It only comes around once every 4 years... what is it?! Presidential elections?!? Well, yes, but that's not what I'm talking about here. Why it's Leap Year Day, of course! The 29th of February. If you were born on that day, why you would only age 1 year for every 4! Ok, perhaps that's not true, but still, I think it would be cool to be born on a day that is only thrown into our calendar every 4 years.
Because this is a leap year, I thought to do a special storytime on Leap Year Day (the 29th). Little did I know that there are very (VERY) few picture books on subject of Leap Year!!! In fact, none in our library system and only one available through the state interlibrary loan program! That's it!
NOTE TO AUTHORS: Please, we (librarians and others who work with children) need some good leap year stories! You have four years to write one and get it published - GO!
Because of the lack of specific books, I had to get a bit creative and think out-of-the-box (plus search the internet a bit!). Here are a few of the ideas I came up with:
1. Calendars/Months of the Year
2. Frogs or creatures that "leap"
3. Birthday celebration
4. Stories about strong/independent girls
5. Favorite things
Out of the ideas I came up with, I decided to go with a frog theme, but also include at the beginning of storytime a little discussion about Leap Year and a short book on the months of the year. My plan is that after the story on months, then we can segue in to the frog books by talking about when we start to see frogs around our state. Afterwards we can also talk about other animals that "leap" (spiders, lizards, kangaroos, rabbits, crickets, etc).
The books that I decided to share are:
Leap Back Home to Me by Lauren Thompson
Jump Frog Jump! by Robert Kalan
A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson
Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months by Maurice Sendak
Rhymes and Riddles with Corduroy by Don Freeman
I found a neat coloring sheet to use from this site that also features a frog:
Leap Year Coloring Page
We are making paper bag frogs as our craft (see photo) to go along with our leaping froggy books. A little fold here and added paper there, and you've got a cute frog puppet!!!
If you would like some more information on Leap Year and Leap Year Day, check out the Scholastic website:
Scholastic Leap Year info