Boost SEL with Summertime Reading BINGO

By Amadee Ricketts, author of Gentle Hands and Other Sing-Along Songs for Social-Emotional Learning

SEL Summertime Reading BINGOReading together is fun all year round, but summer is a great time to discover new favorites and add a creative twist. Summertime SEL (social and emotional learning) Reading BINGO is designed to help you do just that, by highlighting books about kindness, friendship, feelings, humor, and more.

The game board linked above features a mix of reading and activity prompts. Some of the categories clearly relate to social and emotional concepts, while others, such as wordless picture books and books based on songs, may seem a little less obvious. While those titles may not offer specific SEL content, they encourage conversations and interactions that help young children build important social and emotional skills. The same goes for the activity prompts, which branch out from reading to book-related creative play and hands-on learning.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite books for ages 3–8, sorted by category. You will notice that there is a great deal of overlap between subjects, all of which can lead to marking a square on your BINGO card. Mix and match freely, and include your favorites too.

If you complete five squares in a row, in any direction, congratulations on being a Super SEL Reader. If you complete more than one row, or the whole board, you are officially an SEL BINGO champ, and I hope you will give yourself a round of applause. Happy reading!

Books About Big Feelings

When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry by Molly BangI'm Happy-Sad Today
I’m Happy-Sad Today by Lory Britain, Ph.D.
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
Mad, Mad Bear! by Kimberly Gee
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
The Feelings Book by Todd Parr

Books About Confidence/Positivity

All the Ways to Be Smart by Davina BellJust Because I Am
I Believe I Can by Grace Byers
What If . . . by Samantha Berger
I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson
Just Because I Am by Lauren Murphy Payne, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

Books About Families

Penny and Her Song by Kevin Henkes
The Family Book by Todd Parr
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer
One Family by George Shannon
Love Waves by Rosemary Wells

Books About Friendship

Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
Happy Pig Day! by Mo Willems
Listen to My Trumpet! by Mo Willems
Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won

Books That Are Funny

See You Later, Alligator by Sally Hopgood
Dance, Dance, Dance! by Ethan Long
There Are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas

Books About Imagination

Tomorrow Most Likely by Dave Eggers
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
Andrew Drew and Drew by Barney Saltzberg

Books About Kindness

The Kindness Book by Todd Parr
Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind by Jessica Hische
My Heart by Corinna Luyken
Finding Kindness by Deborah Underwood
Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

Books Based on Songs

If You’re Happy and You Know It! by Jane Cabrera
You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis
Itsy Bitsy Spider by Annie Kubler
Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley
Wheels on the Bus by Raffi
The Bear Went Over the Mountain by Iza Trapani

Books About Waiting/Patience

Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois EhlertWaiting Is Not Forever
Waiting by Kevin Henkes
Wait by Antoinette Portis
Waiting Is Not Forever by Elizabeth Verdick
Waiting Is Not Easy! by Mo Willems
Not ’til Tomorrow, Phoebe by Julie Zwillich

Wordless or Nearly Wordless Books

Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley
Oink by David Elliot
Moo! by David LaRochelle
Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack
Banana! by Ed Vere

Books About Connecting with the World

Round Like a Ball! by Lisa Campbell ErnstMe and You and the Universe
Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman
Step Gently Out by Helen Frost
Me and You and the Universe by Bernardo Marçolla
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson
Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre

Amadee RickettsAmadee Ricketts received her MLS degree from the College of St. Catherine and has been a librarian since 2002. She is currently the library director at the Cochise County Library District in Arizona. When not working or writing, she enjoys taking photos of insects and other tiny things. She lives with her husband, who is a photographer, and their cat.

Gentle HandsAmadee is the author of Gentle Hands and Other Sing-Along Songs for Social-Emotional Learning.

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