Reading books isn’t just a great way to unwind; it’s also an accessible and easy way to identify and manage difficult emotions for younger readers. When kids see their favorite characters experience big feelings and navigate negative emotions, it teaches children that having these feelings is normal and a part of their growth.
Whether they’re navigating the tricky dynamics of making friends or building their self-confidence to try new things, the right book shows children that they aren’t alone. In addition to providing social support, reading social-emotional learning books together can help uplift your child’s mood and give them tools for managing emotions.
For example, the Behavior Matters set has a title for each important life skill, like learning how to share, how to use self-regulation when tempted to throw a temper tantrum, and how to overcome shyness. Each delightful picture book has engaging illustrations of adorable animals experiencing different emotions, which will help your child identify them in real life.
The Ivy & Bean collection is a fun way to teach your child about what it means to be a good friend. Ivy and Bean don’t initially like each other when they first meet. After all, they have little to nothing in common — they’re total opposites! But through shared adventures with the other neighborhood kids, these two spunky characters become the best of friends.
Meanwhile, older readers will love the chapter books in the relatable Smile, Sisters, & Guts collection by Raina Telgemeier, each of which is based on a true story of the author’s adolescence. This series teaches readers about developing good self-esteem and cultivating emotional resiliency and a growth mindset through the relationships they have with their siblings, parents, classmates, and friends.
Shop the best books and series for teaching social-emotional learning below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store, where you can get free shipping on book-only orders over $25.