Social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing books for kids? These are difficult times, and making good choices to stay healthy and keep good hygiene (or as good as possible) is important. Books, as with everything, are an excellent way to teach your children or students about staying socially distant, washing hands and how to wear masks.Check out these books to teach your students how help stop the spread of germs!
When We Stayed Home by Tara Fass, LMFT & Judith A. Proffer
I was able to my hands on a copy of this book, and let me just say that it was perfect. A boy talks about what he did when he stayed home when a virus made the world stop. Accompanied by his dog, the boy explains all of the things that he did to spend his time to help the helpers trying to make sure people survived. He referred to others like him who wore masks and stayed home as super-helpers. Illustrator Yoko Matsuoka adds some well-placed details that students will immediately be able to connect to having gone through the pandemic like a cookie in the form of a roll of toilet paper.
What I love most about this book is that it’s real. It talks about what kids can do when they have to stay home, but it also talks about how sometimes it was boring and his mask was itchy. As soon as I read this book, it went right to the top of the list. It’s a story full of hope best summed up by the last lines in the story: “When we stayed home I didn’t have everything I wanted. But I had everything I needed.”
Personal Space Camp by Julia Cook
This book was written before social distancing became mainstream and was originally written to be about personal space. The ideas about keeping personal space and not violating it will be very important this school year. Personal space can easily be linked to social distancing. In the story, a boy named Louis is a space expert, but not so much an expert with personal space. A book that will be VERY relatable for young learners.
Billie and the Brilliant Bubble by Tara Travieso
The author of this book was inspired by her children who were having a hard time understanding social distancing. In the story, the child explains social distancing by thinking about it like a bubble that keeps you safe. If I were to give a critique, it would be that the only people who wear masks are the grandparents. This one point in the story could provide an excellent conversation starter, though, and I love getting my students discussing!
A Little Spot Stays Home by Diane Alber
This book probably tackles the topic of wearing masks the best of any of the books on this list. The subtitle of this book is A Story About Viruses and Safe Distancing. It’s from the Spot Series, and it tackles hand washing, viruses, being socially distant and the importance of hand washing. It takes a lot of topics and makes them easy for kids to understand which is why it’s one of the best social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing books for kids.
Lucy’s Mask by Lisa Sirkis Thompson
Suddenly, masks are everywhere. Are your kids confused and anxious about wearing a mask? Lucy’s world turned upside down. She’s bored. She can’t be together with her friends. But when she finds out her mom is making her a new mask her boredom turns into excitement. Lucy loves masks! She dives into her toy box full of costumes and opens a world of imagination and make-believe adventure, far beyond the walls of her room. Of course, she doesn’t realize that the mask her mom is making is not a costume at all but one that will keep her safe and make her a real-life superhero.
Sick Simon by Dan Krall
Simon is going to have the best week ever. Who cares if he has a cold? And sneezes everywhere, and coughs on everyone, and touches everything. Germs call him a hero! This book doesn’t specifically cover social distancing or mask wearing but it does a GREAT job showing WHY these things are important. More importantly, it shows why we should stay home if we’re sick: to not get other kids sick!
Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak
Min is a microbe. She is small. Very small. In fact, so small that you’d need to look through a microscope to see her. Or you can simply open this book and take Min on an adventure to amazing places she’s never seen before―like the icy glaciers of your tooth or the twisted, tangled jungle of your shirt. A great hand washing book for kids because it shows how easily germs spread and even waht they look like!
Germs Are Not For Spreading by Elizabeth Verdick
A great book for small children about the importance of staying socially distant and handwashing. Rather than focus on what germs are, this book teaches the basics of not spreading them: Cover up a sneeze or cough. And most of all, wash your hands! I would caution that this book talks about how hugging is acceptable when you’re sick. Again, a great way to spark discussion! This book is also available in Spanish!
A Germ’s Journey by Thom Rooke M.D.
An engaging children’s book written by a medical doctor? I was surprised about it myself when I read more about the author Thom Rooke. This books is packed with information that older students would enjoy. You could also not read some of the extra information to make it easier to understand for smaller students. This book talks about how germs spread, making it a great book for talking about safe distancing and hand washing with kids.
I Am One by Susan Verde & Peter H. Reynolds
Sometimes it can feel like there are so many issues facing the world these days that we wonder how, as one individual, we can make a difference – especially as a child. In I Am One, Susan Verde and Peter Reynolds break down this idea into messages that young children can understand. Why is this on a list of the best social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing books for kids? Our kids are hearing all sorts of things from their parents, friends and others about these topics. They might feel like being the one person that does what they should to stop the spread of germs is useless. This book shows the power of one and the ripple effect it can have.