I’m so excited to share these beautiful social emotional books for kindergarten with you! This list of incredible books covers lots of different social-emotional skills including teaching kindergartners how to manage big feelings by learning to recognize and understand them.
Developing strong social skills is an important part of early child development that sometimes gets neglected between learning to read and mastering math concepts. Social-emotional learning is comprised of five key elements. We can use social emotional books for kindergarten to help our students master all five social skills and develop a growth mindset at an early age.
Keep reading to discover 30 of my favorite books about social skills and some important tips for teaching social-emotional skills to your little learners. Plus, grab some printable social skills activities you can do in the classroom and at home with your kindergartners.
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The Importance of Social Skills in Child Development
Social-emotional skills isn’t just a cute buzzword, it’s a critical aspect of early child development. The lifelong process of building social skills helps kindergartners understand and manage big emotions. Children who succeed in this area can manage their emotions, make informed decisions, and develop healthy relationships more effectively. That’s why social emotional books for kindergarten aren’t just great for little kids, they’re beneficial for children of all ages.
Kindergartners who are taught these important social skills are more successful academically too. Social emotional learning helps them learn to express themselves, develop a growth mindset, and make better choices. These kids have the skills they’ll need to manage challenges successfully, mitigate stress and anxiety, and adapt to change more easily than children who haven’t developed critical social-emotional skills.
Key Components in Social Emotional Learning
There are five primary components you’ll want to focus on in order to support social-emotional skills in your kindergarten classroom. Read more about each component of social-emotional learning below. Then, discover my favorite social emotional books for kindergarten learners.
The first element is self-awareness. During this stage, kindergartners learn about their emotions and feelings. They begin to recognize their own strengths, weaknesses, and aspects of their personalities. This gives kids the ability to improve their weaknesses and use their strengths.
Developing self-regulation skills helps children learn to manage their emotions more effectively. Then, they can use these skills to resolve conflicts with peers or handle stressful situations. Kids learn to control their impulses, manage big emotions, and make better decisions when they master self-regulation.
The third key element of social-emotional skills is all about helping kindergarten students learn to understand other people’s perspectives. When we can step into someone else’s shoes and show empathy, we find it easier to build healthy relationships and strong friendships. Children with social awareness understand and value diversity.
Kids with strong relationship skills can communicate effectively, listen well, and resolve conflicts more easily. Children who have developed relationship skills find it easy to build and maintain healthy relationships with their family members, friends, and teachers.
When children learn to make good choices, they take responsibility for their actions and the outcomes of those actions. Responsible decisions are all about understanding the potential consequences of your actions and making choices that match up with your personal values.
30 of My Favorite Social Emotional Books for Kindergarten
Picture books can help young children explore and learn about social-emotional skills. If you’re searching for a great book to help teach a valuable lesson about emotional development, don’t miss the best books listed below. These titles will give you lots of different ways to talk about emotional intelligence with your elementary students.
1. The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
2. My Mouth is a Volcano! by Julia Cook
3. What Should Danny Do? by Adir Levy and Ganit Levy
4. The Bad Seed by Jory John and Pete Oswald
5. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
6. The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
7. The Color Monster by Anna Llenas
8. The Boy with Big, Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee
9. The Crayons Book of Feelings by Drew Daywalt
10. Little Big Feelings by Deb Mills
11. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
12. We’re All Wonders by R. J. Palacio
13. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
14. Pass It On By Sophie Hen
15. Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
16. Bear’s New Friend by Karma Wilson
17. Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
18. The World Needs More Purple People by Kristen Bell
19. The Bad Mood and the Stick by Lemony Snicket
20. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
21. When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang
22. The Good Egg by Jory John
23. The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
24. Millie Fierce by Jane Manning
25. Almost Always Best, Best Friends by Apryl Stott
26. Deep Breaths by Carol Thompson
27. Train Your Angry Dragon by Steve Herman
28. Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt
29. The Memory String by Eve Bunting
30. Grow Happy by Jon Lasser
More Activities for Developing Social-Emotional Skills
There are so many awesome activities you can do in the classroom and at home to help your kindergartners develop strong social-emotional skills. Reading some of the great social emotional books for kindergarten kids is the perfect way to begin having conversations about social skills with your students.
Then, you can add printable activities and hands-on learning opportunities to give your kindergartners lots of ways to practice what they’ve learned. Check out some of my favorite activities for developing social-emotional skills below.
All About Me Worksheet Activities are a great place to begin helping your kindergartners build self-awareness. These activities give kids opportunities to talk about their feelings, strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. Then, they can use this new information to develop the tools they’ll need to build relationship skills.
Bucket Filler Worksheets and Activities can help kindergarten students develop social awareness and relationship skills. These activities pair up nicely with the bucket filler book by Carol McCloud that I mentioned above too.
Do you have any favorite social emotional books for kindergarten students that didn’t make my list? Share your best books for building social skills in the comment section. I can’t wait to read through your comments and find more fun social emotional books for my kindergarten classroom too!