Many kids will be returning to school soon, and in our current global pandemic, good hygiene practices are more important than ever. Remembering things like handwashing, brushing teeth and bathing regularly isn’t generally a child’s favourite activity, but thanks to these useful hygiene books for elementary students, parents and carers can work on making it fun to develop healthy habits.
Unfortunately, many hygiene books for elementary students are written on commission, and there is a lack of diversity in the writers being offered these jobs. Because of this, there are not many books on this list written by authors of colour. However, moving away from hygiene specifically and looking at the broader topic of personal care, you can find more representation of POC writers – particularly in the increasing number of children’s books by Black authors that celebrate natural hair and offer tips on hair maintenance and styling. Books like Emi’s Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair by Tina Olajide and Big Hair, Don’t Care by Crystal Swain-Bates are a fantastic read, both for Black and non-Black children.
Handwashing is perhaps the most important thing we can do at the moment, and it’s something that children can learn right from the start of their elementary school years. In this book for new readers, a 1st grade class gets a detailed lesson on how to wash their hands.
The Tooth Book is another useful book for developing good dental hygiene habits, making it a great resource for younger elementary school kids who are getting used to brushing regularly. On top of the helpful content, the illustrations and the extra information about the history of dentistry make it a fun read!
This book for younger kids helps explain germs, how they work and how they’re transmitted, in a way that’s simple to understand. It also contains plenty of hygienic habits that little ones can pick up to make sure that they and everyone around them stays safe and healthy.
Full of activities aimed at children from preschool to elementary age, What You Can Do About COVID-19 is a fantastic resource for parents and carers who want to help their children feel more empowered and in control of their own health during this scary time. It’s also free to download, although people who can afford it are invited to give a charity donation.
Returning to school may seem scary, but while hygienic habits aren’t a cure-all, they can certainly help. These books are a great starting point for elementary students to take charge of their personal care.
To help the young kids in your life understand COVID-19, check out our list of the best free children’s books on the coronavirus. If you want recommendations for a broader look at health, safety and personal care, you can find plenty of options on our list of 25 of the Best Children’s Books About Health and Safety.