1. Surf the Web for info
Learn that people born on leap day are called leaplings, that about 4 million people worldwide are leaplings, and the chance of being a leapling is 1 in 1,461.
2. Make Leap Day 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 what year leap year will fall on five leap years from now. (Yes, 2036 is the correct answer.)
4. Enhance breakfast
Sprinkle 29 (for February 29) or 24 (for the extra hours) raisins, berries, nuts, chocolate chips, or any other small edible add-on over cereal, waffles, or pancakes.
5. Slow aging
Divide everyone’s age by four to figure out their leap-year age. Act that age at dinner.
6. Forecast the future
Imagine your lives four years from now. How old will you be? How tall? How much will you weigh? What will everyone doing? Record your predictions, save them, and check them out in 2020. Brace yourself for some amusing comparisons.
Leap out of bed in the morning. Leap back into bed at night. During the day, leap-frog around the house for exercise. (Help little ones crouch and leap safely.)
8. Explore 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 29
Give each child 29 cents—or $2.90 to share—and see what they come back with. Shop for food 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 February 29 or married in a leap year? Mark your calendar.
12. Plant 29
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 leap-frog costumes. Repeat four years from now.
17. Make every day count
Hang a calendar in a central location and record special moments.
18. Improve your home
Erect a basketball hoop, add a bird feeder, or install a backyard fire pit. Work together to make it happen.
19. Broaden your palate
Go vegan. Sample a new cuisine. Give a vegetable a second chance. Take turns cooking.
20. Live in their shoes
Swap chores with other household members for 24 hours.
21. Cross a border
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 February 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, 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 reminder of your clan’s values and standards.