Focus on Five: Leap Day Activities

Leap Day happens once every four years, so make it special!  My cousin was born on leap day, so I remember being a kid and thinking it was such an interesting and unusual concept that there coulf be an extra day one year and then it wasn’t there the following year. It’s winter and the time between Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day can drag, so celebrating Leap Day can be a fun and unique experience. Here are some ideas to incorporate Leap Day in your classroom…

1. Reading 

Share leap day facts by creating an adapted book. I used LessonPix to create the adapted book I use in my classroom. I also made comprehension question cards for the the higher groups. Adapted books can be an interesting way to introduce a topic and help engage students in learning about a new topic! 

2. Writing 

There are so many possibilities when it comes to combining writing with leap day.  Depending on students’ levels, they can practice copying new vocabulary words or use vocabulary works to craft sentences.  Students can also complete a variety of creative writing assignments including what the world will be like on the next leap day (2024!), a letter to future self to read on the next leap day, or how they will spend their extra day. You can also incorporate non-fiction writing and have students research animals that leap or hop. 

3. Movement

Talk about animals that move by leaping or jumping and move just like them! I had the students leapfrog (not over each other, just straight down the hallway), which they really enjoyed. You can also set up a standing broad jump with a tape measure and measure how far students can jump. If you have students who love to move, try the Leap Day Obstacle Course

4. Leap Day Crafts

The frog-theme seems very popular for a leap day craft, however, since this day comes around every 4 years, there is always room for creativity! The craft above was inspired by the unofficial colors of leap day (blue and yellow-popularized by the show 30 Rock) and “shopping” in my classroom cabinets. There is also a variety of frog crafts online, including a pipe cleaner frog, an origami jumping frog and frogs made out of toilet paper tubes

5. Cooking 

Cooking is always a fun activity and there are so many ideas for doing some leap day cooking-many of them frog related! I created my take on the green apple frog above, using fruit and toothpicks. There are a lot of variations of this recipe online- here is one with peanut butter (you can sub in sun butter for allergies), which is always good for practicing spreading with a knife.  For another variation, try 10 Lords a Leaping: Green Apple Fruit Frogs. If you would like to try some more simple, recipes without fruit (fruit is healthy, but can be expensive), take a look at Tot School: Frogs and scroll down to find some simple frog-themed recipes, using frog gummy candy (there is also great ideas for a whole frog-themed unit on this site!). 

I hope you are inspired to do some leap day activities in your classroom. For more inspiration, visit How to Celebrate Leap Year and 10 Fun Things to Do with Your Students on Leap Day Share ideas of different leap day activities you are 


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