Teaching Children about Leap Year 2008


We love Leap Year because it gives us just one more day to go to our favorite activities and one more day to use our POWerful Words! No matter what kind of POWerful Words school your child attends– have your child impress his/her instructors or teachers by saying; “I’m so glad it’s a Leap Year because it gives me another day to learn from you!”

Teaching Children about Leap Year 2008

Dr. Robyn J.A. Silverman

Parents have been asking about how to teach their children about leap year– so here are the answers to some of your child’s most frequently asked questions:

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?

Did you know? Leap Year Traditions

In Ireland, every February 29th, women were allowed to ask for a man in marriage. A man was fined if he refused the proposal.

Leap Year has been the traditional time that women can propose marriage. In many of today’s cultures, it is okay for a woman to propose marriage to a man. Society doesn’t look down on such women. However, that hasn’t always been the case. When the rules of courtship were stricter, women were only allowed to pop the question on one day every four years. That day was February 29th.” Read more about it.

Leap Year Activities for Kids

Making a leap year frog out of a paper plate:

Pin the Crown on the Frog Prince :

Musical Lilly Pads:

Frog Hunt and other Frog Games:

Make a Frog Bean Bag

Paper Frog Puppet alternative:

Frog CupCakes

Cullin’s Video on leap year for young children:

Have a POWerful Extra Leap Year Day!




8 Responses

  1. Great post! Thanks for including my Leap Year activity!

  2. But surely you don’t tell a child all of that when they inevitably say “Why” when you say that we have to have an extra day this year. How would you explain it to a child when you know that Why is their favorite word?

  3. I’d rather try to explain the birds and the bees than the leap year mess

  4. Thanks for the such a great information. it reaaly is cool to know all this!

  5. This is a great post! I am a homeschool mom and was looking for info. to teach my 11 year old about Leap Day. Thanks so much!

  6. Hello Treadmarkz-

    Why, why, why! Why does a child keep asking why?

    Just for you (and anyone other fabulous parents who would like to know), I will answer your question about “why” in a later post. As you can imagine, it’s a question that I get from parents often.

    I know it may not always seem like it, but it’s wonderful that your child is so curious– since that is how he learns. However, I can understand your frustration since it seems it never stops!

    For the short term, try to answer your child’s question as well as you can. You can turn to books or the internet to help as well. Beyond that, make a discussion out of it and ask your child why he thinks its so! He’ll likely love to engage in this sort of conversation with you.

    Again, I will answer this question more thoroughly in an upcoming post. Check back!

    Thanks for your questions– keep ’em coming.

    Best regards,
    Dr. Robyn

  7. […] the highly trafficked Leap Year post (especially from many of you educators and home-schooling parents), I figured I’d post a little […]

  8. […] such a great response to the Leap Year post, here’s a few easy answers about St. Patrick’s Day for […]

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