29 things to do with the extra day in a Leap year

Pretty much everyone by now will know that 2016 is a leap year, with the date of February 29th. providing us all with an extra day in the year. It falls on a Monday this time round, so for many it will be a work day, but here at 360 Play we’ve been thinking about what you could do with that extra day and have come up with ‘29’ suggestions for both adults and children, with lots that families can enjoy together too. Why not take a look and see if any take your fancy!

  1. Get together with your children and find out why leap years happen. Or if you already know, share it with them
  2. Get kids up and active with some jumping and hopping contests – after all it is a ‘leap’ year
  3. Play musical lily pads – just like musical chairs but get the kids to cut out lily pad shapes which they can then use in the game
  4. Have a frog croaking contest – loudest or longest wins
  5. For teachers, have a science lesson around frogs and teach the kids about their lifecycle
  6. It’s pretty crazy to see February 29th on the calendar so do something ‘crazy’ on the day. Wear a crazy hat or have the kids wear their clothes the wrong way round!
  7. Make a list of things you hope to achieve over the next four years
  8. Plant some seeds with the kids that are easy to grow, such as sunflowers
  9. Go on a bike ride
  10. Go to the park for a walk
  11. Feed the ducks
  12. Look for ladybirds and count how many you find
  13. Fly a kite
  14. Clear out your wardrobe
  15. Have a leap year party with friends
  16. See what’s on at the theatre or cinema
  17. Go ten pin bowling
  18. Go to an arboretum and check out all the different trees
  19. Do some stargazing
  20. Do something you’ve never done before
  21. Go to a craft centre and try pottery or another craft
  22. Go out for a meal to a place you’ve never tried
  23. Go to a specialist ice cream shop and try a flavour you’ve never had before
  24. Do some baking and make something different – like frog faced cupcakes
  25. Wear something ‘frog like’ all day – or play leap-frog
  26. Go to the beach (would you usually do this in February?)
  27. Take a break from your regular chores – and have some ‘me’ time
  28. Pay a visit to your local 360 Play family entertainment centre
  29. And finally, of course, for the ladies – there’s the traditional one of getting down on one knee and proposing

Whatever you choose to do on the extra day this year brings, have fun!

Using tech to have fun and get creative!

So half-term is with us and no doubt many readers of this blog will be trying to think of things to do to keep the young ones happy and occupied over the next week or so. You don’t want them sitting in front of a screen all day, but technology is a part of everyone’s life these days whether we like it or not, so we thought we’d suggest some half-term fun and games that involve tech in creative and physical ways and not necessarily the ‘couch potato’ kind!

  • Let the kids become ‘digital animators’ with the free Stop Animator app. Through a super simple interface, this clever app allows you to create stop action videos. You can get creative and paint scenes on large pieces of cardboard, use toys as characters and get the kids to do voice overs as you create an animated video. It’s simple to use and gives hours of fun.
  • Make a TV! A bit ‘old school’ for sure but again great, simple fun. Get a large cardboard box and get the children to decorate it like a TV with all the different buttons and so on. Then ask them to create a TV programme to put on for you by getting inside the box or, if it’s not big enough for that, they can put it on a table and kneel behind the ‘screen’ as they talk through it. And the best part? You get to sit down with a cuppa and watch as they entertain you (and themselves!)
  • Go geocaching. This is a great way to get out and about and adds some real fun to a walk, which all the family can take part in. It’s basically a treasure hunt which uses GPS or mobile devices to find containers called ‘geocaches’ or ‘caches’ – literally anywhere. A typical cache will contain a logbook and the geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it. After signing the log, the cache must be put back in exactly the same place as it was found. Larger containers may also have items for trading, such as toys or trinkets, so you can take items to swap. There will be geocaching opportunities somewhere near where you live so a search on the internet should provide the necessary details.
  • A Powerpoint project for Key Stage 2 children. Come up with a few fun topics that your children would enjoy looking into and talking about, ask them to choose one and get them to find out as much as they can about it. Then ask them to create a Powerpoint presentation on it to show you what they’ve come up with.
  • Do a time trial. Weather permitting, take the kids to the park or somewhere similar and set them some timed tasks, like races, obstacle courses or ‘find three red things’ (or whatever) in a minute. Then use the stop watch on your phone to time them. Alternatively, if you have children who don’t do well with competition pressure, then change this to a kids v. grown-ups game – find three red things before me – in which you can control who wins and how often.
  • Read a book on a kindle. We all love a physical book but the odd time sitting with your child and reading a kindle book or ibook is time well spent too and a good excuse to use some tech.