Kids + Media | Kindergarten | Elementary | Ages 6–10

Making Friends: 8 Books That Help Early Readers Learn Pal Skills

Kids reading together

One of life’s great pleasures is the experience of friendship.  Friendship is built from components that are critical to living in the world — listening, trusting, finding similarities, accepting differences, sharing joy and frustration, learning how to resolve conflict and creating memories.

For instance, my 5-year-old son has never articulated a definition for friendship, but already he senses how his friendships enrich his life.  Social contact with peers and trusted adults is teaching him about himself as a person — his fears, his strengths, his opinions — as well as providing him direction for navigating an ever more-complicated world.

Learning how to be a friend doesn’t happen in a vacuum — as parents, our interactions we have with our friends are important models. But we also have tools, great books to read aloud to our children about the joys and challenges of friendship. From initiating the first “hello” to the experience of being a third wheel, the stories in these books encourage the early reader ages 4 to 8 toward critical social skills.

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