Talking with children aged 5-8

At this age children start to learn what their bodies can and can’t do and they like to find out how things work and how they are made.

They are curious about their own and other people’s bodies and pregnancy and childbirth.

They may ask about puberty changes and periods.

They continue to play games like ‘doctors and nurses’ and explore their own and each other’s bodies, including the genitals. This is all normal.

What 5–8 year olds need to know about

  • Growing up and body changes so they’re prepared before it happens to them.
  • Periods and wet dreams.
  • The proper names for the genitals.
  • How a baby is made.

Questions 5–8 year olds might ask

My friend told me that a baby is made when a daddy puts his willy in mummy's belly button. Is that right?

You could say That’s not quite right. Babies are made when a mummy and daddy love each other and are feeling sexy. When they both want to, they have a special cuddle. The daddy puts his penis into the mummy’s vagina.

What’s a condom?

You could say A condom is something made of thin rubber. You roll it down a man’s penis like a little jacket. What comes out of his penis (the sperm) stays in the condom. If he’s having sex with a woman it stops the sperm getting inside her and making her pregnant. It can help to stop people getting an infection too.

What does gay mean? (What’s a same-sex marriage?)

You could say This when a man loves men in the same way that men and women love each other. Women who love women are called lesbians.

Why is my willy sticking out?

You could say Blood goes round your body all the time, but sometimes more blood goes into your penis (or willy) than usual and it makes it stick out like that. It’s something that happens to all boys and men, even when they are babies.