Family Games

29 Fun Ways to Spend Leap Year’s Extra Hours

By: Amanda Mushro
A child standing in front of a window and excitedly holding up a clock on Leap Year day
Ages 3+
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Every 4 years or so, February has 29 days instead of 28 so that our calendar year stays in sync with the solar year — that is, the amount of time it takes Earth to make a trip around the sun. When this happens, it’s called a leap year, and it can be fun to think about what to do with all that found time at the end of February.

No plans yet for enjoying your extra day this leap year? Don’t worry: We’ve got you covered. Try one — or a few — of these 29 interesting, fun and philanthropic ways for you and your kids to celebrate.

1. Surf the internet for information on leap year

Fun facts: People born on leap day are called leaplings and about 4 million people worldwide are leaplings. The chance of being a leapling is 1 in 1,461.

2. Make leapfrog goodies

Bake cupcakes. Top with green icing. Use brown candy-covered chocolate pieces for frog eyes. Add red icing frog lips and green icing bumps around the frog’s head in random locations.

3. Practice counting

Have kids calculate when leap year will fall five leap years from now.

4. Enhance breakfast in increments of 29

Sprinkle 29 (for Feb. 29) or 24 (for the extra hours of the day) raisins, berries, nuts, chocolate chips or any other small edible add-on over cereal, waffles, or pancakes.

5. Do “leap year math”

Divide everyone’s age by 4  to figure out their leap-year age. Act that age at dinner.

6. Forecast the future

Imagine your lives 4 years from now. How old will you be? How tall? How much will you weigh? What will everyone be doing? Record your predictions, save them, and check them out in 2026. Brace yourself for some amusing comparisons.

7. Leap!

Leap out of bed in the morning. Leap back into bed at night. During the day, leapfrog around the house for exercise. (Help little ones crouch and leap safely.)

8. Explore the number 29

Drive 29 miles in any direction. At home, have kids count off 29 steps and see where it takes them. Outside, walk a continuous series of 29 steps until you reach your destination.

9. Spend money in multiples of 29

Give each child 29 cents — or $2.90 to share — and see what they come back with. Shop for items on a $29 budget. Can you do it?

10. Purge your closets

Ask kids to rustle up 29 things they no longer need and can easily part with. Include clothes and toys. Donate the items.

11. Connect with family

Ask grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and others where they were and what they were doing 29 years ago. Was anyone born on Feb. 29 or married in a leap year? Mark your calendar.

12. Plant 29 blooms

Plan a flower box or a garden. Aim for 29 blooms, but the more the better.

13. Volunteer anywhere

Food banks, hospitals and animal shelters are always looking for helpers. Donate your time in multiples of 29 minutes.

14. Organize and give

Identify a charity or a cause you believe in. Put on a show, sell lemonade or hold a yard sale to raise money. Then donate the proceeds to that charity.

15. Spice up the day, literally

Visit a friend, relative or neighbor. Bring food that uses interesting seasonings, or head out for a leap-day dinner that is extra savory. Take a picture to commemorate the occasion.

16. Start a tradition

Dress in green for the day, or wear leapfrog costumes. Repeat four years from now.

17. Make a countdown calendar leading up to leap day

Hang a calendar in a central location and cross off the days leading up to leap day.

18. Set 29 minutes aside to do a home project as a family

Erect a basketball hoop, add a bird feeder, or install a backyard fire pit. Work together to make it happen.

19. Broaden your palate with 29 bites of new food

Go vegan. Sample a new cuisine. Give a vegetable a second chance. Take turns cooking.

20. Change things up for family chore time

Swap chores with other household members for 24 hours.

21. Spend 29 minutes (or more!) learning about a new city or culture

Explore a city if you live in a suburb or a city if you live elsewhere. Visit an historic destination in your state or county.

22. Search the night sky

On Feb. 29, head outside with binoculars or a telescope. First research what planets and constellations are visible in your area this time of year.

23. Seize the day

Do something that you keep postponing. Pick a day (Feb. 29 is a great option!), mark your calendar and just do it.

24. Create a family motto

As a group, decide what your family stands for or cares about. Write a family motto or mission statement. Draw a meaningful family crest as a reminder of your clan’s values and standards.

25. Make a leap year time capsule

Grab a shoebox and have kids fill it up with things they love right now. Kids can include a picture of their favorite toy, a craft they made at school or a list of their favorite activities. Hide it away until next Leap Year, but we recommend writing down where you put it so you don’t forget.

26. Make a Leap Frog Apple snack

For this snack you’ll need green apples, green grapes, strawberry slices, chocolate morsels and peanut butter or nut butter. Create the frog’s body by cutting the apple into large slices and stacking two slices on top of each other using the peanut butter as glue. Slice a few grapes in half to make arms and legs for your frog. Use the peanut butter to attach the grapes to the apples. Next, put a small dab of peanut butter on two grapes and attach chocolate morsels to make eyes. Add more peanut butter to attach the eyes to the frog’s body. Finish by putting a sliced strawberry between the two apple slices to create the frog’s tongue. Then enjoy this yummy and healthy snack. 

27. Make a leap year obstacle course

Burn a little energy while celebrating leap year by creating an obstacle course. Grab items you already have and get kids moving. Line up pillows and have kids leap over each pillow. Have kids crawl under a string that has been tied to two chairs and then hop like a frog back to try it again. Practice feeding the frogs by rolling up socks and tossing them into a laundry basket. Have frog races by lining up toys and then hop around the toys without touching any. 

28. Make a frog puppet

Grab a small brown paper bag and let kids color or paint the bag green. Use construction paper to cut out eyes and a tongue for your frog. Attach all the pieces and put on a leap year puppet show.

29. Make a Giant Match 4 Game

Leap year only happens every four years, but Match 4 is a game kids will love all year long. You’ll need two stacks of dessert paper plates in two different colors, a reusable tablecloth, a marker and tape. Hang the tablecloth on a wall and create a grid for the game by using the marker to trace the outline of a plate in six columns and seven rows. Now it’s time to play! Have kids take turns attaching tape to the back of the plates and placing them on the grid. The first person to get four in a row is the winner.