Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

As a parent, the time you spend with your child—reading aloud, chatting, and interacting in countless ways—is pivotal in helping them develop and thrive as a reader, writer, and thinker. From teaching your child the alphabet to playing rhyming games, you instill crucial knowledge and skills through fun, playful time together. Best of all, it builds your relationship, too—and can even help you feel happier and more fulfilled.

That’s why each month we share a special list of featured reads and literacy activities. Expect fun seasonal reading recommendations, complemented with activity tutorials and free printables for an all-out story time experience with your little one.

Here are some topics to delve into with your child this month:

Picture Books About Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are hundreds of books dedicated to exploring the life, dreams, and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So how’s a parent to choose which books are best to explore with their child?

Read Maya’s article, Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. with 13 Thought-Provoking Books, to get tips for finding the right-fit book to deepen your child’s knowledge of King’s legacy and the American history it so vividly illustrates. You’ll also find specifics about a bunch of great kids’ reads to explore this topic around Martin Luther King Day.

Story Time Activity: Word Snowmen

Whether it snows in your area or not, nothing says winter like making snowpeople! So for this month’s featured activity, we’re making paper “snow” families that teach kids reading skills and make cute decorations for your home. All you need for this easy activity is 15 minutes and some basic materials. Get the Word Snowmen tutorial.

Early childhood educator Chrysta Naron created this cute winter craft for us as a way to teach kids word families—groups of rhyming words that share the same ending (both the spelling and pronunciation). For example, the “-op” rhyming word family includes words like hop, top, and pop. Word families help kids learn spelling patterns that make it easier to read and write new, related words.

Book Pairing: Read a snow-related book or two to set the scene for your craft. Some favorites from Chrysta include Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by Mark Buehner, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, A Big Bed for Little Snow by Grace Lin, and Snowballs by Lois Ehlert. Look for word families as you read!

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Welcome! It’s lovely to have you here. I’m Maya, an author, literacy advocate, and mom. On this site, I publish articles, advice, book recommendations, and activities for busy parents. Through it all, my goal is to help parents like you feel equipped and confident to support your children in reading. Let’s start by understanding what you bring to the effort—your unique superpower.

Find your raise-a-reader superpower now.