Well, here we are again, within a week of another Leap Day, February 29th. Four years ago, on a whim, I wrote the post below with ideas for 29 things to do on Leap Day with little or no planning. I’ve updated it just a bit to fix up some links that weren’t working and added in a great new resource from my wonderful friend Lauren (of Mama’s Learning Corner).
I figured that for both my homeschooling friends, and for all of you teachers and non-homeschooling parents out there, you might appreciate some more quick ideas for celebrating Leap Year by marking that extra day we get.
Now that it’s almost February 29th, 2016, I wish I had done #23 on the list with my kids back on February 29, 2012. That would be so much fun to see now.
So, now, let’s get to those 29 Ideas for Celebrating Leap Day with Little or No Planning:
Conventional blogging wisdom is to post about events weeks ahead of time. But, here I am on February 28th with ideas for Leap Day. So, in the spirit of it being at the last minute, these will all be things you can do on the spur of the moment (or with only a little planning) in your homeschool.
Obviously, many of these won’t work in a traditional classroom, but you’ll definitely find some that are perfect, easy Leap Day activities for classrooms too!
Some of these easy Leap Day activities for kids will last just a few minutes and others can take hours. Find the ones that will work best for your needs.
29 Things to Do with Your Kids on Leap Day
1. Cancel school. This day only comes once every four years. Make it a school holiday, even if it means one more day of school later.
2. Have a totally normal school day. Hey — it’s just another day. So what if February 29th only comes once every four years?
3. Spend the day reading, whether aloud to the kids or the kids on their own. Or, mix it up and do some of both.
4. Let the kids choose all of the school activities for the day. Promise you’ll let them do it each Leap Day as a new tradition. (See if any of you remember that in four years or not.)
5. Challenge 29 for Leap Day. (These are math activities.)
6. Work on this very cool coloring book all about Leap Year that’s perfect for preschool through 5th grade. It’s not your average coloring book, since it’s so chock full of Leap Year information. Plus, it’s very adaptable for various ages.
7. Take a field trip to a favorite location.
8. Or, since Leap Day rarely happens, take the day as an opportunity to go on a field trip to somewhere you have never been before.
9. Play leap frog in the backyard (or in the house, if it’s too cold).
10. Go to the movies during the middle of the day. (When we did this a few weeks ago, we were the only ones in the theater at Beauty and the Beast in 3D. That’s always fun when that happens!)
11. Call or Skype with relatives or friends that you rarely see.
12. Have a special lunch or dinner out, or maybe even just dessert (like ice cream).
13. Set up your own modified long jump event.
14. You and your kids can pretend to be different types of animals that get around by jumping – frogs, kangaroos, bunnies. Ask the kids for animal ideas.
15. Do a Leap Day Obstacle Course.
16. Work on brief research projects about animals that leap, jump, or pounce.
17. Research and read about why we have February 29th only once every four years. Also, find out more information about how calendars other than the Gregorian calendar deal with this need to add in extra time. (Here is one source for some interesting information on Leap Years.)
18. See if you can do any volunteering for a presidential campaign. That’s another thing that only comes once every four years!
19. Have a dance party (even if it only lasts a few minutes).
20. Bake together. Even better – take some of your tasty creations to family, friends, or neighbors (especially elderly neighbors that probably don’t do much baking for themselves anymore).
21. Make a trail mix that is made up of 29 pieces of various items like Cheerios, raisins, and so on. (Unless you’re adding in lots and lots of different ingredients, these will likely be individual snack mixes. So, let everyone make their own special mixes.)
22. Take guesses on what item in your house is closest to 29 inches. The one who guesses correctly can be the Leap Day King or Queen.
23. Have your children write a letter (or have them dictate it to you) to themselves to be opened on Leap Day 2020. Who do they think they’ll be? What are their hopes and goals? (Consider writing one of these to yourself as well.) Consider adding in a photograph of the child from February 29, 2016.
24. Have a board game day. (Or spend the day creating your own board game.)
25. If you’re normally the one who makes lunch in your house, have the kids make lunch instead.
26. Jump Rope (get fancy with Double Dutch)
27. Use your extra day to serve others through community service.
28. Go to church or some type of worship service. If this isn’t available, spend some time in prayer with your children.
29. Work your way through a Leap Day mini unit, which includes math, reading, and writing activities.
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