Breaking Down a Year

The moon has an orbital period that is a little shorter than a month. Even though we base a year on a 365 day value, it's a little hard to describe a year in quantities of 365. Let's say that someone came to you and said "What are you doing on the 185th day of the year?" It might be a little hard to answer. To make it easier to understand different times of the year, we have months. There are twelve (12) action-packed months every year. Here they are:
January (Month 1)
February (Month 2)
March (Month 3)
April (Month 4)
May (Month 5)
June (Month 6)
July (Month 7)
August (Month 8)
September (Month 9)
October (Month 10)
November (Month 11)
December (Month 12)

So now someone can come up and say, "What are you doing on July fourth?" Then you'll know how to answer and show up for the barbeque on time. A side note for you to remember is that there are different numbers of days in each month. We have a list at the bottom of the page.

A Little About the Moon

So how did we come up with twelve months in a year? It has to do with the phases of the Moon. The Moon goes through a full phase (from new moon to new moon) every 27.3 days. That 28ish day period is roughly as long as a month. As we said, that's how it all started. Over the years, the lengths of months were redefined into the odd collection of days we have now. Here are the phases of the Moon and the number of days each phase appears after a new moon. The days are approximate.
New Moon: Day 0 or Day 28ish (The moon is dark.)
Waxing Crescent: Days 3-4 (There is only a sliver of a moon visible.)
First Quarter: Day 7 (Half of the moon is bright.)
Waxing Gibbous: Day 10-11
Full Moon: Day 14 (The entire moon is lit.)
Waning Gibbous: Day 17-18
Last Quarter: Day 21 (Half of the moon is bright.)
Waning Crescent: Day 24-25 (There is only a sliver of a moon visible.)
New Moon: Day 28ish or Day 0 (The moon is dark.)

Details to Remember

Months of the year:
- January (31 Days)
- February (28 Days, 29 on Leap Year)
- March (31 Days)
- April (30 Days)
- May (31 Days)
- June (30 Days)
- July (31 Days)
- August (31 Days)
- September (30 Days)
- October (31 Days)
- November (30 Days)
- December (31 Days)

Related Activities

Date and Time Activity Learning the Phases of the Moon
- Play Activity

Date and Time Activity Learning the Names of the Months
- Play Activity


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