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Our website provides a variety of ways to teach about Leap Year Day to the children. If you have ideas you want to share with us, please contact us here.
Which Day Leap Day?
What Leap Day were you born on?
Every 28 years Leap Day lands on the same day of the week.
Monday If you were born in...1904 1932 1960 1988 2016
Saturday if you were born in...1908 1936 1964 1992 2020
Thursday if you were born in...1912 1940 1968 1996 2024
Tuesday if you were born in...1916 1944 1972 2000 2028
Sunday if you were born in...1920 1948 1976 2004 2032
Friday if you were born in...1924 1952 1980 2008 2036
Wednesday if you were born in...1928 1956 1984 2012 2040
James Collins of Texas, USA, born Leap Day 1968 says:
In a non Leap Year, on February 28th, when they ask, "When's your birthday?" you can tell people this:
"It's the day after today but it's not tomorrow. And it's the day before tomorrow but it's not today."
F U N C H A R T S
WHAT DAY OF THE WEEK IS IT?
Another way to tell if it's a Leap Year or not is by what day of the week the year starts and ends on. Every year January 1 and December 31 (the first and last day of the year) fall on the same day of the week. Unless it's a Leap Year.
Leap Years only occur in years that show January 1st landing on one day of the week and December 31 on the following day of the week. See the example below.
2015 Thursday January 1 - Thursday December 31 Not a Leap Year
2016 Friday January 1 - Saturday December 31 Leap Year!
2017 Sunday January 1 - Sunday December 31 Not a Leap Year
2018 Monday January 1 - Monday December 31 Not a Leap Year
2019 Tuesday January 1 - Tuesday December 31 Not a Leap Year
2020 Wednesday January 1 - Thursday December 31 Leap Year!
2021 Friday January 1 – Friday December 31 Not a Leap Year
GIVE THESE A THOUGHT
NO BIRTH DATE DURING TEEN YEARS
Leap Year Day Babies born in 1884 had no birthday during their entire teen-age years. Why?
Because 1900 was not a Leap Year. In 1888 they were 1@4. In 1892 they were2@8. In 1896 they were 3@12.
However, since 1900 was not a Leap Year, they had to wait 8 years before they could celebrate again on February 29.
Making that the only time a Leap Day baby turned 4@20 instead of 4@16. And 5@24 instead of 5@20.
Because of that, not one single teenage year was celebrated ON their birth date.
You can pose the question to your students:
Leap Year Day Babies celebrate their birthday on their birth date every four years. But those born in 1884 couldn't celebrate on their 4th birthday when they turned 16. Why?
Leap Day babies born in 1984 were able to celebrate turning 4@16 in Leap Year 2000 because it is divisible by 400 and therefore a Leap Year.
INTERNATIONAL DATE LINE DILEMMA
The Long and Short of it all!
We thought this could be used as a learning tool about the International Date Line.
The L O N G of it... Longest Reported Leap Day:
Jon Hayanga Leap Year Day Baby 1960, had his birthday in Taipei one day then crossed the international date line going east and had his
birthday again the next day in Spokane, WA, USA.
...and The SHORT of it... Shortest Reported Leap Day:
Ed Chatfield Leap Year Day Baby 1940, crossed the date line in a ship (going west) the night of February 28 woke up on March 1.
OUR BIRTHDAY WEEKEND IN THE OFF YEARS
(That means in NonLeapYears)
Eleven times in 100 years February 28 lands on Saturday and March 1 lands on Sunday.
We consider that our Birthday Week-end!
Here are the eleven years between 1981 and 2081 that provide(d) such a week-end for us.
1981 1987 1998 2009 2015 2026 2037 2043 2054 2065 2071
Our next Birthday Weekend NonLY Birthday is in 2026.
Even Decades have
three Leap Years
Odd decades have
two Leap Years
1960 1964 1968
1980 1984 1988
2000 2004 2008
2020 2024 2028
Leopold and his parents wait patiently for his first birthday, February 29th, but it just never seems to come. Finally, the wise old doctor considers the calendars, clocks and seasons ...concluding Leopold has a Leap Year Birthday! Leopold's mother explains this special day as a "Peek-a-boo-holiday...It's there, it is just (sometimes) hiding." Leopold and his friends celebrate his first birthday, and four great years of life! Educational and fun, this story celebrates waiting for a birthday and is an excellent primer in explaining why there are 365 and 1/4 days in a year.
LEAPING MATH ISSUES
A math book from 1758 uses Leap Year in one of the math lessons.
1) Jim was born in 1992. He has had only 7 birthdays, on his birth date. How could he be turning 32 next Leap Year 2020?
Answer: Because 1992 was a Leap Year so Jim must have been born on February 29.
Note: See how it is worded? "on his birth date" - we Leap Day babies can celebrate our birthday ON our birth date in Leap Years only. In annual years we celebrate on different days, February 28 and/or March 1.
2) If Sadie was born on February 29, 2004, and in LY2020 turns 4 Leap Years, how many years old is Sadie?
Answer: 16. The key is 4 Leap Years vs. how many "years" without the Leap, literally!
3) If the Skylar twins were born on February 29, 2000, how many birthdays will they get to celebrate, on their birthday, in LY2020?
(Answer: 5 because 5x4=20. The twins will be 5@20)
4) If Alitza was born February 29, 1988, how many times did she celebrate her birthday ON her birthday, by 2016?
(Answer: 8 because 8x4=32. In 2016 Alitza turned 8@32.)
FEBRUARY ZODIAC: Pisces
FEBRUARY COLOR(s): Purple, Turquoise
FEBRUARY BIRTHSTONE: Amethyst FEBRUARY FLOWER: Violet, Iris, Primrose