Topic 5: Knowing my body
Knowing my body
Healthy living begins with knowing, respecting, and caring for one’s body from the earliest years of life. For very young children, this is achieved primarily in the way parents demonstrate their love for their young ones’ growing bodies. As children grow older, they gradually take on self-care tasks such as eating, washing, and toileting. We have chosen books that follow this development, from emerging body awareness in infancy and toddlerhood to learning to take good care of one’s body in the preschool and kindergarten years.
Clicking on the titles will direct you to the amazon.com page for each book listed below. Clicking on highlighted words or phrases in the descriptions will direct you to resources and information related to the topics.
For ages 0 - 3
Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes: A First Book All About You by July Hindley
This book supports an infant or toddler’s natural curiosity to explore their body and growing sense of self. It’s rhyming words and drawings attracts youngsters to look at how they use their body while reading along, feeing pride and joy in their self awareness, body and physical abilities.
For ages 0 - 3 and ages 3 - 6
All of Me! by Molly Bang
All of Me! (A Book of Thanks) encourages children to think about their bodies and how they use their many different body parts in everyday life. The simple text and mixed media illustrations entice youngsters to explore what they can do with their bodies with pride, admiration and gratitude, which fosters self care skill development and a healthy body image.
Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin
With simple, rhyming text, Here Are My Hands encourages readers and children to act out different movements with their bodies. Illustrations of children from around the world demonstrate the actions that go along with the text.
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
From Head to Toe uses Eric Carle’s signature illustrations to demonstrate various movements acted out by zoo animals. The text encourages children to move their bodies along with the text, asking each time, “Can you do it?” This interactive book is great for one-on-one, small, and large groups of children at home or in school.
Hands Can by Cheryl Willis Hudson
Children learn to do all sorts of things with their hands. They can hold and mold or mix and fix things. With rhyming text and vibrant photographs, this book illustrates how children explore and discover the world around them.
For ages 3 - 6
I'm Growing by Aliki
I’m Growing discusses some of the ways that children grow bigger and stronger and highlights some of the ways children can take care of their bodies such as brushing teeth and eating well. This book also highlights differences among adults, saying that some grow to be taller or shorter or have more or less hair, but that all children are growing up in their own ways.
You Are Healthy by Todd Snow
This book is a rare find as it supports a school child’s emerging sense of responsibility for themselves, their body and health, by valuing diverse aspects of self care that are needed for overall health and wellness. It tactfully illustrates the many ways a child can care for and love their mind and body - by getting a good night's rest, laughing with people they love and playing and running - all of which aids the development of long-term healthy habits and a healthy body image.
Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition by Lizzie Rockwell
Food is very important to our healthy development. It helps us grow, think, move and above all, live! In this guide for children, Rockwell introduces the six key nutrients found in food, illustrates the food pyramid and talks about digestion. This book promotes healthy eating and demonstrates that food is fun to make and fun to eat.
Busy Body Book: A Kid’s Guide to Fitness by Lizzie Rockwell
Your body is amazing! It can stretch, catch, peddle, twist and twirl. It is always moving! In this guide for children, Rockwell introduces what our bodies of made of, from our skeletal structure to our brain, heart and lungs. This guide also illustrates that our bodies need air, food and water to survive and also need rest to heal and grow.
Growing Up Green by Deidre Imus
Growing up Green is a book that is bound to spark parents to investigate options and ask questions related to environmental toxins. Whether or not you agree with the author on all issues, the value of her investigations will incentivize dialogues and encourage parents to take a more serious, active role in ensuring their children’s health and well being.
Additional books for children:
Aliki: My Hands
Aliki: My Feet
Carlson, Nancy: Get Up and Go!
Ehlert, Lois: Eating the Alphabet
Ehlert, Lois: Growing Vegetable Soup
Gibbons, Gail: The Vegetables We Eat
Sears, William: Eat Healthy, Feel Great
Thomas, Pat: My Amazing Body: A First Look at Health and Fitness