!
- How does a Groundhog predict how long it will be until spring? It all depends on whether or not he sees his shadow! Have fun with shadows today! Bring a flashlight and turn off all the lights in the room. Shine the flashlight against the wall and have kids take turns making different shadow shapes. You might want to teach them how to make a few basic shapes as well. When you are finished, say: We had a lot of fun with shadows! Did the groundhog see his shadow today? What do you need to be able to make a shadow? You need LIGHT! We need to let our lights shine and tell everyone about Jesus!
- Here’s a fun video for your younger kids to sing along with 🙂
And a video that’s more suited for your older kids/teens. Both are fun videos to use as a transition into your lesson time.
Beforehand, print off the Groundhog Bible Verse Cards found below and hide them around the room. Say: Today, we have six Groundhogs with us. They are all hidden around the room, just waiting for the opportunity to come out of their hiding places and share some news with us! Let’s see if you can find them all!
Give the kids time and have them search for the groundhogs. When all the groundhogs are found, have the kids sit back down. Say: While our groundhogs aren’t going to tell us if we’ll have six more weeks of winter or an early spring, they are going to share some NEWS with us. In fact, they are going to share the BEST NEWS EVER . . . news that we need to share with everyone we know! Let’s see what news they have to share!
Teach the rest of this part of the lesson by having the kids read what is on their groundhogs, starting with groundhog 1 and ending with the last groundhog. Use the following discussion guide to help.
- Is this GOOD NEWS or BAD NEWS? Yes, this is bad news! This is like if the groundhog predicted that spring would never come! We’ve all done things that are wrong, and that keeps us away from God! What are some things that we do that are wrong? Write their ideas on a dry erase or chalk board. Yes, that’s pretty bad news.
- Is this GOOD NEWS or BAD NEWS? This is MORE bad news! We deserve to be punished for all these bad things that we do.
- Is this GOOD NEWS or BAD NEWS? This is GOOD NEWS! God gave us a gift that is absolutely free — and this gift keeps us from being punished for our sins! Does anyone know what this gift is? I think we will find out with groundhog number 4!
- More GOOD NEWS! Jesus died for us. He never did anything wrong, yet he willingly took the punishment for all of our sins! He did this for us because He loves us so much! Let’s see what groundhog number 5 has to say!
- I love this GOOD NEWS, don’t you? This is even better news than spring coming early! Jesus took the punishment for our sins so we no longer have to be punished! We can have eternal life! How should we respond to this? Let’s find out from groundhog number 6.
- Repent means to say we are sorry and really mean it! It means we feel so bad that we change the way we are living and we live for Jesus instead! We need to be sorry for all the sins we have done. What does it mean to be baptized? Does anyone want to share about when they were baptized? This would be a good time for you to share your story of when you became a Christian, or to invite a special guest to share.
Wow! What great news from all our groundhogs! But we’re not finished yet! Remember, the groundhogs share their news with the world . . . and we need to do the same thing.
Hold up the final verse and read it to the kids. Say: What are some ways we can obey this verse? Discuss. You might also choose to discuss how, sometimes, this means we have to do things that might seem uncomfortable. Just like the groundhog has to leave his comfortable house to make his prediction, we have to leave our comfort zones to tell people about Jesus. (This would be a good discussion for older kids/teens).
End this time by praying, asking God to the kids in your class get out of their comfort zones to share the GOOD NEWS with everyone they know!
- Make groundhog pancakes.
- Make your own “Groundhog Day” report. Have the kids act like reporters and spectators and have one kid be the “Groundhog” (you can use the masks from earlier). Video him coming up and seeing his shadow (or not). Record the reactions of others. Then have the kids do the same thing, but this time the “Groundhog” is a person who comes out of his “comfort zone” and tells his friends about Jesus. Video the reactions. Put both videos together and share with your church family. (If anyone makes any of these videos, I’d love to see them! Please feel free to share them in our facebook group!
- Make a fun groundhog craft!