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Needs and Wants Books for Teaching Kindergarten Kids

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Are you looking for needs and wants books for Kindergarten students?

Understanding the difference between needs and wants is important for kids. Being able to differentiate between these two categories doesn’t just help students practice sorting, separating needs from wants is the first step toward understanding important economic concepts.

There are lots of powerful discussions you can have in the classroom about needs and wants for kids. Needs and wants books for kindergarten are a great place to begin.

Gather in small groups for story time and a chat about needs and wants for students. 

Discover the best needs and wants books for teaching kindergarten kids in the classroom with the list of picture books below. They’re perfect for pairing up with fun needs vs. wants activities.

Keep reading to find a good book to use in your kindergarten classroom this year. 

needs and wants books for kindergarten

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Teaching Needs vs. Wants to Kindergarten Students

Wouldn’t it be great if kids were born understanding the concept of needs and wants? After all, understanding needs vs. wants is how we begin to understand basic economics and make financial decisions. 

Fortunately, there are lots of fun ways to begin teaching the concept of needs and wants to kindergarten students. Choosing one of the many needs and wants books for kindergarten readers is a good place to get started. The stories will keep your children’s attention as they learn and spark important conversations in the classroom.

Small group discussions about needs and wants can be a great way to introduce the topic too. Get your kindergartners to list everything they think is a need and everything they think is a want. Then, talk about the lists together after you read one of these great books about needs and wants for kids.

Discover My Favorite Needs and Wants Books for Kindergarten

There are all kinds of great resource books for teaching young children about basic needs versus wants! These adorable story books are a lot of fun to read aloud in the kindergarten classroom and I know they’ll lead to lots of important discussions as you work toward teaching kids the importance of separating needs and wants.

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday 

Judith Viorst’s classic book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is popular in every kindergarten classroom. This year, add another Judith Viorst book to your kindergarten classroom to help students learn about needs and wants. Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday is a great book you can use to start talking about wants with your kids. 

After Alexander gets dollar bills from his grandparents, he just knows he’s rich. He makes a list of all the wonderful things he wants to buy. Then, the money begins to disappear and Alexander learns a very important lesson.

Charlie and Lola: I Really, Really Need Actual Ice Skates

In Lauren Child’s book, Charlie and Lola: I Really, Really Need Actual Ice Skates, Lola goes ice skating with a friend. She dreams of becoming the very best skater in the entire school and she knows that she truly needs her own pair of skates to do it. Will Lola change her mind when skating proves to be more difficult than she imagined?

This great story is an ideal needs and wants book for kindergarten students. You can begin talking with kids about all the things they thought they needed at the time and later discovered they don’t really use. This is the perfect needs vs. wants chat to have as we approach the holidays.

The Pigeon Books Series by Mo Willems

Have you read the pigeon books by Mo Willems? Mo Willems is known for his early reader books with adorable characters like Elephant, Piggie, and Pigeon. This series is made up of fun books all about a main character who’s a pigeon trying to do some very human things. 

Many of these books for young readers talk about needs and wants. Check out The Pigeon Needs a Bath or The Pigeon Wants a Puppy to begin talking about needs vs. wants with simple text that’s easy for young kids to follow.

Lily Learns About Wants and Needs by Lisa Bullard & Christine M. Schneider

As Lily and her dad drive around, Lily learns about wants and needs in this book by Lisa Bullard. Young students will love the colorful illustrations by Christine M. Schneider in this needs and wants book for kindergarten. 

There are lots of things Lily wants, but how many of them does she actually need? There are so many fun activities you can do with your kindergarten students to help them develop financial literacy as you read this book together.

Making Smart Choices: Needs and Wants by Lisa Bullard

Another great Lisa Bullard book about needs and wants for kindergarten is Making Smart Choices: Needs and Wants. This book also features art from Christine M. Schneider’s Yellow Pencil Studio. 

In Making Smart Choices, kids get to follow along as Lily, the main character, learns the difference between needs and wants. There are lots of different ways to introduce kindergartners to conversations about needs and wants, but this children’s book is a fun place to begin the discussion. 

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart is my favorite book for children about the Great Depression. The Great Depression was a tough time in our nation’s history when people needed to make difficult decisions about needs and wants. It was a long time ago, but it’s still an important time period to teach our students about. 

Consider adding this book about needs and wants to your social studies lessons this year for a great lesson about needs vs. wants told in the form of a beautiful story.

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts

There are lots of great children’s books about so many different things. If you’re looking for an interesting book for younger audiences that deals with the differences between wants and needs, don’t miss Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts.

Everyone at school seems to be wearing some very cool shoes and Jeremy really wants a pair for himself too. However, Jeremy’s grandmother says they don’t have room for “want,” only “need.” After his shoes fall apart, he finds a too-small pair of cool shoes at the thrift store and squeezes his feet inside.

Jeremy learns a valuable lesson after walking around in shoes that are too small. In the end, he learns that warm boots, the love of his grandmother, and helping others are way more important than cool shoes.

Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson is a beautiful nonfiction children’s book about needs and wants for kids. This book follows the life of Emmanuel Yeboah, a disabled West African boy who hopes to go to school and play soccer.  

Reading stories about differently abled children like the main character in this book can be an inspiring way to begin discussing needs and wants with your students. 

What are some of your favorite needs and wants books for kindergarten kids to read? Share your favorite books about needs and wants for students in the comments. I can’t wait to read a few of your favorites and add them to my lesson plans this school year too!

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