Home » Learning Domains » Social Emotional Learning » Social Stories » Changing Body Rules: A Social Story for Kids

Changing Body Rules: A Social Story for Kids

By Amy Bamforth  5/14

There are LOTS of different kinds of bodies.

Multiple people with their thumbs up.

Short ones.  Tall ones.  Thick ones.

Thin ones.  Old ones.  Young ones.

Bodies change as people grow.

Rules about bodies change as people grow too.

A picture of multiple people at different stages of life from crawling to walking. to carrying a child in a sling.

When babies are little, people who take care of them touch them all over.  The body rule is that grown-ups need to keep babies’ bodies safe and clean and loved.  They give hugs and cuddle. They wipe the boogers from baby noses.  They tickle babies in all the tickly places.  They pinch babies’ cute cheeks and their cute bottoms.  They even clean the pee and poop from their bodies since babies can’t do that for themselves. 

A man changing a baby's diaper.

When babies get older, they are preschoolers. The new body rule is that grown-ups share the job of keeping preschoolers’ bodies safe and clean and loved. Preschoolers help too but they still need grown-ups to make sure their bodies are safe and clean.  They can do lots of things on their own. Preschoolers can choose who and when to hug.  Preschoolers can blow their own noses. Preschoolers can say “yes” or “no” to tickles. Preschoolers can say “Don’t pinch me!”  Adults don’t usually have to help clean the pee and poop when preschoolers use the toilet.

Preschool children hugging their teacher and each other on the rug.

When preschoolers get older, they go to elementary schools where there are lots of bigger kids.  They become students and the body rules change a lot. The new body rule is that grown-ups don’t touch kids’ bodies as much, and students don’t touch other people’s bodies as much.  Students are in charge of their bodies. Grown-ups help by teaching students about good rules and healthy habits. Gentle hugs when both people want them are OK. Students can get help when their noses bleed, but wipe their own boogers. Tickling is usually only with grown-ups from your family or close friends.  Touching other people’s cheeks and bottoms is not OK anymore. Students are expert at cleaning their bodies when they use the toilet and grown-ups don’t help with that.

A girl blowing her nose with a tissue.

There are lots of rules that change as children grow bigger and older.  When you are a student, some important things to remember are:

  • Students are in charge of their own bodies (not other people’s bodies.)
  • Hugs are nice when both people want to hug.
  • Students wipe their own boogers.
  • Students do not touch other people’s bottoms.
  • Students clean up themselves in the bathroom most of the time.
Kids running

Remembering body rules is very important.

The End

Year-Long Trajectory

The Year-Long Trajectory is your scope and sequence for learning experiences across the year.