28th February

1820 John Tenniel born – so print and colour in some Alice in Wonderland pictures

1824 Blondin, tightrope walker, born – so try some balancing games:


Kalevala Day (for Finnish Culture: The Kalevala, a collection of epic folk poetry, was collected by Finnish folklorist Elias Lönnrot and is now considered the national saga of Finland.)

India National Science Day (Indian inventions include an ancient form of chess, chaturanga, ludo, snakes and ladders, and kabaddi; incense clocks; Indian ink; rulers – made of ivory; all kinds of fabric like calico, muslin, etc.; sugar refining; the number zero)

Taiwan Peace Memorial Day

22nd February

1997 Dolly the sheep’s clone announced – so learn about genes and DNA:


1857 Robert Baden-Powell (founder of Scouts) born – Baden-Powell Day

1889 Girl Guide founder Olave Baden-Powell born – World Thinking Day (Girl Guides)

… so go camping!

Sun Festival, Abu Simbel – Ramses II built this temple so that the inner chamber would light up twice a year: once on the anniversary of his ascension to the throne (today), and once on his birthday (22nd October).

St Lucia Independence Day

George Washington’s Birthday – the first president of the United States. Try this website.

21st February

1842 the sewing machine patented – try these easy sewing activities with your little one:

Other events that might inspire your play today:

  • 1958 the peace symbol designed
  • Mother Language Day (International – UNESCO)
  • Bengali Language Movement Day (celebrating Pakistan allowing Bengali to be an official language alongside Urdu in 1956)
  • Birth Anniversary of Fifth Druk Gyalpo (Bhutan)
  • Father Lini Day (Vanuatu – an Anglian priest who was the country’s founding Prime Minister when it gained independence from the UK and France in 1980 – see 5th March)

19th February

1472 Nicholas Copernicus born – so learn about the solar system:

We made an orrery!


As you can see, it’s made from a nail pushed through the hole in a cake stand.

A tealight represents the sun and the planets are in order on craft wire. They can move around the ‘sun’ as they are hooked into the grooves on the nail.

The planets are made from Fimo and rest on buttons so they don’t slide down the wire.

I think the best thing is that the planets can be taken off, so you can remind your little one of the order of the planets.

We watched this song on repeat while we were making it.

Make planets out of Playdough (which can be cooked hard) or Fimo and make jewellery … or make solar system cake pops:

I also like this solar system fruit and yoghurt snack:

I love this way of showing orbits by tying a kid to a weight so they see how they are pulled around it at Our Montessori Home:



Rihga Planetary Chocolates

I also love ‘What if the other planets were as close as the Moon?”


1819 South Shetland Islands discovered in Antarctica

1878 Eddison patents the phonograph


Turkmenistan National Flag Day


In the 8th century Turkic-speaking Oghuz tribes from Mongolia came to the area that is now Turkmenistan. In the 10th century they accepted Islam under the rule of the Seljuk Empire, which covered Iran, Turkmenistan and later Azerbaijan and eastern Turkey.

In the 12th century Turkmen tribes overthrew the Seljuk Empire. In the next century, an influx of Mongols drove the Turkmen south. They remained as nomadic, independent tribes, but were eventually kind of controlled by Uzbek khanates (chiefs/kings).

In the late 19th century Russia took over the Uzbek khanates and in 1881, at the Battle of Geok Tepe, Russia annexed the whole of Turkmenistan.

The Turkmens rebelled against Russian conscription in WWI, and joined Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and Uzbeks in the Basmachi Rebellion against Soviet rule in the 1920s. Nevertheless Turkmenistan and part of Kazakhstan became the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, and agricultural reforms destroyed the Turkmen nomadic lifestyle.

In 1991 when Soviet Russa collapsed, Turkmenistan gained independence and the communist leader Saparmurad Niyazov decided he would be president for life.


He did things like, close all hospitals and libraries outside the capital. In 1995 he declared Turkmenistan permanently neutral, meaning they will never take sides in someone else’s war, which I think might be wonderful.

Niyazov died in 2006, and his deputy won the elections, which was made entirely of the ‘Democratic Party’s candidates.

There’s a 60% unemployment rate but although Niyazov made Turkmenistan one of the top 10 most censored countries in the world, it is also the world’s fourth largest exporter of gas and he does spent the money on renovating the cities, and gives everyone 120 free litres of petrol a month, as well as free/subsidised electricity, water, gas and salt. It’s also the world’s 9th largest producer of cotton. But it doesn’t do much else.


Turkmenistan is where the famous Door to Hell is, a gas field with an enormous crater that appeared in 1971 when the ground beneath a drilling rig collapsed. The Soviet engineers decided to burn off the gas coming out of the hole in case it was poisonous. It was supposed to burn out after a few weeks. It’s still burning.