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9 children's books to promote body positivity, from ages 2-12

Showing our kiddos that all bodies are accepted and amazing is really hard.

children's books body positivity

Have you noticed bullies and villains are usually portrayed as bigger than everyone else? How often have you come across a story with a happy main character who is larger than the other characters?

Maybe you've never noticed that the answer is almost none. With body policing and shaming surrounding us, showing our kiddos that all bodies are accepted and amazing is really hard.

Here are 9 books to help your family combat weight shaming. These books promote adipositivity: the positive affirmation of larger bodies. (Don't worry, we just Googled it too!)

1. You Are Not Small

you are not small book

Ages 2-6

Big, small, fat, thin? As teams of bears duke it out to figure out whose descriptors are 'right' we realize that there is no standard definition of size. We love how in less than 100 words this book hits the nail on the head: It's all relative.

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$3.99

2. Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn't Fit

ernest the moose book

Ages 2-6

Is Ernest too big for the book or is the book too small for Ernest? We LOVE Ernest and his friend's maker mindset as they creatively problem solve. This book beautifully and literally depicts that environments should be designed to accommodate ALL bodies, not vice-versa.

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3. Lovely

lovely children's book

Ages 3-7

There are so many bodies and intersecting identities celebrated in this book, every time we read it we discover something new we love. Jess Hong uses sparse words like 'black' and 'white' and 'fancy' and 'sporty' to highlight how all of our bodies are lovely. We love how the illustrations challenge our expectations!

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4. Rock What Ya Got

rock what ya got book

Ages 3-7

"Rock what ya got and rock it a lot!" This catchy tune will be stuck in everyone's head after reading this book. Trust us, it's way better than "Let It Go" on repeat for the hundredth time. In this meta story, the illustrator draws Viva right onto the page but wants to erase her as she's not quite perfect. Viva forces us to pause and sing our self-love anthem.

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5. Brontorina

brontorina children's book

Ages 4-8

Brontorina is a big, bold, ballerina brontosaurus, need we say more? This book reminds us that some places are systemically exclusive and we need to change those systems to be more inclusive! We LOVE how the littlest of kiddos are the biggest of allies in this book.

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6. The Best Part of Me

the best part of me children's book

Ages 4-9

This book is a goldmine! Stunning portraits of real kids, hand-written poems celebrating their bodies, empowered kiddos. Our bodies have so many different abilities, this book brings into focus what bodies can do. And if the powerful ending line of "These beautiful things are mine" doesn't get you, we don't know what will!

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7. Abigail the Whale

abigail the whale book

Ages 5-8

When kids call you a whale at the pool because of your big body, what should you do? Imagine you are a glorious wonderful super whale as you dive into the pool with a SPLASH, of course. We love that Abigail practices body positivity and combats bullying through mindfully connecting with her body. Extra tip: Bring up with your children that becoming skilled at something is not a prerequisite for kind and respectful treatment.

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8. Pies from Nowhere

pies from nowhere book

Ages 6-9

Why, yes, people have been making change much before Lizzo, Shrill, and #allbodiesaregoodbodies started trending. Books that accurately depict historical people of size are important. The story of Georgia Gilmore, a civil rights activist, reminds us that we can all stand for justice using our unique skills. More importantly, the story doesn't erase Georgia's big body nor show her 'triumph' despite of it.

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9. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

voice of freedom children's book

Ages 8-12

It's no accident this book won three of the most prestigious children's book awards. The story of Fannie, a big black woman integral to the Civil Rights Movement, comes to life through a series of first-person poems. We felt Fannie's need for justice and sense of hope on every.single.page.

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The Little Feminist team believes the next generation deserves more than nine awesome body-positive stories. LittleFeminist.com exists to create demand for 99 more #allbodies children's stories.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

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Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

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Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

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Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

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Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

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Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

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Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

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Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

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Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

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Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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