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Top 10 books for teaching children about sex

Talking to children about bodies and bits and how they fit together isn’t always easy. The earlier you start and the more relaxed you are about it, the easier it will be (see Talking to children about sex, bodies and relationships). The hardest bit is getting started. Luckily, there are some great books for teaching children about sex, bodies and families, which can make launching into those conversations much easier. There’s no need to buy them – your local library will have lots of books for teaching children about sex (and that way you can check them out and find exactly the right one for your family).

To help you along, here’s my top ten list of the best books for teaching children about sex, puberty and relationships.

*This post contains affiliate links

book cover for 'Where Willy Went' one of our recommended books for teaching children about sexWhere Willy Went

Where Willy Went (by Nicholas Allen) is my personal favourite – it’s a jolly good story that just happens to be about a sperm…. Makes potentially difficult conversations very easy!

 

Photo of book 'Hair in Funny Places' by Babette ColeHair in Funny Places

Hair in Funny Places (by Babette Cole) is a true classic. Great artwork, featuring a girl, her teddy bear and Mr and Mrs Hormone. A lovely book for introducing the idea of puberty to younger children.

 

Book jacket of 'There's a House Inside My Mummy' one of our recommended Top 10 Books for teaching children about sexThere’s a House Inside My Mummy

There’s a House Inside My Mummy (by Giles Andreae) is gentle and simple, perfect for preparing young children for a new brother or sister. (Check out these other ideas for books for preparing a toddler for a new baby too!).

 

Let’s Talk About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families & Friends

Book cover of Let's Talk About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families & Friends (by Robie H. Harris)The Let’s Talk series has a range of books for teaching children about sex, puberty, and families. They are factual and quite detailed and cover those topics that you might be a little scared of broaching. Ideal for starting conversations or for leaving in your child’s bedroom for him/her to pick up when interested. Let’s Talk About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families & Friends (by Robie H. Harris)

 

Book jacket of Mummy Laid an Egg by Babette ColeMummy Laid an Egg

Mummy Laid an Egg is another great book by Babette Cole. This is a good option for turning the tables on parental embarrassment – no nonsense, straightforward and dispels silly myths people invent to avoid saying exactly where babies really do come from…..

 

King and KingBook jacket of children's book King & King by Linda De Haan

King and King (by Linda De Haan) is a great read with fab pictures that just happens to feature a prince who marries another prince rather than a princess.

 

Discover Families

Book jacket of 'Discover Families'Discover Families (by Fliss Goldsmith) is a celebration of families and all the different shapes, sizes and forms that families can take – part of the Erin & Roderick series. Perfect for inclusive conversations and answering children’s questions about why/how families don’t all look the same. (For an alternative, The Family Book by Todd Parr is also very good on this topic).

 

Ready, Set, Grow!

Book jacket of Ready, Set, Grow, one of our best books for teaching children about sexReady, Set, Grow! (by Lynda Madaras) is all about girls’ bodies and puberty. Detailed, but written in a sympathetic way that tackles lots of common fears and worries. Perfect for preparing younger girls for puberty or for girls who have started puberty early. Versions for older girls (What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls: Revised Edition) and for boys (The “What’s Happening to My Body?” Book for Boys) are also available.

 

Let’s talk about Body Boundaries, Consent & Respectbook jacket of Let's Talk About Body Boundaries by Jayneen Sanders

Let’s talk about Body Boundaries, Consent & Respect (by Jayneen Sanders) is a great resource for talking about consent in a thoughtful and non-threatening way – so children understand their own body safety rights as well as respecting other children’s.

 

It’s Okay to be Different

Cover of children's book It's Okay to be Different by Todd ParrIt’s Okay to be Different (by Todd Parr) is not so much about sex and as about diversity in general. A great book for introducing young children to the idea that people (and bodies) come in all shapes, sizes and preferences, and that’s great!

 

Have you tried any of these books for teaching children about sex? How did it go? Or have I missed out your favourite? What tips would you share about talking to children about bodies and bits? Please do let us know – and check out this resource list for more advice on talking to children about tricky issues!

*This is not a sponsored post – these are all books that I personally recommend! It does contain affiliate links which means that if you click through from this post and buy a book, the Positive Parenting Project will receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you. This helps us keep providing free content. For more info, see  Disclosure Notice

montage of books for teaching children about sex

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By Anita Cleare

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16 responses to “Top 10 books for teaching children about sex”

  1. Thanks for this! My boys are 14 and 11, so I think I’ve missed the boat with them, definitely with the eldest. But I need to talk to my 9yo daughter and I don’t know where to start! Could you recommend which books would be suitable for a 9yo girl?

    • AnitaCleare says:

      I would go for ‘Ready, Set, Grow’ by Lynda Madaras or check out the ‘Let’s Talk’ series by Robie Harris for a 9 year-old girl. The FPA website (www.fpa.org.uk) has some great leaflets you can download too!

  2. Confessions of a New Mummy says:

    I’m SO glad to have stumbled upon this post. My daughter is only 3 but I want to get some books so that it all seems normal and there’s no big discussion/embarrassment about things. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Mrs Tubbs says:

    We’ve missed the boat here as the Tubblet is now 11, but these look excellent

  4. Hannah Parker says:

    This is such an interesting and helpful post, Anita! We’ve done the awkward tiptoe dance around the subject with Gabby when I was pregnant with Reuben – Mike even attempted to drawer a diagram. I wish we’d had this list of resources then!!

    Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

  5. I think this is great take some tips and clever phrases to explain what sex is to your kids. But God, King and King ?? Homosexual experience for 9 old? No joke?

    • AnitaCleare says:

      Gay couples are part of the fabric of modern society so I personally think that helping children reflect on all the different types of families is totally appropriate. Obviously the book doesn’t go into any sexual details, it just happens to be about a prince who doesn’t fall in love with a princess. If you had a gay couple in your extended family or friends and wanted a way to discuss that with a 9 year old, that book could be a really useful?

  6. Claire says:

    Some great suggestions here. My girls have read a few of these with me and we found it a great way to start a ‘natural’ conversation.

  7. Brilliant list, I’ll definitely be looking these up for when the time comes with my kids. thanks for sharing with #readwithme

  8. Catherine says:

    Thank you for putting together this great list of books – we love the Babette Cole book 🙂

    #readwithme

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