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:

Halloween Picture Books 

For a lot of us, October means Halloween, complete with jack-o-lanterns, fun decorations, costumes, and treats. And sharing some sweet reads with your little one is a treat you can both enjoy. Visit educator Chrysta Naron’s article on great kids’ books for fall holidays and scroll down to find some recommended picture books for Halloween. You’re also sure to find plenty featured at your local library!

Then move beyond the page and incorporate reading into other parts of your Halloween celebrations. For example, pick a book-character costume for your child or yourself, or get more ideas in Chrysta’s article on how to make Halloween a reading holiday.

Kids’ Book about Dia de Los Muertos

Dia de Los Muertos means “Day of the Dead” in Spanish. This tradition from Mexico, now celebrated in many Latin American countries and others, is all about celebrating loved ones who have died. Emphasis on the “celebrating”—the tradition abounds with love, flowers, special foods, candles, and joy.

Dia de los Muertos takes place at the start of November, right after Halloween, so this month is a great time to read up and get in the mood! You’ll find Chrysta’s picks for some great Dia de los Muertos picture books in her fall holidays books post.

And (Always) Books Your Child Loves

In addition to reading books that tackle timely topics or important subjects, be sure to follow your child’s interests, as well. Whether your kid loves superheroes or sportscooking or gardening, science or animals, reading plenty of books relating to topics they’re into can keep them engaged and build your relationship.

Check out our other kids’ book lists and articles for curated reading lists on various topics. You’ll also find book lists tailored to fostering specific literacy and life skills, from learning to read (and spell) with silent E to developing empathy and body positivity or dealing with grief

Story Time Activity: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roast some pumpkin seeds with your child for a tasty seasonal snack this month. Check out our Read With Me pumpkin seeds recipe that’s written in simple, child-friendly language so that you can sneak in a reading lesson as you prepare it.

Enjoy this post? Please share it on social media.

New to MayaSmart.com?

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.