I often tell my kids that patience is a virtue. Yet, it is all too obvious this virtue is not fully understood at the tender age of six or even eight. Kids need everything right this minute and are apt to lose their minds, and make you lose yours, when their desires are not immediately met. Every car ride comes with a “how much longer?”, and every snack time reveals a ravenous child who must eat NOW! Don’t even get me started on the perils of searching for a bathroom while out and about, or the tendency for kids to impatiently repeat one word over and over—“Mom! Mom! MOM!” If your child is lacking in patience, then these eight books can help teach them all about the joy of waiting. Now hurry up and read these books right now!
Waiting, by Kevin Henkes
A lot of time in life is spent waiting—waiting in line, waiting for your birthday, waiting to go on a trip—which is something kids simply cannot stand. This award-winning picture book has several irresistible toys lined up on a windowsill, each one waiting for something special. Will the toys wait, or will they lose their patience? This simple and sweet book will answer that question for your child.
Are We There Yet?, by Dan Santat
The title of this book is the one question parents dread hearing on a car trip. This inventive picture book shares the story of a little boy who feels like his road trip is going so slowly that he actually starts traveling backwards in time. Encountering pirates, princesses, famous historical figures, and even dinosaurs will keep your little one’s imagination sparking. And the next time you are on a car trip and your kids ask that question, just say “no” and hand them a copy of this book.
Waiting Is Not Easy!, by Mo Willems
Mo Willems fans will especially enjoy this simple story on patience. Piggie has a surprise for her friend Gerald, but it is not ready yet. Gerald starts to wonder what the surprise is and becomes more and more impatient. His reactions are humorous and in the end, the surprise is worth the wait. A perfect pick if your child is anticipating their birthday or a big event in the near future and can’t quite find the patience to wait!
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Ma! There’s Nothing to Do Here!: A Word from Your Baby-in-Waiting, by Barbara Park and Viviana Garofoli
If you are expecting a baby and their soon to be older sibling is eager with anticipation, this book can help your child begin to understand what goes on in utero before a baby is born. Without getting into the details of pregnancy or childbirth, this book is a snapshot of what a baby might imagine while in the womb. Your child will enjoy imagining what their younger sibling could be thinking at this very moment, and expectant moms will delight in reading this humorous story.
Remy the Rhino Learns Patience, by Andy McGuire
If you have a child who is easily frustrated, especially by other kids, then this book can be an excellent lesson in patience, as well as in appreciating those around you. Remy is an impatient rhino who snorts at the other animals and charges right after them. One day, he charges into a tree and gets stuck. An aardvark enlists the termites to slowly eat away at the tree to release Remy—not only from his dilemma, but from his impatient attitude, too.
The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson
A fable more than sixty years old, this book has been around for generations. A small boy plants a carrot seed and while most are certain nothing will grow, the little boy is rewarded in a huge way after carefully and patiently tending to the seed. Brief text and cartoon-like images convey a simple yet effective story about patience and waiting to reap long-awaited rewards.
Llama Llama Red Pajama, by Anna Dewdney
In this sweet (and very relatable) story, Baby Llama can’t get to sleep and cries out for Mama Llama. She comes back to him and reassures Baby Llama that she is always there for him, even when she is not near. A good lesson in patience for little ones who need a reminder that Mom and Dad are there for them, but will not always come running right away—perfect for kids who are a bit dependent on parents at bedtime (so, most kids).
If You Want to See a Whale, by Julie Fogliano and Erin E. Stead
Sometimes it is not about the destination, but the journey. This book explores the beauty of patience, as a young boy waits to spot an elusive whale. While he patiently anticipates the creature’s appearance, he becomes distracted, yet discovers so many other wonderful things around him. This delicately illustrated and poetically written book is a glimpse into a daydream, and a beautiful lesson on enduring a wait.
What books about patience do you like?