6 Books to Teach Preschoolers about Friendship

Going back to school, children will be excited and nervous about meeting new friends. Here are 5 great stories about friendship to build discussion during your preschool Circle Time.

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend 

by Dan Santat

As we begin a new preschool year, dramatic play will create a safe and playful environment to learn about some big topics like how to make friends. Dramatic play is essential to every child’s learning. The ability to imagine and role-play is the focus of this charming book, The Adventures of Beekle.

Beekle, who lives on an island of other imaginary friends, gets tired of waiting to be befriended and decides to take matters into his own hands. He goes in search of a “real” friend, looking in restaurants, subways and playgrounds. Just as he is losing hope, he meets a new friend who is perfect for him.

Delightful illustrations and a story about the quest for true friendship will capture the interest of every preschooler (as well as their teachers and parents).

A Rainbow of Friends

by P. K. Hallinan

In A Rainbow of Friends, friends can come in all colors and sizes; they can be funny or serious, musical or athletic, outgoing or quiet. In fact, people are like rainbows: very beautiful and very unique! Invite children into a world where differences are what make the world beautiful. Read this story during Circle Time then gather photos of all your children and make your own Rainbow of Friends Classroom book.

Llama Llama Time to Share

by Anna Dewdney

Cooperative play is a healthy part of child development and, with practice, children will gain strategies for regulating emotions and social behavior. Llama Llama Time to Share focuses on the sometimes difficult task of cooperative play. Llama wants to play with Nelly Gnu but sharing is hard sometimes! They tussle over one coveted toy–and soon it is broken! Mama Llama fixes it but suggests a new activity for the two new friends. As they pretend to bake a cake together, they realize that sharing their toy will make it even more fun. The rhythm of rhyming words on each page help children focus on familiar scenarios involving playtime, sharing and making new friends.

Duck & Goose

by Tad Hill

Skills like problem-solving in social relationships can be complicated for young children. Storybooks are a friendly way to help them become more self-aware about conflict resolution between peers.

In Duck and Goose, two friends compete over ownership of a giant egg (actually it’s a volleyball!). After many differences of opinion, Duck and Goose finally come to realize that the occupant of the unhatched egg would be better off if they stopped arguing about ownership and focus instead on its basic needs. 

The basis for friendship and cooperative play is emphasized in charming fashion in the pages of this book.

The Berenstain Bears’ Computer Trouble

by Jan & Mike Berenstain

Because children of all ages enjoy screen toys and electronics, technology has become an integral part of everyday life. It is not without its drawbacks however! Sometimes, it can get in the way of building friendships.

In The Berenstain Bears’ Computer Trouble, the Berenstain family finds itself a little too distracted (and distanced) from each other by its own technology. With a little help from Papa, they learn how to limit their screen time and rediscover simple pleasures with family members.

Family dynamics play out in colorful and fun fashion in this book, which addresses problem-solving in a family-friendly way.

Forest Friends: A Kind Friend

by Experience Early Learning

Just as children begin to see themselves as individuals, they also must navigate relationships with others. Strong social-emotional development begins with self-awareness and kindness toward others.

In A Kind Friend, Fox and Bunny are on their way to a running competition when Fox trips and falls. He can’t run with an injured leg! Though Bunny wants to compete, she decides to opt out because she wants to be with her friend even more.

The Forest Friends series of books by Experience Early Learning features a cast of friendly characters who demonstrate qualities of kindness, generosity, resourcefulness, responsibility and bravery. Their memorable stories are always a hit with youngsters!

Enjoy this teacher-recommended booklist of 20 stories all about friendship and feelings. Each book coordinates with a daily topic featured in the Experience Preschool Curriculum’s thematic study: Friends & Feelings. Enjoy 20 lessons all about friends and feelings with integrated book activities as well as hands-on art, music, STEAM and learning games. Open the box and be ready to teach! Available for use in childcare settings or homeschool.

Order your classroom and homeschool kit today and use these books to expand your experience.

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