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Celebrate Leap Day!

Math and science activities and fun games to celebrate this special day

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

A leap year only comes around every four years and is a year with one extra day inserted into February. In a leap year, the calendar has 366 days with 29 days in February, not 28 days.

Start the day with a trip back in time to 46 B.C. to find out the confusing truth behind the origin of leap years.

Make the most of this year's bonus day with leaping fun math and science activities.

 

Math Rules for Leap Years

Which years are leap years? Here are three simple rules for determining the leap years.

  1. Every year divisible by 4 is a leap year
  2. But every year divisible by 100 is NOT a leap year
  3. Unless the year is also divisible by 400, then it is still a leap year.

Leap-Year Math Quiz

  1. List the next five leap years after 2012:
  2. Sara was born in 1988. What was the first leap year during her lifetime?
  3. Circle the years that were leap years: 1900, 1972, 1956, 1946, 1992, 1886, 1420, 1600
  4. List the next five century leap years:
  5. The day of the week that a date falls on usually skips forward one day the following year. January 1, 2011, was a Saturday; January 1, 2012, was a Sunday. But if there's a February 29 between the two dates, the day of the week "leaps" forward an extra day: January 1, 2013, will be on a Tuesday (instead of Monday). On which day will January 1 fall in...
    • a. 2014?
    • b. 2017?

BONUS: A leap year occurs every four years. Based on that information, about how many hours longer than 365 days do you think it takes Earth to revolve around the sun?

The answers are here!


Frogs for a Day
Leap Day is the perfect time to study frogs, toads, and other animals that leap.

  1. Jumpstart the day with this lesson plan All About Frogs. Students become familiar with all types of frogs and toads, how they develop, and how and where they survive.
     
  2. Take your students on an expedition for brightly colored dart poison frogs of Central and South America.
     
  3. Do you know how far frogs can jump? Are toads frogs? What's the world's largest frog? Your students can track down the answers to these Frog Fun Facts.
     
  4. Sing along with a chorus of frogs from Madagascar.


Answers to Scholastic Math quiz questions:

  1. 2016, 2020, 2024, 2028, 2032
  2. 1988
  3. 1972, 1956, 1992, 1420,1600
  4. 2400, 2800, 3200, 3600, 4000
  5. a. Wednesday b. Sunday

BONUS: It takes about 365 days and 6 hours for Earth to revolve around the sun.

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  • Subjects:
    Multiplication and Division, Real-World Math, Time and Measurement, Biology and Life Science, Real-World Science, Reptiles and Amphibians
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