Don’t flip your calendar over to March just yet. Tomorrow is Leap Day, February 29, which only comes around once every 4 years. It’s the perfect day to forgo your traditional school schedule and “leap” into some fun. Here are five activities we’ve gathered from around the web to help you and your students make the most of Leap Day:
- Have a leaping contest. This is a great way for kids to release excess energy. Pick a place where there is plenty of room to jump (you can go outside if it’s nice). See who can leap the farthest or jump the highest. Or, have a leaping relay race!
- Teach a science lesson about frogs. We tend to think of leaping as something frogs do, so it makes sense to talk about the life cycle of frogs on leap day. Or, broaden the scope of the lesson, and teach about all the animals that leap.
- Figure it out with a math lesson. We know leap days only happen once every 4 years, but did you know you can mathematically figure out which years are leap years? Have students use the following three rules to figure out if random years in the future are leap years:
- Every year divisible by 4 is a leap year.
- But every year divisible by 100 is NOT a leap year.
- Unless the year is also divisible by 400, then it is still a leap year.
- Discuss leap years vs. leap seconds. Talk about the differences between the leap day/year and the leap second, as well as the origination of both. This can be a great topic for either a science or a history lesson.
- Make a prediction. Have students write down what they think their lives will be like 4 years from now, on the next leap day. Seal predictions in envelopes, and mail students their predictions in 4 years.
To find out more about the above activities and to read about even more ways to celebrate Leap Day, read the following articles: 7 Ideas for Celebrating Leap Day from PTO Today, Celebrate Leap Day from Scholastic and Leap Year Activities from ProTeacher Community. There are also some great ideas in this Learning Network article from the NY Times.
What are you doing to celebrate Leap Day in your classroom?