In the beginning, teaching kids about their bodies and body safety can be a daunting task for parents and caregivers. Finding a way to protect children and give them information without scaring them feels like an impossible balance. Am I saying too much? Am I saying too little? Do they even understand? With startling statistics of 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 6 boys being victims of sexual abuse or assault prior to 18, it feels like we have to do something.
While a great body safety books for preschoolers can be hard to find, these are a solid start. Deciding to educate and empower children about their bodies, boundaries, and consent can reduce the risk of sexual abuse. Here are 4 of my favorite books that have come in really handy both personally and professionally.
I love this book for a shame free answer to the books very title. Who Has What is a great book for 3-5 year olds. I might even say a bit older as well depending on where caregiver is starting the conversations at. The book doesn’t shy away from using proper names for body parts. While I was reading it, I had to confront my own discomfort around talking about body parts that I didn’t realize I had until I stumbled over some words. It can be uncomfortable to talk about but if children are asking about body parts, they deserve an accurate age appropriate answer. This book is awesome for that!
Consent, Boundaries, and Body Safety
A great body safety book for preschoolers with multiple lessons on safe and unsafe feelings, early warning signs, safety networks, private parts, safe and unsafe touch, the difference between secrets and surprises, and respecting body boundaries. Best for ages 3-9. I would recommend reading the sections in chunks and hopping around to what fits instead of the entire book straight through. Since there are very clear topics and stories, it isn’t a smooth read.
This book is great for discussing consent and personal space. This girl is strong and empowered about her body and what she does not feel comfortable with. While reading this book to my little one, it reminded me that we need make sure to empower kids to claim their space and speak their truths. When kids aren’t allowed to say no to hugs and kiss, we are teaching them that what they want or need for their body doesn’t matter. Forced affection is not consent. This book is a good fit for 3-7.
Lastly, Lets Talk About Body Boundaries, Consent & Respect is a new favorite. I love the diversity and the book. Any time a child can see themselves in a book, it’s a win.