Hispanic Heritage Month
Each year from mid-September to mid-October, communities come together to celebrate the contributions of Hispanic-Americans — specifically those with ties to Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to appreciate and celebrate the rich history, diversity, and colorful culture of the American Latino community. Here are a few things you should know about the holiday and how to celebrate it with your family.
- What is Hispanic Heritage Month?
- Hispanic Heritage Month activities
- Books for celebrating Hispanic heritage with children
What is Hispanic Heritage Month?
Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration that takes place each year from September 15 to October 15 to mark the accomplishments of Hispanic and Latino Americans. The holiday was first introduced in June 1968 by Congressman George E. Brown and lasted one week. Congressman Brown represented the San Gabriel Valley and East Los Angeles, two areas with high Latino and Hispanic populations, and wanted to help recognize the critical role that his communities played in history.
Hispanic Heritage Week was made official in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson and was extended to the monthlong celebration we know now by President Ronald Reagan. The starting date of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras. Mexico’s Independence Day falls on September 16, followed by Chile on September 18.
Educational Children’s Activities
Hispanic Heritage Month is a perfect time to immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. Regardless of the age of your child, there are dozens of fun and educational activities you can enjoy. Here are some of our favorite activities:
- Try learning some Spanish words using Duolingo. This website is a fun, free, and convenient way to learn a new language.
- Sing along with Los Colores: The Colors in Spanish song by Risas y Sonrisas. Research shows that young children learn new languages much faster than adults. Plus, singing along with your child is fun and educational.
- Explore the Spanish alphabet with Basho & Friends! This engaging video features an adorable talking dog and is a fun way to bring more Spanish language skills into your home.
- If you’ve had enough of Baby Shark but your child is still head over heels with the song, try playing it in Spanish. Bebé Tiburón brings a new sound to the song we’ve had stuck in our heads for the last several years.
- Incorporate Hispanic music into your day with playlists from Spotify or Pandora. Get up, dance around, and help your little one burn some energy while enjoying the sounds of Selena and more.
Books For Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Children
Reading with your child is a crucial activity that helps with brain development — even before they’re born! What better way to boost learning while celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month than by reading some of our favorite books that are written and illustrated by Latino authors and artists. Here are 12 of our favorite books to read with your little one this month:
- Looking for Bongo by Eric Velasquez
- Danza! by award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh
- Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos by Monica Brown, illustrated by John Parra
- Lucía the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez
- Dreamers, a true story by Yuyi Morales
- Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa, by Veronica Chambers, illustrated by Julie Maren
- Bad Hair Does Not Exist (¡Pelo Malo No Existe!) by Sulma Arzu-Brown, illustrated by Isidra Sabio
- Día de los Muertos by Hannah Eliot, illustrated by Jorge Gutierrez
- Carmela Full of Wishes by Newbery medal-winning author Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Christian Robinson
- Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
- Sebi and the Land of Cha Cha Cha by Roselyn Sànchez and Eric Winter, illustrated by Nivea Orliz
- Just Ask! By Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by award-winning artist Rafael López
Stop by the Martin-Pitt Partnership for Children to explore our collection of bilingual children’s books and educational activities. Sign up for a free parent membership to our Resource Room and Lending Library to borrow books, toys, games, puzzles, and more with your child.