1. Rock a poem...and circulate it. There’s no sweeter way for kids to share their thoughts than through poetry. And there’s no better way for kids to share their poems than to publish them.
But until they can publish on their own, let them use the sidewalk. Give your kids some chalk and, in honor of Random Acts of Poetry Day, October 7 this year, let them share two or four lines of their favorite poems, outdoors, on sidewalks and driveways, where everyone will see their creativity.
2. Support the badger. October 6 is Badger Day, but feel free to celebrate Badger Day any old day of the month that works into your family's schedule.
Start by reading up on this small, nocturnal animal. It’s in the same animal family as ferrets, weasels, and otters, and it feasts on ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and pocket gophers. Badgers are kind of cute—with their pointy little faces and distinctive markings. They won’t attack you, but don’t befriend them. Instead, consider helping badgers through social action. Join efforts to block the thinning out of badger populations.
Learn why Wisconsin is called the Badger State and what’s behind the badger’s “digger” habits. Want more badger fun? Let the kids “badger” you nonstop, all day and all night, anywhere, and about anything, for 24 hours. Go with the flow, enjoy the pleas, and skip the consequences.
3. Behold the octopus. October 8 is World Octopus Day; honor the octopus with a trip to a nearby sea-creature museum one day this month if possible. If not, search for octopus videos online.
Why bring attention to these squiggly, squid-like, and unbelievably graceful ocean dwellers? It’s because their moves are completely mesmerizing. As a species, they’re so old they predate dinosaurs, and, some experts say, they can learn lessons and solve problems.
4. Become a word promoter. If you haven’t looked at a dictionary in years, now’s the time to change that. October 16 is Dictionary Day—a perfect excuse to download a free age-appropriate dictionary for kids, order a used one online, or mosey over to a bookstore nearby to search for one.
The purpose of the day is to honor the father of the American dictionary, Noah Webster, a writer, editor, and spelling reformer. A smarter move, though, is to focus on getting your kid the right dictionary at the right time. It’s a great way to help kids learn new words and develop research skills they’ll need in school now and the workplace later.
5. Howl like you mean it. October 26 is the bizarre but aptly named Howl at the Moon Day. It was created to raise awareness of the wolf, one of the most misunderstood animals—and to generate funds for organizations that protect it.
The timing couldn’t be better. Consider howling at the moon like you mean it—outdoors, in the dark, wearing wolf masks, the evening before or night of Halloween. Ignore the stares from strangers.
Not your way to celebrate? Then help your kids raise money to save the wolf, or learn why wolves howl and how howling differs from barking. Start a new family ritual. On Halloween night, grab a fun-filled spooky book and read it aloud while you and your kids feast on DIY pumpkin pie, homemade Halloween candy, or cider and doughnuts.