Reading Activity Calendar

October

1Sound WalkAs you walk in the neighborhood with your child, you can play a fun sound game. Look for people and things with names that start with the same sound. Ask your child to close his eyes. Then tell him to open his eyes and name the first thing he sees- “A dog!” Say the sound that the letter “d” makes in the word dog. What other things can we find that start with the same sound? Look for things like doors, dolls, donuts, and daddies.
2More Sound WalkAs you continue to walk in the neighborhood, give your child help by saying things like “There’s a truck. Does that start with the same sound as dog?”
3National Storytelling FestivalThis festival is held in Tennessee each October. Have your own “storytelling festival” by going outside and reading aloud for the whole family.
4More StorytellingKeep the family read-aloud going, but this time read from a book of fairy tales or fables. If you know the stories well, put some of the text into your own words.
5More StorytellingHave the whole family create a story together. Start with one person making up a first line of a story, like It was a dark and stormy night and Johnny had just gone into the kitchen for ... And then the next person continues the story in their own way, even if it completely changes how the story was going. After everyone has contributed an equal number of times, end the story and begin another.
6I Love LibrariesThe American Library Association was founded on this day in 1876. Celebrate the libraries of today by visiting I Love Libraries.
7Nature DetectivesWhen you and your child go outside, take a notebook and pencil with you. Tell him that you can be “nature detectives.” You will use the notebook to record things you see. Encourage your child to look for living things, or evidence of living things. These may be things like a hole in a leaf, an ant hill, or a half-eaten nut.
8More Nature DetectivesWhen you find something, encourage your child to write it down, or draw a picture of it. You take a turn drawing and writing something too.
9Still More NatureLater, during a family conversation, invite your child to show your pictures and talk about what you both found. Everyone can help solve the mystery. “What animal did that or made that?”
10All Kinds of LeavesToddlers love to collect things. Leaves are especially fun to collect in the fall. Explore the colors of leaves with your child. Introduce words for color names like red, brown, yellow, and orange. Compare different leaves. Are they all the same or are they different? Collect leaves in a bag. Take them home and start a leaf collection.
11More LeavesGo outside with the leaves you’ve collected and find a flat surface — a table or even the ground will do. Arrange the leaves different letters and have your child say the letter. You can work your way through the alphabet or spell your child’s name.
14More LeavesVisit the library and check out a book on leaves, like “Leaves” by David Ezra Stein or “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves” by Julia Rawlinson.
12Columbus DayTell your child the story of Christopher Columbus discovering America. Then ask your child what he would name a country that he discovered. And what kind of transportation would he use for exploring — boats like Columbus, planes, trains, even a skateboard? What would he name his vehicle?
13More Columbus DayFind a globe or map of the world (or find one online) and look at it with your child. Point out all the oceans, the different countries and continents, and the North and South Poles.
15Hispanic Heritage Month endsCheck out Reading Is Fundamental’s bilingual website for families.
16Dictionary DaySit down with your child and a dictionary and talk about how a dictionary works: It’s organized in alphabetical order, includes a pronunciation for the word, and a definition. Be sure to check out the Word of the Day!
17Black Poetry DayVisit the library and check out Ashley Bryan’s “ABC of African-American Poetry” by Ashley Bryan or a book by Nikki Giovanni.
18BalancingChildren first learn about the idea of balance as they use their own bodies. Use the word balance as your child runs around and uses playground equipment. “Wow! You really balanced your body on the swing!”
19More BalancingThen extend this idea of balancing to other situations. “Did you see how the ball balanced on the basketball hoop before it fell through?” Play games with balls to show this in action.
20Swing High, Swing LowEncourage your child to use all of the playground equipment. You can introduce a lot of vocabulary that describes movement and location. For example, when your child is on the swing, you can say “High, high, fly to the sky!” each time you push her. As she comes down, you can say “Down, down, swing to the ground!”
21More Swing HighWhen she is finished, talk about how it felt and use interesting words. “You were flying like a bird! How did it feel to soar?” See how many descriptive words you can get your child to use while talking about swinging.
22Balancing ActAs children get more practice controlling their bodies, they can balance more easily. They also begin to understand the idea of balance in a scientific way. Encourage your child to notice and think about balance in many situations. “How can we move the children on the see-saw so they will balance?”
23More Balancing ActIf your child has other experiences with balance, make a connection. “Remember when we weighed the tangerines at the market on a balance scale?”
24Boats AfloatTalk about what it means to float. “It’s when things stay on top of the water.” Give your child small plastic plates and cups to use as “boats” in the tub.
25More Boats AfloatThen play a rhyming game with your child. “A boat will float! What about a coat? Will a coat float?” Take turns thinking of other funny rhymes like “Will a goat float?”
26More Boats AfloatWhen the cup fills with water it will start to sink. “Sink is when things go under the water.”
27More Boats AfloatInvite your child to make up a funny rhyme. “Will a drink sink? What about the color pink?” Give your child time to explore float and sink using many different objects.
28Who Lives in a Tree?The park is a good place to learn about how plants and animals help each other. Look with your child for evidence that animals live in the trees at the park. Maybe animals use the trees for food or shade. Look for birds flying near the trees. See if you can find any nests. Look for animals like squirrels or chipmunks. “Why do you think they like the trees?”
29More Who Lives in a Tree?Tell your child that it will be fun to learn more about trees. “We can look for a book about trees at the library or the bookstore.”
30Getting Ready for HalloweenWhat does your child want to be for Halloween? Encourage him to be one of his favorite book characters, and read those books together to get costume ideas.
31HalloweenBefore trick-or-treating, sit down with your child at the computer and explore these Halloween resources from PBS Parents.
PBS KIDS: Raising Readers