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Great Books for Getting Kids Emotionally Ready for Kindergarten

Updated on January 16, 2015
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Children's Books to Ease the Transition to Kindergarten

Starting school is a big step for a little kid. Overcoming the separation anxiety, while grappling with new friends and new rules can be a lot for a child to deal with - not to mention learning all sorts of new things. Help your child be best prepared to start Kindergarten by talking about it with them, and reading with them books that will help them understand the change. Incorporate books about kindergarten into your reading routine.

I have chosen a handful of books that are excellent for helping your child with the transition to kindergarten. Chose a few to use with your child.

The Kissing Hand

This is a wonderfully heartwarming book to help your child get through any feelings of loneliness and missing their family when kindergarten starts. It gives them the comfort that they are not alone, and that you can love them, even from afar. This is an excellent book to use as a bedtime story before the child starts kindergarten.

Watch a video of this book read aloud.

If this is a book you read with your little one, and you gave them a Kissing Hand, then perhaps you could put a cookie in their lunchbox as a surprise for them.

The Kissing Hand
The Kissing Hand

Chester Raccoon would rather stay home with his mother than go to school. Mom tells him about all the wonderful things about school and then gives him a special gift - a secret gift. She gives him the Kissing Hand. She kissing his hand so that when he is scared or loney, he can press his palm to his cheek to feel the warmth of his mother's kiss.

If this is a book you read with your little one, and you gave them a Kissing Hand, then perhaps you could put a cookie in their lunchbox as a surprise for them.

 

Kindergarten Rocks!

Kids like to hear things from other kids. There is a certain amount of trust kids have in other kids who have experienced the same thing. Peer pressure can do good things too!

How to Get Your Child Ready for Kindergarten

Kindergarten Rocks!
Kindergarten Rocks!

Dexter Dugan is about to start school, but is a bit nervous about it. His older sister (and third-grader sister) Jessie helps him get over his nervousness by telling him how "Kindergarten Rocks!"

 

How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them

It's a good idea to remind your child to be the friend they would want to have. This book is especially good for shy kids, kids who haven't gone to preschool, but a great reminder for any child about how to be a friend.

How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them (Dino Life Guides for Families)
How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them (Dino Life Guides for Families)

Displayed in comic style, this book gives practical advice for being a friend. Taking turns, sharing, handling arguments, being helpful, etc.

 

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten

This is a great book that both teaches the ABCs and teaches them about school.

Watch a video of this book read aloud.

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten (Miss Bindergarten Books (Paperback))
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten (Miss Bindergarten Books (Paperback))

Miss Bindergarten and her students get ready for school.

"Adam Krupp wakes up.

Brenda Heath brushes her teeth.

Christopher Beaker finds his sneaker."

 

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum is a great book for kids to learn that what might seem weird is instead beautiful. It encourages kids to love what they are.

Watch a video of this book read aloud.

Chrysanthemum Big Book
Chrysanthemum Big Book

Chrysanthemum loves her name. She always did. But when others at school pick on her for having a flower's name, she begins to second guess herself. Talking with her favorite teacher, Chrysanthemum learns that she too has a flower name! She is reassured that her name is beautiful and regains her confidence.

 

Tips For Reading These Books With Your Children

  • Don't bombard your child with a bunch of books about kindergarten all at once. Sprinkle them into the books you are already reading. You don't want to overwhelm them.
  • Talk with your child during and after reading with them. Listen to what they have to say.
  • Compare things in the story to the reality that will happen. When you read about the teacher in the book, tell them the name of the teacher they will have. When you read about the bus, tell them about the bus they will ride. When you read about the playground, tell them about the playground at their school.

Harry the Happy Caterpillar Grows

This book is great for helping kids become more open to change in their life by seeing that new doesn't mean bad.

Harry the Happy Caterpillar Grows: Helping Children Adjust to Change (Let's Talk)
Harry the Happy Caterpillar Grows: Helping Children Adjust to Change (Let's Talk)

Harry the Happy Caterpillar loves being a caterpillar and then he learns that he must create a cocoon and the life he knows and loves will change completely. Harry soon learns that change is not necessarily a bad thing.

 

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

This book discusses emotions and how you can have influence on them - your own emotions and other people's emotions. It is direct about how you can help make others feel good or you can make others feel bad, but if you make them feel good, you too will feel good.

Watch a video of this book read aloud.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids

Everyone carries an invisible bucket. You are happy when it is full, and sad or angry when it is empty. You can fill your bucket when you fill someones else's.

 

Talking To Your Child About Kindergarten

  • Be positive about the idea of starting kindergarten. When you talk about it, smile.
  • Don't put fears into their heads. Ask them "what part of starting kindergarten seems the most scary?" not "are you scared they will pick on you at school?" They may be concerned about missing you (or you missing them), they might fear new places, or making friends, or getting lost, etc.
  • Get them excited about school. For some kids, you need to really sell them the idea, and for others they jump right on board.
  • Let them know you are confident in them. That you know they can do it, and they will be okay. Let them know you are proud of them.
  • Encourage the love of learning.

I Am Too Absolutely Small for School

The Charlie and Lola books are just adorable!

I Am Too Absolutely Small for School (Charlie and Lola)
I Am Too Absolutely Small for School (Charlie and Lola)

Charlie and Lola discuss starting school. While their parents think Lola is almost old enough to start kindergarten, Lola is certain they are wrong. Charlie helps Lola by telling her about why she is ready.

 

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    • profile image

      agent009 5 years ago

      Some children are afraid of being on their own for a long time, I know I was! Afterwards though they won't want to leave their friends.

    • bechand profile image

      bechand 6 years ago

      Don't forget to get them cool new school supplies - including backpacks and notebooks that are COOL ! - they will be so excited, they won't have any trouble :O) - do be ready with your camera (and tissues - for your not them) for the first day getting on bus.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing these books.