Picture Book Series: Part 1: 36 Picture Books that Teach Kids Life Skills

book lists

Regular library trips are an amazing budget-friendly learning tool for families.

Do you ever check out picture books that to help with a behavior problem you are addressing at home?

I didn’t, until my son became a Three-nager!

One highly effecting positive parenting tool I know & love is “Taking time for Training”.  Which is basically taking time out to teach appropriate behaviors and skills. My favorite way to do this is to read children’s books.

Sometimes I need a little more than a fun read and choose our books based on the behavior problems we are having at home.

NOTE: If you can’t get to a nearby physical library check out online libraries instead. 

Sample list of behaviors and life skill need:

Behavior ——————————————————> Life Skill

Lying ———————————————————-> Honesty

Back talk, defiance,——————————————> Cooperation

Anger, revenge———————————————–> Forgiveness/Acceptance

Whining ——————————————————>Self Control

Tantrums——————————————————>Self Control

Aggression—————————————————->Forgiveness/Self Control

Here are 36 of my favorite picture books that teach life skills:

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COOPERATION-(back talk, defiance, “terrible-2’s”)

FORGIVENESS (anger, revenge)

SELF DISCIPLINE (Tanttrums, Whining)

RESPONSIBILITY (Clean Up, Following Directions)




36 Picture Books that Teach Life Skills PRINTABLE

Tips for Reading Picture Books with Young Children:

The simple act of regularly reading aloud to your child is IMPERATIVE to their success as a reader.  There are so many valuable early reading behaviors they learn just by observing an adult read.  Sometimes it’s challenging to find time to read and for some it’s even more challenging to get littles to sit for a story. Here are some tips to help with reading to young readers.

  • Short Simple Stories (with predictable patterns, like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See by Bill Martin Jr.) are best for children under 3. If your child is over 3 you can start reading more complex stories like the ones suggested above.

For squirrely readers try:

    • breaking the book into small chunks and reading a bit each day or a few routine times per day is great! My general rule of thumb is that you have as many minutes as your child has years on the planet. For Example if you child is 3 years old you most likely have 3 minutes of undivided attention. This obviously varies per child but is a good general rule for setting expectations.
    • Using a “Book Buddie” or stuffie that your child routinely reads with. Any other fidget or favorite toy is also acceptable as a routine reading buddy.

Focus on Child-led reading:

    • If they’re not interested, move on
    • Let the child help select books too (or take turns choosing) between 2 options.  This is helpful when you’re trying to read a book that is about a specific topic and they still get to use their power of choice. For example bravery for example and you ask them “Do you want to read “Sheila Rae the Brave or Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon?”. This way

Check in with your child and encourage participation

    • Look at the pictures together and “read” them together.
    • If your child is learning letters another fun idea is to do a letter hunt after you read a page for a letter they know or are learning).
    • You can also ask them questions about the book just be willing to accept/ appreciate the effort put into their answer.   After you read a page, look at the next picture and make predictions about what you think will happen next.

Make reading a part of your daily/weekly routine

    • The best way children learn is by providing plenty of opportunities for practice. Making reading part of your routine really helps kids feel comfortable by gaining experience
    • We recently changed up our routine and read 2 books almost every night. He picks one book and I pick one book.

lifeskills books

Picture Book Series: Part 1: 36 Picture Books that Teach Kids Life Skills

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