leap day preschool activities

Leap Day in Pre-K

Celebrating Leap Year and Leap Day in a preschool or child care setting can be a fun and educational experience.  Below is a list of some fun and simple leap day preschool activities that you can incorporate on February 29…every 4 years!  But first, check out this cute little video that explains what Leap Year is:

Desribe what the word “Leap” means:

  • Discuss what it means to leap (a large jump or to jump over something).  Differentiate between regular jumps and leaps. You can say, “A leap is like a super jump, much bigger and more exciting than a regular jump!”

Talk about Animals that Leap:

  • Ask children to name animals leap (make a list).  Some examples: frog, kangaroo, grasshopper, rabbit – they all push off with their powerful back legs to leap through the air.

Have Leap Year Dance Party:

  • In a large area with lots of room to move, have a dance party where children can show off their best leaping dance moves. Play music related to frogs or include songs about counting and numbers.

Animal Leap Day Parade:

  • Encourage children to dress up as their favorite leaping animals and have a Leap Day parade, while leaping like their animal.

Leap Day Obstacle Course:

  • Set out hula hoops as ‘lily pads’ where children pretend to be frogs, leaping from lily pad to lily pad.

Leap Frog Fun:

  • Get plastic leap frogs, and place a basket or some sort of bowl in the middle of the table.  Have children try to get the frogs to leap into the basket.

Explaining Leap Years to Preschoolers:

  • Keep it simple: Explain that a year is the time it takes for the Earth to go around the sun once. Usually, it takes about 365 days, but sometimes it takes a little bit more. In a leap year, we add an extra day to the calendar because the Earth’s trip around the sun takes a bit longer than 365 days.
  • Use visuals: Draw a simple diagram or use pictures to show the Earth going around the sun, pointing out the extra day in a leap year.
  • Relate it to birthdays: Explain that just like when they have a birthdaybirthday, their age increases by one every year, just like we add an extra day to the calendar in a leap year.

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