This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 14 °C Monday 13 July, 2020

Could board games be the way forward for teaching kids about menstruating?

They seem like a good idea to remove stigma surrounding periods.

shutterstock_525402724 Source: Shutterstock/Ema Woo

EVERYONE HAS A very different experience when it comes to their first period.

There are pre-teens whose trendy parents presented them with books about the freaky things that their bodies would be getting up to over the next couple of years. Some recipients were absolutely scarlet, others read eagerly and told all of their friends.

shutterstock_553331383 Source: Shutterstock/Elena Kharichkina

There are kids in primary school who have no idea what their period is when they’re surprised with it one day in class.

There are people who know what it is but are too embarrassed to explain to their parents or guardians that they’ve gotten their period for the first time, fearing that they aren’t supposed to know what a period is yet.

There are young people who thought that their periods were supposed to be blue, because that’s what colour they are on TV ads. Then there are people who think that periods only last for a day.

shutterstock_645927196 Source: Shutterstock/MasAnyanka

There are people who have no idea where their period comes from, and there are people who, even in their 20s aren’t confident enough in their own anatomy to try a tampon.

When it comes to periods, there are endless myths, misconceptions and stories that make people anticipating their first period cringe.

In households across the country, there are parents and children referring to periods as them. “Have you got them?” There are thousands of nicknames for periods. The (frankly amazing) period tracking app Clue surveyed 90,000 people from 190 countries and found 5,000 nicknames.

shutterstock_553331401 Source: Shutterstock/Elena Kharichkina

They found that in some countries (France and China), periods were spoken about in slang terms by 91% of people. More than 9 times out of 10, people are using euphemisms for periods. Why? Sometimes for humour but more often than not, to remove the discomfort of talking about menstruating.

Some people might say that this isn’t a problem, but embarrassment and discomfort surrounding periods has a very real impact on people’s lives and confidence, especially during adolescence.

People in secondary schools who unexpectedly begin their cycles are often too embarrassed to directly ask teachers or staff at school for period supplies, never mind other students. Nobody should be that afraid of a part of their own body.

shutterstock_664745569 Source: Shutterstock/nixki

 Acknowledging the fact that many young people are left ‘unprepared and uncomfortable’ when their first period arrives, The Period Game have set out to make a difference.

Aiming to turn a ‘typically uneasy situation’ like discussing periods in your early teens into a ‘fun, positive learning experience’ they decided to teach kids through the one medium that they cannot quietly participate through: a board game.

Kids can now learn about the menstrual cycle through more interesting and engaging means that the boring old circular calendar plastered over Junior Cert science books.

More importantly, saying words like “period” and “tampon” is just a part of the game, which allows them to say it in a comfortable environment without the taboos found in society.

Period-Game-Booklet-1 Source: The Period Game

Instead of rolling a dice in a regular board game, this game begins when you turn one of two ovaries sticking out of the board. It’ll release either a red or clear marble. If it’s red, you’ve got your period. If you get a clear marble, you have to hope for better luck on your next go.

Period-Game-Booklet-2-1 Source: The Period Game

The game instructions teach you not only how to play, but what the process of menstruating actually involves. In a far, far more entertaining manner than that stupid circular calendar from school.

There are different cards that can be used throughout the game that familiarise the player with the working principles of tampons, pads and menstrual cups. Players learn about PMS and ways to ease period pain.

shutterstock_598439033 Source: Shutterstock/Rvector

Just hope you don’t draw the ‘Oops… You leaked’ card, because that’ll send you straight to the square on the board designated as ‘The Nurse’s Office’.

Coincidentally, the game has won a Red Dot Design Award – the Red Dot Awards have nothing to do with periods.

It has yet to be released widely, but it will be out eventually. What’s more important is that in the meantime, it’s giving parents and guardians a totally new approach to try and teach their kids about periods – at any age.

There’s no harm in a teenage boy or a grandfather playing this game at all. They’ll definitely learn a thing or two.

DailyEdge is on Snapchat! Tap the button below to add!

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Kelly Earley

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel