From Columbus to candy, October is packed with holiday fun.


1: Family History Month

Why we celebrate: Some traditions are cultural, some are personal. But everyone should set aside time to remember and pass them down from one generation to another.

What to do: Take a look back and see where your family came from -- and share your stories of your ancestors (and yourself) with your children. Creating a family tree can be a crafty good time: with poster board and markers, you and your little one can draw as far back you can remember.

1: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Why we celebrate: For the past twenty years, women have been reminded in October to schedule mammograms, fight to receive better treatment, and push so others can live longer lives.

What to do: Visit The American Cancer Society for Inspiration.

11: Columbus Day

Why we celebrate: As any school-age child can tell you, in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered America.

What to do: Start with an atlas and trace the route from Spain to America. Make paper boats (the Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria) and race them in the bathtub. Learn the Pledge of Allegiance. And find 10 other ways to teach kids to learn to love our country.

16: Dictionary Day

Why we celebrate: Teach your child to love words! (Some of our favorites are discombobulated, crustacean, and popcorn.) Besides, it's a long way to the birthday of Noah Webster.

What to do: Recite the alphabet, practice writing letters, and say words out loud with a toddler. For older kids, look up different words in the dictionary and write down the definitions on pieces of paper. Place in a hat and take turns drawing the definitions; everyone has to guess the word. The person who guesses correctly most wins a pocket dictionary!  See our related links below for other ways to make reading fun.

16: Sweetest Day

Why we celebrate: Started by a man in Cleveland to provide comfort to the homeless and underprivileged in his area, now the day brings neighbors and friends together as they share small tokens of appreciation.

What to do: Bake delicious sugar cookies for all those special people in your life. Your kids can help but cutting out the shapes and dashing on the sprinkles. Or have a whole cookie swap with your community.

20: Shampoo Day

Why we celebrate: Who doesn't like clean hair?

What to do: For little kids, try guessing what different shampoos smell like, or draw pictures on the bathroom wall with different colored washes. Of course, sometimes with clean hair comes a haircut -- and that might not be as much fun.  Get fear-free toddlers with our tips.

23: Make a Difference Day

Why we celebrate: Welcome to the nations largest day of volunteering! In its 14th year, this holiday is dedicated to helping others in your community.

What to do: Encourage your youngsters to pick up trash your neighborhood or at the local park, or take on local projects that can use your help. Even smiling at others helps brighten someone's day!

31: Halloween

Why we celebrate: Whether it's Trick or Treat, this fanciful day is sure to provide tons of fun for young and old alike. Get dressed up, share ghost stories, and -- of course -- eat candy!

What to do: Get you children dressed up in ghoulishly great costumes and share with them the frightening fun of Halloween!

Related Links:

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