Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day with kids!

What is a leap year?
A leap year is a year that has a longer February than normal. In a leap year, February has 29 days in it instead of 28.

Why do we need a leap year?
Leap year began in order to align the earth’s rotation around the sun with our seasons. It takes approximately 365.2422 days for the earth to travel around the sun in one year. We know that a typical year has 365 days in it—but as you can see from the number 365.2422, a year is not exactly 365 days! So, in order to get “lined up”, almost every four years, we give one extra day to account for the additional time the earth takes to travel around the sun.

Trivia question: How long is 365.2444 days?
Answer: 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes 46 seconds

When is Leap Year?
This year, 2008, is a Leap Year. It occurs every 4 years (with some exceptions every few hundred years). It’s celebrated on February 29th– a day that only occurs in a Leap Year.

How do you calculate a Leap Year?
How do you calculate a leap year? According to the Gregorian calendar, there are 3 rules to calculate if it is leap year or not a leap year.

Rule 1: Leap year is divisible by 4
Rule 2: Exception to Rule 1, any year divisible by 100 such as 1900 or 1800
Rule 3: Exception to Rule 2, any year divisible by 400 is a leap year such as 2000

Fun for the Kids:
How many leap years old am I?
How many leap years old is Grandma/Grandpa/Mom/Dad?
How many leap years old is my school?
Resources for Leap Day/Leap Year:

Leap Day Party:  Activities for younger kids like Pin the Crown on the Frog Prince; Musical Lily Pads; Frog Hunt and more.

Leap Year Coloring Page

Fun Facts About Leap Day - for Kids: contains poems; Leap Day/Year Age Chart

Leap Day Trivia: for Older kids-Trivia about events that occurred on Leap Days.

Leap Year eCards: Send an eCard to a friend or loved one on this fun day. Send via email, Facebook or Twitter

Why Leap Days are Used? - For adults to use as background knowledge. 

Leap Year Calculator:  Find out how to calculate a leap year or use the calculator.

Leap Year/Day Books: A compilation of books about Leap Year/Day.  (These are for purchase)

Leap Year Leap Frog party decor

Leap Year Leap Frog party food

Leap Day or Frog Party
For Leap Day Babies, 2012 is your year! So, have a bash!

Bendable Frogs - Leap Year Party

28 Days Has February
by D. D. Ochampeterspaughson Copyright ©2007 
28 days has February
A very light load for one month to carry

The other months have 2 and 3 more
Thirty and thirty-one being their big score

In Leap Years the days they do vary
Making 29 days in February

Decorating Ideas:
- Hang plastic frogs with curling ribbon from the ceilings.

- Cut out lily pads from green poster board or construction paper.  Using glitter gel pens or glue spell out child's name or "Happy Birthday" on the pads and hang on the wall.

- Create a pond look at your table with a blue table cover, cut out green lily pad placemats and laminate them. 

- Add some green party plates, cups and napkins. Use frog key chain favors as napkin rings.

- Make a larger lily pad for center of the table and place cake on it.  Have a frog shaped cake made.  

- Create a personalized banner. For Leap Day birthdays, add fun sayings like:
  • Leaping Ahead
  • Leap On!
  • Leap Baby 2-29-YYYY
  • Proud Leaper

Frog Game Ideas

Pin the Crown on the Frog

Enlarge a picture of a frog and cut out gold crowns in proportion to the frog. As in pin the tail on the donkey, kids are blindfolded, spun around and have to try to pin the crown on top of the frogs head. 
Musical Lily Pads

Cut out large lily pads for kids to stand on. If there will be 10 kids then cut out 9 pads. 

Arrange the pads on the floor, use masking tape to tape down.  Play some music and when the music stops the kids must hop onto a lily pad.  Each round eliminate a player until there is one winner.
Pass the Toad

Using a stuff animal frog, play this game like "Hot Potato".  Eliminating a player who has the frog when the music stops until there is one winner left. 

Ribbit, Ribbit, Jump

Just a different version of "Duck, Duck, Goose".  The player tapped on the head when the word "jump" is said must hop and try to catch the other player who must also hop around to get back to the empty spot. 

Leap Frog Relay

Divide guest into teams and create a start and finish line. Each team player must leap like a frog from start to finish, then the next player can go.  The team with all players at the finish line first wins. 

Leap Day Game Ideas

Catch 29 - Use plastic frogs
 (or fish) and number a few with the number 29 on their belly.
Place frogs in a small wading pool or tub with water. Let each player using a small fish tank net, capture a frog. If his frog has 29 on it, he wins!
Roll 29 - Using 3 inflatable dice, each player gets two rolls (roll all 3 dice together twice) to add up his numbers to get to 29. If a player goes over they are out. The closest to 29 wins. In case of a tie, have a roll off. Scavenger Hunt 29 - Split players into two teams. Create a list of 29 items that each team must collect. Give each team a bag. Each team has an adult guide to take them through the neighborhood knocking on neighbors doors for items on their list. Each team can have the same or different list, you choose.  Set how many items per household can be donated.  First team to collect all 29 items and return to the party house 

4 Corners

Best if played with 6 or more players.

To begin, four corners (or general areas) of the room are marked from the numbers one to four.

One player is designated to be "It," or the "counter." This player sits in the middle of the room, closes his eyes, and counts to ten. The remaining players choose any one of the corners and quietly go and stand in that area. When the "It" player has finished counting, he calls out one of the numbers. All players who had chosen that corner or area are out of the game, and they sit down.

Then, "It" counts again and the remaining players move to a different corner.

The last person to still be in the game wins, and usually becomes the new "It."

If "It" calls out a corner containing no players, he either calls out another number right away or the players rotate to a new corner, you choose which version to play.

"Leaps" Bingo - Visit DLTK's Custom Bingo Cards site.  Choose the following options to create a LEAPS bingo game.

1) Choose "5x5 Number Bingo" card.
2)Choose "Numbers 1-30" theme.
3)Choose black and white or color for printing.
4) Choose game title to be "LEAPS".
5) Print bingo cards, hit refresh on bingo card to generate a new card to print.
6) Print off call list.

Leap Day Activities
Frog Hunt - 
Have kids search for hidden frogs around the party room or outside.
Origami Frogs

Party Food Ideas
How To Make  A Frog Cake
Hoppy Frog Cake  Recipe
Sherbet the Frog

Chrissie's Frog Eye Salad
Frog in the Pond
Make blue Jell-O with the children. Before the Jell-O has hardened insert gummy worms and gummy frogs.

Frog Gifts
Frog Gumball Machine Each
  Frog Gumball Machine  

Frog Sites:
Leap Day Sites:

Leap Day Printable

Have the kids fill these adorable resolution cards.  download below:

Learn How to Draw a Frog

How to draw a frog using the number 2

How to draw a frog and over fifty other animals step by step, explained in whimsical rhyme. For ages 2 to 102.
how to draw a frog

click HERE to learn how to draw this frog 

Squidoo has so many educational resources regarding frogs - click HERE 
Leap Day Frog Themed Kids Craft and Lesson Plan for Kids
Photo Source: www.craftynoodle.com
We think this recycled Easter egg craft from the creators of CraftyNoodle is simply adorable and would be perfect for Leap Day next Wednesday!
Supplies You’ll Need
  • Plastic Easter eggs
  • Construction paper or craft foam in assorted colors
  • Wiggle eyes
  • Low temp glue gun
  • Permanent markers in assorted colors 

Happy Leap Day!

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