• Jenna Gines

HOW TO TEACH CHILDREN ABOUT DIFFERENCES

Recently I've had a few people ask me for resources on teaching children about differences and disabilities. I have a lot of books that I like but I didn't have many videos. Well now I do! I rounded up the best books and YouTube videos as a resource for you.



If most of the people in your circle are the same... make a new friend who looks different than you, believes different than you, or acts different from you. We learn SO much from our differences!


Thank you for teaching children about disabilities! Thank you for teaching them it's okay to be different. Thank you for teaching them to have friends of all shapes and sizes. Thank you for teaching them by example.



VIDEOS

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Absolutely love this Ted Talk and Cole's story. It's a perfect example of how to treat someone with a disability and how to include them.


Great one that explains differences and Autism.


Very informative about people with disabilities.


LOVE this one!


A cute read along from Sesame Street! I LOVE this book. I love how it shows we're the same, we're different.

Here's this Sesame Street book here.


Another really cute read along story!


Not for kids but for you -- I found this as I was searching and thought her story and attitude was incredible! So interesting to learn more about different mental health disorders.


BOOKS

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When Charley Met Emma

One of my favorite books teaching about differences. It's perfect!


"When Charley goes to the playground and sees Emma, a girl with limb differences who gets around in a wheelchair, he doesn't know how to react at first. But after he and Emma start talking, he learns that different isn't bad, sad, or strange--different is just different, and different is great! This delightful book will help kids think about disability, kindness, and how to behave when they meet someone who is different from them."

Gary's Gigantic Dream

Another favorite!


"An upbeat, rhythmic tale of a young giraffe who gets evaluated for his very first wheelchair. Upon receiving his chair, Gary discovers newfound independence, zest for life, and a gigantic dream of his own. The Able Fables™ collection proudly represents characters with diverse abilities, empowering children, and their guardians to embrace inclusion and see first, ability."

Daniel's New Friend (Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood)

"Daniel and Miss Elaina are visiting Prince Wednesday’s castle for a play date. When they arrive they are so excited to meet a new friend—Prince Wednesday’s cousin, Chrissie! Daniel has so much fun playing with his new friend! Then he notices that Chrissie wears braces on her legs to help her walk. Even though Chrissie may walk differently than Daniel, she loves the color red and playing pretend just as much as he does! Daniel is thrilled to make a wonderful new friend!
This delightful story is perfect for helping little ones understand that despite small differences, anyone can become a new friend!"

Inclusion Alphabet: Abc's for Everyone

"Follow a boy who struggles to make friends, a girl who feels different from those around her, and a man who meets a stranger that changes his life. Each letter of the alphabet accompanies a word that helps to demonstrate what inclusion is all about. As you read through the alphabet, you can begin to see these people, stories and ideas come together to build understanding and inspire action."

All Are Welcome

"Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other's traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school."

Kindness Starts With You - At School

"Kindness is the single most powerful thing that we can teach our children. Follow Maddy through her day at school, where your child will learn how easy it can be to spread kindness! From taking turns on the swing to including everyone in the game - this storybook shows that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted! A lightbulb lesson of kindness is found on each page! If you value raising kind kids that make the world a better place, then this book is for you!"

God Made Me This Way

"From a monkey's swing to a zebra's stripes, God made all of us just the way we are!
Using adorable animals, this book from Make Believe Ideas explores how fearfully and wonderfully God has made all of His creations. Parents and grandparents will be able to show little ones that God made them just the way they are for a purpose. The delightful art from Claire Fennell and the soft, padded board book format will make this book a favorite for kids and parents to pull off the shelf again and again."

God Made Me Unique: Helping Children See Value in Every Person

"God Made Me Unique helps Christian parents and caregivers teach children that God creates every person in the image of God and each individual has tremendous value, regardless of his or her appearance or abilities. The story is set in a classroom where a new student is introduced who has a disability and his classmates learn to ask questions and gain an understanding about their new friend.
God Made Me Unique will help eliminate fear and misconceptions about those who have special needs and emphasizes that every person deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. The inviting illustrations and rhyming prose make this a fun and engaging read for even little children to help them understand the complexity of a vast variety of disabilities and that each person was made by God and deserves to be treated with love and respect. Children often have many questions about disabilities thanks to their curious minds so the back of the book has additional information and resources to equip parents to talk with their children about this important subject."


Thank you for teaching children and those in your life about differences and thank you for reading!


- Jenna


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