How to Explain Leap Year to a Kid
February 29, 2012 1 Comment
My youngest brother was born on February 29th. Given 2012 is a Leap Year, my kids are fascinated with the fact their Uncle is “only 9-years old.” Technically, he’s really 36, but who’s counting
The concept of Leap Year is confusing. In explaining why we have Leap Year to my Kindergartener, he quizzically asked, “So…the reason he [meaning his Uncle] is 9-years old, but looks older than most 9-year old’s is that when he was born, he was really 10?”
I love how children fill in the gaps by making up and testing assumptions. Though I wasn’t quite sure about the soundness of the reasoning (LOL!), my Kindergartener was on the right track when thinking about making up time. I wondered how to simply describe Leap Year. Here’s where I’ve landed.
A calendar year has 365 days
While, a solar year, or the length of time it takes the Earth to travel around the sun, is 365-1/4 days
Every four years, one extra day is added into the calendar year to catch up to the solar year (i.e 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 = 1)
I’m going to try this description with my Kindergartener tonight. Wish me luck.