It takes the Earth about 365.242189 days – or 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds — to circle once around the sun. However, the Gregorian calendar only has 365 days in a year, so we add a leap day Feb. 29 every four years. If we didn’t, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year, and after 100 years, our calendar would be off by around 24 days.
This year is another fateful leap year, and families will celebrate with fun and educational activities to educate and excite their children about this quadrennial day. Here are some fun leap year activities to plan with your family.
Leap Year Games
Known for leaping and hopping, play some frog games to honor leap day. Leapfrog is a popular, well-known option that’s easy to teach and play, but if you’re looking for something a little different you can try the frog straw game, says ChildFun. Start by cutting two frogs out of tissue paper, then make two teams and give each team a straw. The kids pick up the tissue frog while sucking in on the straw and run to the other side of the room and back. Each teammate does the same thing. The first team sitting down wins.
Get extremely literal and arrange some hula-hoops for your kids to jump between, with each hoop representing a different year. Or, sew a pocket on the front of a few pillowcases, place a baby “kangaroo” in the pocket, and have your kids do a relay race where if the baby kangaroo falls out, they have to start over.
Leap Year Arts and Crafts
Looking for something more creative and crafty? Print out some coloring pages of frogs and other animals that leap for your kids to color this leap year. You can also buy some arts and craft supplies to help your family make some “Happy Leap Year!” cards for friends or for anyone you know born on a leap day.
You can also use paper bags and construction paper to make frog puppets or try something more creative with one of the frog origami templates available online. Another fun idea is to create a leap day collage by cutting out pictures from old magazines of things that jump to make a “hopular” montage!
Leap Year Educational Activities
Allow your kids to practice their writing skills by having them write a letter to themselves to open on the next leap year, or have them think about and jot down some school-related goals that they should accomplish by the next time leap year rolls around. Hang on to these keepsakes on the fridge or in a special place for you and your children to look back on in four years’ time.
You could also have your kids create a quick presentation about an animal that leaps. They can create posters, do a bit of research and present their findings to their friends and siblings. You can also use the occasion to teach your children some skills around the house? Come up with some leap year baked goods in the shape of frogs and have your child help you with all of the measurements and the baking process.
At Children’s Enchanted Learning Center, we offer a wide range of educational and artistic activities for children 365 days a year – or 366 in 2016! To learn more or to find out about enrollment, give us a call today at 281-991-3999.