Celebrating Leap Year (or a frog theme any year!)

We love holidays, so on Wednesday, we were excited to celebrate Leap Day! Though Leap Day is now over, hopefully you can still enjoy some of our ideas, because it is still Leap Year, after all. And many of these ideas would fit well with a "frog" theme any year. Here are some things we did to make Leap Day extra fun:

Learning about Frogs
We incorporated a frog theme into our leap day (i.e., leapfrog), so I taught my kids a little about frogs. I showed them some different types of frogs. They loved all of the brightly colored frogs. Then, I printed out pictures of frogs at various points in their life cycle and I had my kids sequence the pictures.

Music and Dancing
For an interactive song, I made a magnet board figures for the rhyme "Five Green and Speckled Frogs.":

Five Green and Speckled Frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs. Yuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmm...yuuummm!
One jumped into the pool,
where it was nice and cool.
Then there were four green speckled frogs, glub glub.

To make my magnet board figures, I just found clipart online of a frog and printed it out five times. Then, I found clipart of a log, and printed it out. I laminated all of the pictures and put a small piece of magnetic tape on the back of each figure. I spread out a small blue baby blanket to use as a pool for the frogs to jump into. Then, I used a magnetic dry-erase board to hold the figures while I sang the song.

We also danced and sang to other froggy childrens' songs--"Froggie Went a 'Courtin" and "A-Goong Went the Little Green Frog." I printed out these lily pads for us to leap on as we danced around.

We read several Frog themed books. My kids love the Froggy Series by Jonathan London, so we checked out a few books in that series that we had never read before. In addition, we have a board book version of Five Speckled Frogs that we read.

We invited some friends over for a Leap Day playdate. Our main activity was "leaping" in our bounce house. We got this bounce house as a Christmas gift and my kids love it!
I dressed my little girl up in a frog costume, and she was the hit of the party.
With energetic toddlers, we didn't need much more than a bounce house to have a lot of fun, but we also played this pin the crown on the frog game.
I made frog cupcakes for a treat. I was inspired by these Family Fun cupcakes--but I altered the design a bit. I frosted cupcakes with green frosting and cut marshmallows in half for the eyes, with chocolate chips as the pupils.

One of my friends brought over some strawberries that I later cut up and added to make tongues on some of the leftover cupcakes.
We also had "frog eggs" (a.k.a., chocolate Easter egg candies--I can't believe the stores are already selling Easter candy!)

Time Capsule
Lest my kids be totally confused and think that Leap Day was really only about frogs, I had them watch this Veggie Tales Leap Year video. We talked about how Leap Day is special because it comes only once every four years. Then, we made a family time capsule that we will open again next Leap Day! My sons couldn't believe that they would be 8 and 6 next Leap Day. In the time capsule we put the following items:
*A piece of yarn for each member of the family showing how tall each person was on Leap Day 2012 (even Mommy and Daddy measured themselves, though hopefully our height won't change!)
*A footprint and handprint of each child (we did these in green in keeping with our froggy theme).
*A self-portrait or piece of art done by each child.
*A letter that I wrote to each person in the family (including myself) about things I love about them now and things I hope for them in the next four years.
*Pictures of all of us on Leap Day 2012
*A CD with Interviews I did with each of the boys. This is my favorite part of the time capsule. I love having their cute little voices recorded answering questions about what makes them happy, who their friends are, what their favorite colors, foods, shows, books, and activities are, and more. I also recorded each child singing a song and added this to the CD.
Now the time capsule is sealed away and we will pull it out in four years and see how much we have changed and grown!

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