6 Children's Books that Teach Social Skills with activity ideas.Children love to hear a good book! Many children’s books have a great message
and offer a wonderful opportunity to teach important social skills. Today I will share 6 Children’s Books that Teach Social Skills.

In my work with children, I love to use fun activities to extend a book and further
teach or support social skills. The following are some of my favorite book/activity combinations.

Children’s Books that Teach Social Skills

Children's Books that Teach Social Skills - No David
1. No David! By David Shannon

This is a story about a little boy who makes a lot of mistakes and consequently
hears the word “no” a lot. David can be pretty naughty, yet in the end, his mom
still loves him. Kids love this book because it’s so funny and also because it
affirms the idea that, even if you make mistakes or misbehave, you are still
loved.

A fun activity to go along with this story is to have the children make their own
books. I call them, “Yes (child’s name)!” Have the children come up with as many
ideas as you want or have time for. Put one idea on each page. The ideas can be
about things that the children are allowed to do or things that they do well.
They can be about rules, behaviors, or fun things! Some example might be, Yes,
____ you can walk the dog, Yes, ____ you can say please and thank you, or Yes,
____ you can play soccer. The child can write one sentence per page and
support it with a fun picture. I have done this activity with younger students,
kindergarten to 3rd grade. (Template Include)

Children's Books that Teach Social Skills - What if Everybody did that

2. What If Everybody Did That? By Ellen Javernick

This is a great story about understanding the consequences of your actions.
Each page features a boy doing something that doesn’t seem like a big deal,
until you ask, “what if everybody did that?”

A fun activity to go along with this story is to have the children make their own
books and write them about rules and expectation in your home, school, or
community. Children can brainstorm a list of rules/expectations to write about
or you can have a ready made list and they do the rest. Kids love making these
books and the process leads to wonderful discussions. This book and activity is
very versatile and can be adapted for use with kids of all ages. I have done it
with kids from kindergarten to 5th grade. (Template Included)

Children's Books that Teach Social Skills - How are you Peeling
3. How Are You Peeling? By Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers

This is a great book to teach or support children in identifying and
understanding a wide variety of feelings. It is wonderful for extending
vocabulary and encouraging discussions about what may make you feel
different emotions.

A fun activity to go along with this story is to make your own fruit feelings
critters. (Don’t worry, you’ll know what this is if you read the book!) Kids love
doing this and it really is amazing how you end up looking at fruits and
vegetable differently! You’ll need to chose some fruits and or vegetables ahead
of time and you may want to have some prepared materials on hand to help
decorate the critters. You can also chose to simply have children use markers
to draw on the fruits and vegetables, to enhance their expressions. You can get
as creative with this activity as you wish, using beans for eyes, yarn for hair,
etc. This activity is a lot of fun. I have done this with children kindergarten to
5th grade.

Children's Books that Teach Social Skills - Stone Soup
4. Stone Soup by By Marcia Brown

This is a classic tale about three hungry soldiers who wander into a village and
figure out how to get some greedy villagers to make them a feast. It is a great
story to use to support kindness and generosity to others.

A fun activity to go along with this story is to have each of the children each
bring in a vegetable and make your own stone soup. The teacher brings in 3
clean stones and a pot. Each child brings in a vegetable of their choice, or you
can assign each child a vegetable to bring in. On the day you have all of the
materials, have the children put their vegetables in the pot along with the stones
as you do a brief reenactment of the story. Kids love doing this! When I have
done this activity, I take the “soup” home and cook it, bringing it in for the kids
to try the next day. Amazingly, even finicky eaters will usually try this soup! This
activity is great to do with younger students, kindergarten to 3rd grade.

Children's Books that Teach Social Skills - My New Friend is So Much Fun
5. My New Friend Is So Much Fun (An Elephant and Piggy Book) By Mo Willems

This story is about two best friends. One of the friends, finds another friend that
he enjoys playing with. His best friend is a bit worried about this. This is a great
story to read to children to support the idea that it is okay to have more than
one friend. Having another friend does not mean that we like the other person
any less.

A fun activity to go along with this story is to make “friend fact” posters. Through
this activity, children can visually see what things they have in common, and
what thing are different, between themselves and others. They may find that
someone they didn’t play with before, likes the same things they do! To do this,
get butcher block paper, (that long paper that comes on rolls). Cut off enough
pieces for each of your students and be sure the pieces are big enough for each
student to lay down on. First, have one child lay down on their paper and have
another child (or the teacher) draw the outline of the child’s body. Do this for all
of the children in your group. Next, let the children add faces and clothes, using
markers or what ever materials you would like. Finally, have the children write
or draw in details about themselves.

I usually have children write in the head; something they like to think about,
near the mouth; something they like to talk about, in the chest; something they
care about, on the hands; something they like to play or do with their hands, on
the legs or feet; something they like to play or do with their feet. When
completed, hang up and let kids walk around to see everyone’s person. Point out
things that kids have in common. *Note: you can also do this on a smaller scale
by using a body template on a regular sized sheet of paper. The effect is not as
dramatic but it still works out well. I have done this activity with children
kindergarten to 5th grade. (Template Included)

Children's Books that Teach Social Skills - The Boy Who Wouldn't Share
6. The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share By Mike Reiss and David Catrow

This is a great story about a boy who would not share with his sister. He wanted
all of his toys to himself. In the end, however, his sister still shared with him,
helping him to realize that sharing is actually a good thing. This is a great book to
read to the child or sibling who is struggling to share with others.

A fun activity to go along with this story is to discuss four ways to share.
Understanding various ways to share, can give you options and make it easier to
do. These are 4 ways to share: 1. Play Together, i.e. ball, game, Legos. 2. Take
Turns, i.e. board game, a favorite toy, 3. Split It Up, i.e. anything with pieces,
such as, blocks, Legos, or multiples, such as, matchbox cars or stuffed animals. 4.
Switch It Up, i.e. “you take mine and I take yours.” You can draw this out on a
piece of paper and talk about which toys are best shared in which way. This can
be a great visual to hang on your refrigerator for a quick reference. This activity
is great to do with younger students, kindergarten to 3rd grade. (Template
Included)

Click here to download the suggested activities.

Thank you for checking out this list of 6 Children’s Books that Teach Social Skills. Reading stories to children is so much fun and can be made even more enriching
when using the story to teach and support their personal growth. I hope you enjoy these
stories and activities as much as my students and I do!
A Guest Post by:

Cindy Basso

Find Cindy at KidCodesActivities.com.

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