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.

11th February

1942 Glen Miller’s ‘Chatanooga Choo-Choo’ first to receive a gold record for selling more than a million copies

US Inventor’s Day

Japan National Foundation Day:

Japanese call Japan Nippon, which means ‘sun-origin’ so it’s also called Land of the Rising Sun.


Japan is actually made up of 6,852 islands!

First evidence of humans was 30,000 years ago. Buddhism came over in the 3rd century.

From about 1200 A.D. a ruling warrior class of samurais emerged, called shoguns. Everyone was very fighty, and there was a century of civil wars called the Sengoku period.

In the 16th century the Portuguese reached Japan for the first time. From 1590 Japan was united into one nation.

From 1603 codes of conduct were issued for the samurai classes to try and stop them from doing things like killing someone just for an insult, as they had been doing until now.

From 1639 Japan isolated itself from the rest of the world to try and stay united. This is called the Edo period.

In 1854 the American Navy arrived and made the Emperor agree to trade with them. The Japanese people were cross about this, and it led to the Boshin War, with the shogun resigning and Japan was then ruled by the Emperor Meiji.

Japan became an industrialised world-power and kept invading nearby countries to expand its power. The Emperor Taisho was a bit elderly so they introduced a democracy so that parliament could rule.

In WWI Japan was one of the Allies, but when it invaded Manchuria we all thought that was a bit much, so Japan left the League of Nations and by WWII Japan had flipped and was on the Nazis’ side. They agreed not to fight with Russia, but they invaded China a lot, with the Nanking massacre a particular low point.

They invaded French Indochina to stop France from supplying arms to China, so America stopped sending oil to Japan, so Japan bombed Pearl Harbour and brought the US into WWII.

Russia gave up its treaty not to fight Japan and took Manchuria; meanwhile, America dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrendered.

The Allies put all the Japanese colonists back in Japan and prosecuted war criminals. Since then Japan has gone all liberal and democratic, and even has a bit in its constitution where it renounced the right to declare war. Imagine if everyone did that.

In 2011 the biggest recorded earthquake in Japan, triggering a tsunami which partly destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Make an origami kimono or an origami crane.

Have a go at sumo wrestling, jujitsu, judo or karate.

Do karaoke!

Here is a list of Japanese games.

Make real sushi or playdough sushi.