Since April was supposed to be friendship month around here because of the reading challenge prompt, we had planned to share a list of picture books about friendship. Since we are now living in a time where friendships look a little different for kids, we thought we would enhance the post with some ideas on how to help kids connect with their friends. We’ve been practicing some fun ways for the kids to hang during quarantine in our homes and would love to know how you are helping your kids stay connected.*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links will result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.
How to Keep Kids Connected
Zoom and Facetime are getting a lot of action these days as people work to stay connected, but younger kids often have trouble staring into a screen and just talking to friends. So how can you keep them engaged and having fun while apart? Here are some of the things we’ve been doing.
- Houseparty is like facetime with games. Trivia, drawing, and other fun games allow up to 10 people to play at once.
- Board Game together. 2 player games like Guess Who, Mastermind, and Battleship work really well over facetime. Set up a board in front of each player and play like usual.
- Drive your kids to chalk up their friend’s driveway with cheerful messages. We’ve been leaving messages at the bottom of our driveway for walkers, health care workers, and delivery people.
- See if any local studios are hosting virtual classes. Jackie’s kids are doing a dance class, art class, and even choir with their friends. I’ve even seen a friend of mine ask a local makeup artist to do a lesson via zoom for her daughters and their friends.
- Organize a gallery showing with friends and neighbors. Have your children display art in windows at the front of the house and drive around to view each other’s works.
- Consider hooking your kid up to Minecraft (if they are old enough) to let them play in the same virtual world as their friends.
- For younger kids, download the new Messenger Kids app from Facebook. It allows little ones to send and receive photos, pictures, and videos. Plus they can play games and facetime with their friends in a safe environment monitored by an adult!
- Our neighborhood is considering pitching in to buy an outdoor movie screen. People can come and park their chairs while experiencing a movie together from the comfort of separate driveways!
- Have your kids engage in some good-old fashion mailing. Send letters, pictures, and other silly things to their friends.
- Have a birthday or other special occasion to celebrate during this time away? Ask friends to drive by with signs in a fun car parade to celebrate the special person.
- Try virtual storytime. One parent can read to all the little kiddos. Better yet, get an older sibling to do the reading. Bonus points if you read one of the picture books about friendship we’ve rounded up below.
We hope those ideas help. If you have other ideas, please let us know!
Picture Books about Friendship
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.
Gerald and Piggie are best friends.
In My Friend is Sad, elephant Gerald is down in the dumps. Piggie is determined to cheer him up by dressing as a cowboy, a clown, and even a robot! But what does it take to make a sad elephant happy? The answer will make even pessimistic elephants smile.
One day, a boy and a robot meet in the woods. They play. They have fun.
But when Bot gets switched off, Boy thinks he’s sick. The usual remedies—applesauce, reading a story—don’t help, so Boy tucks the sick Bot in, then falls asleep.
Bot is worried when he powers on and finds his friend powered off. He takes Boy home with him and tries all his remedies: oil, reading an instruction manual. Nothing revives the malfunctioning Boy! Can the Inventor help fix him?
Using the perfect blend of sweetness and humor, this story of an adorable duo will win the hearts of the very youngest readers.
Bestselling author Beth Ferry (Stick and Stone) and the widely acclaimed Fan Brothers (The Night Gardener) present a gorgeous and poignant picture book about two unexpected friends and the special connection they share.
This tender and affectionate story reminds us of the comforting power of friendship and the joy of helping others—a tale that will inspire and delight children for generations to come.
All the animals know not to mess with old Scarecrow. But when a small, scared crow falls from midair, Scarecrow does the strangest thing.…
He saves the tiny baby crow.
Soon a loving bond grows between the two unlikely friends. But is it strong enough to weather the changing of the seasons?
This heartwarming winter story is perfect for those who love to knit and parents looking to teach their children about the importance of doing good for others!
Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, helps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn’t have a hat-she’s too busy making hats for everyone else! It’s up to Sophia to buckle down and knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren’t even, and there are holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman’s hat the most wonderful of all. Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia’s frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves.
This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and–at long last–is given his special name: Beekle.
The #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Dan Santat–creator of After the Fall and Are We There Yet?–combines classic storytelling with breathtaking art in an unforgettable tale about friendship, imagination, and the courage to find one’s place in the world.
What’s a little piece of bread to do when he’s feeling lonely? Find a friend, of course!
And that’s exactly what Peanut Butter tries to do. But sometimes friends are hard to come by, especially when Hamburger has to walk his (hot) dogs, Cupcake is too busy building castles in her sprinkle box, and Egg laughs so hard he starts to crack up! Does Peanut Butter have a soulmate? Young readers will know the answer long before Peanut Butter does and laugh along with each mismatched pairing.
In a story that pairs silliness with poignancy, and friendship with anthropomorphic food, Terry Border, the photography mastermind behind the Bent Objects project, makes a triumphant entrance into the children’s book world. Complete with a rhyming refrain, this is sure to be a favorite family read-aloud–and laugh-aloud.
Ever since Unicorn moved into the neighborhood, Goat has been feeling out of sorts. Goat thought his bike was cool-until he saw that Unicorn could fly to school! Goat made marshmallow squares that almost came out right, but Unicorn made it rain cupcakes! Unicorn is such a show-off, how can Goat compete? When Goat and Unicorn share a piece of pizza, Goat learns that being a unicorn might not be all it’s cracked up to be. And when Unicorn shows his admiration for Goat, it looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
From early childhood to life after eighty, the great challenge of any friendship is keeping it healthy and strong. In this funny, engaging book, award-winners Jane Yolen and Mark Teague present humorous, naughty dinosaur antics that
any young sibling or friend will instantly recognize — followed by dinosaur-sized hugs and expressions of affection.
Do children in your home ever fight over a toy? Do good friends at school ever push or call names? And do buddies also know to share, give cookies, and apologize?
Come along and laugh in the tenth full-sized book in this highly acclaimed series — as little ones make friends and stay friends … the dinosaur way!
Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren’t any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how. Michelle Knudsen’s disarming story, illustrated by the matchless Kevin Hawkes in an expressive timeless style, will win over even the most ardent of rule keepers.
Children want to make friends and be friendly. This affirming book from Maren Green Publishing lets children know they have real skills and competencies and helps them build important social skills. Sharing, saying “please” and “thank you,” inviting others to join in and play, treating people and animals kindly, and offering to help are all ways to win friends.
You Are Friendly is written in simple words and is vividly illustrated with scenes from daily life. Children are drawn into the colorful pictures that show kids their age at home, at play, at school, and with family members. Like our world, the illustrations are multiethnic.
The ultimate back-to-school quest from bestsellers Donaldson and Scheffler
What do dragons learn at Madam Dragon’s school?
How to fly. . .
How to roar. . .
How to breathe fire!
Zog is the most eager student in the class, but he’s also the most accident-prone. With each test (and each bump, bruise, or scrape), his dream of earning a gold star seems further away than ever.
But a mysterious girl keeps coming to his rescue. And when Zog faces his toughest test yet, she may be just the person to help Zog win classroom glory!