Every four years we get the chance to celebrate an extra day in our year: February 29! I love making this a celebration in my class will remember. It is a great opportunity to make a normal day really special for everyone with Leap Year books and activities.
Understanding an abstract concept like a Leap Day can be really hard for our littlest learners. Engaging them in unique ways can help them grasp new ideas. I like to do this in a few different ways.
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Leap Year Books
One of my favorite ways to make this day special is with a themed book. Any of these books are bound to intrigue kids because they only come out every four years. They can also help kids understand what “leap day” actually means.
Miles, the main character in this book, was born on a leap day eight years ago. That means he is turning eight on this birthday…or will he be turning two? Have fun deciding how old Miles will be with your readers!
This is a chapter book that can be enjoyed over several readings. It is recommended for ages 4-8 so a broad range of kids will be able to engage with the story.See “It’s My Birthday…Finally!” on Amazon
Leopold keeps waiting for his birthday but it never seems to come! This picture book is a fun journey to figure out why exactly February 29 takes so long to come around.
This book is recommended for first and second graders.See “Leopold’s Long Awaited Leap Year Birthday” on Amazon
Leap is determined to give each of his friends a special day. He works through the calendar with his dad to do so. Along the way he has to figure out where February 29 fits.
This book is best for first and second grade as it gets a little complex. Bonus: it works on calendar skills!See “Leap’s Day: February 29” on Amazon
Bonus: Leap Back Home to Me
This sweet book is not about Leap Day or Leap Years but it does have the word “leap” which can help our youngest kids understand an abstract concept. It is a sweet story about a little frog’s first leap into the world.
Understanding an abstract concept like a Leap Day can be really hard for our littlest learners. Engaging them in unique ways can help them grasp new ideas. I like to do this in a few different ways.See “Leap Back Home to Me” on Amazon
Leap Year Activities
Look up the word “leap” in a physical or online dictionary. Ask students to give synonyms (hop, jump, etc). Let them discuss what “leap day” might mean now that they know the definition and have comfortable synonyms.
A fun extension of this is to have a classroom leaping contest. Let students leap as far as they can to really drive the definition home!
Leap Day Writing
What would you do with an extra day and NOTHING on your to do list? It’s fun to imagine what you would do on a day with no responsibilities. We use this as a creative writing prompt during our writer’s workshop.
Leap Day Math
What better way to practice or review skip counting (or multiples for older kids!) than with some leaping?! We leap around the room, counting up with each hop for this fun brain break.Shop all of these Leap Year Picture Books on Amazon
Do you celebrate the leap year with your students? What are some of your favorite ways to make it special? Do you have any leap year books I should add to my list? Let me know below! 👇