Growing up, body positivity was not a term I heard. Now raising my kids, I am acutely aware of messages about bodies (their abilities and differences) and facing questions from my kids about how bodies work. Here are some picks for elementary age kids on cultivating a sense of awareness of our amazing, fascinating, and sometimes bizarre bodies.
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The Brain: the Ultimate Thinking Machine by Tory Woollcott
How did the brain evolve? How do our senses work in relation to the brain? How do we remember things? What makes you, YOU? Get an inside look at the human brain, the most advanced operating system in the world… if you have the nerve!
Gut Garden by Katie Brosnan
We follow the digestive process from the moment the food enters our mouths to the moment the waste leaves our bodies. Along the way we are introduced to a variety of microbes – good and bad – and gain an insight into the vast ecosystem that exists inside us.
Based on their #1 kids podcast, Wow in the World, hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz take readers on a hilarious, fact-filled, and highly illustrated journey through the human body–covering everything from our toes to our tongues to our brains and our lungs!
Human Body Theater / by Maris Wicks
Starting out as a skeleton, the MC puts on a new layer of her costume (her body) with each “act.” By turns goofy and intensely informative, the Human Body Theater is always accessible and always entertaining.
You-Ology: a Puberty Guide for Every Body by Trish Hutchison
What if your kids could learn about changing bodies in a way that isn’t secretive or shameful? And what if it could even be inclusive, fun, and, well, kind of adorable? A new kind of puberty guide, You-ology embraces an inclusive approach that normalizes puberty for all kids.
Own Your Period by Chella Quint
This fact-filled guide to periods answers all your essential questions like what’s a vulva, what do periods actually feel like, and what happens if blood stains your clothes?
This fictionalized nonfiction diary-style guide follows nine 12-year-old girls at a summer camp is like having a best friend or older sister who shares everything there is to know about being comfortable in your chasing body so you can survive and thrive through puberty.
Welcome to Your Period! By Yumi Stynes
Packed with honest advice on managing Aunt Flo like a boss, this book will induct pre-teens into the secret society of menstruation: from demystifying what cramps feel like, to whether you can feel it coming out, to what you should do if your pad leaks onto your dress.
Presents a flip book for girls and boys containing answers to questions pre-adolescents have about puberty, friends, sex, pimples, and body hair.
YOUR BODY IS AWESOME
Love Your Body : Your Body Can Do Amazing Things / by Jessica Sanders; illustrated by Carol Rossetti
Love Your Body encourages young girls to admire and celebrate their bodies for all the amazing things they can do, and to help girls see that they are so much more than their bodies.
Celebrate Your Body 1&2 by Sonya Taylor and Lisa Klein
This guide helps young girls understand and embrace the changes they may be experiencing in their bodies, minds, and emotions. It will help them become an expert on everything from pimples to peer pressure–and help them discover how their changing bodies are beautiful and special.
A Kids Book About Body Image by Rebecca Alexander
No body is the same size, shape, weight, color, or kind. This book takes the conversation around body image head-on, helping kids not only love their own bodies the way they are but others’, too.
Consent (for kids!) : boundaries, respect, and being in charge of you / by Rachel Brian
Readers will learn about boundaries and how to set them; ways to respect themselves and others; what to do if someone makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe; and much more.
Sex Is a Funny Word: a Book About Bodies, Feelings, and YOU by Cory Silverberg
Much more than the “facts of life” or “the birds and the bees,” Sex Is a Funny Word opens up conversations between young people and their caregivers in a way that allows adults to convey their values and beliefs while providing information about boundaries, safety, and joy.
Tell Me About Sex, Grandma by Anastasia Higginbotham
The dialogue focuses on the dynamics of sex, rather than the mechanics, as Grandma reminds readers that sex is not marriage or reproduction, and doesn’t look the same for everyone. Instead, each person’s sexuality is their very own to discover, explore, and share if they choose.