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The Bare Naked Book!
How do you teach your kids the names for their body parts? One of the tools we use and have now used for all three of our daughters is The Bare Naked Book – written by Kathy Stinson and published in 1994. Obviously it is pretty easy to teach your kids names of their body parts through general conversation. We also like to use this book, because it is essentially a game with pictures.
We used to have a copy of the book or maybe we just picked it up from the library with our first two. We typically would get it out around the age of two and start reading it with them. We weren’t as on the ball with our third kid, but then she is a third child so she is fortunate that we teach her anything.
A few weeks ago we happened across the book at a church rummage sale and picked it up. Since then I have read it to her most nights before bed. She loves it. She just turned three yesterday so we still managed to read it to her while she was two.
I try to trick her with where her hair or noses are. Admittedly she has only one nose… She has quickly memorized the book and knows when I am switching up the words and body parts.
This book is particularly great for normalizing the correct vocabulary for genitals. It does have two limitations in this regard.
1) It does not include the word vulva for girls. It only indicates that girls have a vagina, which while factually accurate, can lead to lack of specificity later if your daughter indicates she has a rash or an itchy vagina, which then requires you to clarify if she means inside or outside. You can easily counteract this shortfall by including vulva yourself when reading the book.
2) If you are trying to raise your kid without tying them to a specific gender so as to allow them more fluidity in determining how to define themselves as they age, this book might not be the best one for you. It references that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.
The pattern of the book is to name and describe the body part “Ears. Cold ears. Listening ears.” etc. and then ask “Where are your ears?”
The first time I read it through with my now three year old and I asked where her penis is, she thought about it for a minute and and then declared that she didn’t have one. Now there is no thinking about, she just tells me I am silly when I ask or she tells me she doesn’t have a penis, but that I do…
I highly recommend this book as the start of the sexual health conversation you have with your kids.
Pick one up for yourself or as a gift for friends or family who have toddlers.