Young children can be so curious and this is super fun stage to teach about so many topics! For them, questions about “where babies come from” and body parts don’t come with taboo or the baggage that we bring as adults. Try to meet their wonder and fascination with these topics the same way you would with questions about “why is the sky blue”? Establish yourself as someone who can help them figure out whatever they want to know!
Recommended books for Early Childhood and Elementary children
Reading books together is one of the best ways to normalize these conversations with young children. If your kids are like mine, they will probably want to read these books over and over again, which just creates more “teachable moments” for you to reinforce these important messages.
My personal favorite place to start for younger kids is with Robie Harris’s books. I find that the language in each of her books is just perfectly age appropriate, and she does all the hard work of figuring out what to say for you! She has a cartoon bird and bee who talk to each other and provide side commentary throughout each book. When I get stuck and I’m searching for the right words to explain a certain concept, I often look to Robie Harris’ books for guidance.
This book is a great place to start for very young children, as they begin to ask those questions about the different body parts that they themselves have, as well as those they don’t have but their friends or siblings or parents of a different gender might have. It’s written as a conversation between two young kids, in a sweet, matter of fact way that takes all of the stigma and taboo out of simply just naming our parts by their medically accurate names.
This book is also intended for that same very early childhood cohort, and tells the story of pregnancy and childbirth within the conversation that two young children have with each other and their parents. It’s the perfect way to answer all of those questions that arise when a very young child sees a pregnant person and wonders “what’s going on in there?!”
This book is written for ages 4 and up, and it’s the first thing I recommend when the questions start about how babies “get in there”, how babies “get out of there”, and what body parts belong to whom. In this series, the authors use a cartoon bird and bee that provide hilarious commentary about all of the topics covered.
This is Robie Harris and Michael Emberley’s book for ages 7 and up. They deal with most of the same topics as It’s Not the Stork, including about body parts and how they can change over time, how babies are made, how babies develop in a uterus, and how babies are born. They go into a brief discussion about bodily autonomy and setting boundaries, and how to talk with friends about activities that a child might want to do or not want to do. In this book, adoption, different kinds of families and the very basics about HIV are also mentioned.
My family loves this book! The illustrations are great and the information is very informative and easy for kids to understand. Sometimes it’s so much easier to just let the author do the talking, and all you have to do is read. This book is perfect for little kids who are starting to get interested and ask questions that you might not be sure how to answer.
I love this book so much! Cory Silverberg does a brilliant job of separating body parts from gender, and explaining all of the different ways that an egg from one body can meet a sperm from another body. The language is so inclusive and the pictures are just adorable. It’s a must have for families that want to teach their kids to understand the diversity the families that live in our communities and world.
A great book for the kids who are super curious about where they came from and why they have some similar and some different body parts from their siblings or friends. Without explaining “sexual intercourse” the book provides the basics in a fun way that littles can understand without too much detail.
This read aloud book is a treasure! The authors celebrate all kinds of children and many forms of diversity, and discuss that some children don’t feel that they fit within the categories of just “boy” or “girl.” The explanations of complex concepts of gender are made easy to understand for all ages.
Maya Gonzalez is brilliant! An adult can use this body positive book to help a young child to see a wide range of bodies and understand the origins of the current binary gender system. This book is an inspiration for a world that includes all bodies and genders. Maya also wrote They She He Me: Free to Be! which teaches about pronouns.
Recommended Websites for Early Childhood and Elementary
I am LOVING amaze junior for this age. Amaze Junior has super cute 2-3 minute videos about all sorts of health topics that provide fun and important learning for young kids. Watch the videos first and then share the ones you like with your kids!
The books and websites that I promote and review here are some of my favorites. I only recommend resources that I have read cover to cover myself, either for my own professional development, or that I use regularly with my students or my own kids. The values in the resources I recommend align with my values as a health educator and as a parent. I encourage you to read any book first yourself before reading them with your children, to ensure that the values in the books align with your own family values. I have provided links* to purchase books online for your convenience, and of course I encourage you to support your local bookstores as well!
* Disclaimer: Please be aware that Askable Parents may receive compensation or some other benefit from affiliate third parties in exchange for featuring products on our website. Please contact us if you have any concerns or questions.