Today I will share three ideas with you how teen­agers (uhhm… or maybe all of us!?) can learn about peri­ods in a fun way. The three games are per­fect for using the new time gai­ned during the Corona-Qua­ran­tine to learn more about mens­trua­tion. With colou­ring books, board games or memory, the gene­ral mind­set and period know­ledge are quickly impro­ved. By play­ing, it natu­rally beco­mes some­thing very nor­mal and we are more rela­xed when tal­king about it. The gene­ral accep­t­ance of peri­ods incre­a­ses as well. No more being asha­med or embarra­sed when tal­king and lear­ning about our body. It is important that edu­ca­tion is fun and inclu­des acti­vi­ties that we enjoy doing. Emo­tio­nal as well as prac­ti­cal infor­ma­tion must be com­bi­ned with sci­en­ti­fic facts in a mea­ning­ful way. And we should always ask our­sel­ves: How do we actually talk about mens­trua­tion with other people (espe­cially the youn­ger generation)?

The Period Game (board game)

‚The Period Game’ is a board game about mens­trua­tion. It is desi­gned to change the way mens­trual know­ledge is taught in schools. Lear­ning about mens­trua­tion has never been so easy and lively. It is an inno­va­tive idea to edu­cate espe­cially young people and to coun­ter­act period shame. The game gui­des us enter­tai­nin­gly and easily through dif­fe­rent topics such as puberty, mens­trual cycle, peri­ods or PMS. All par­ti­ci­pants learn what hap­pens in their (own) body. The game aims to turn a typi­cally unplea­sant situa­tion into a fun and posi­tive lear­ning expe­ri­ence. It is impos­si­ble to not say words like mens­trua­tion or tam­pon  during the 30 minu­tes of the game. These words natu­rally slide over into the lan­guage we actively use and will be posi­tively per­cei­ved (with the fun of play­ing). The goal of the game is to become a period expert. That is the only way to win.

Who’s behind the game?

Daniela Gils­anz and Ryan Mur­phy met at the Rhode Island School of Design in the US, where both stu­died indus­trial design. The idea for the game was born during a joint pro­ject at the uni­ver­sity. Now they want to revo­lu­tio­nize the sex edu­ca­tion in schools with ‘The Period Game’. They have also won the Red Dot Design Award.

Lan­guage: English

Web­site // Cam­paign on Kickstarter

Pussy Pairs (memory)

‘Pussy Pairs’ or also ‘Mum­ury’, is a memory game with vulva pic­tures. The memory is inten­ded to raise awa­reness of vulva diver­sity and to cele­brate the diver­sity of all people. It is both an artis­tic and slightly pro­vo­ca­tive ice­brea­ker. It can be a visual aid in the con­text of sex edu­ca­tion. But honestly, it helps all people to finally see real vul­vas. The game chal­len­ges us and makes us think, because the pre­ju­di­ces against the (female*) sex organ are deeply roo­ted in us. Pussy Pairs wants to over­come not only pre­ju­di­ces but also fee­lings of shame and fear of tou­ch­ing the vulva. Ins­tead, sexual auto­nomy and more self-love is being encou­ra­ged by showing pic­tures of real vul­vas. The Memory also invi­tes an open dia­lo­gue about aes­the­tic ideas and also doubts about our vulva. The aim is to find as many pairs of matching vul­vas as possible.

Who’s behind the game?

Glo­ria Dim­mel has been pro­du­cing vulva repli­cas from clay in Vienna since 2017. By now more than 130 people have par­ti­ci­pa­ted in her pro­ject. Also all 18 vul­vas we get to see in the game are imprints of real people. A part of the pro­ceeds will be dona­ted to sup­port the rights of womxn. A par­ti­cu­lar focus is female* geni­tal muti­la­tion, which affects around 200 mil­lion girls* and womxn world­wide every year.

Web­site // Cam­paign on Startnext

Maubeschau (colouring book)

‚Mau­be­schau’ is a lovin­gly desi­gned mens­trual colou­ring book for people of all ages, which offers dif­fe­rent vulva illus­tra­ti­ons. Every drawing shows how dif­fe­rent and beau­ti­ful the vulva can be. It is mainly inten­ded for the moments during mens­trua­tion, to con­nect crea­tively and artis­ti­cally with your own cycle. The aim is to deve­lop a posi­tive atti­tude towards the mens­trua­ting body and to expe­ri­ence vulva diver­sity. Colo­ring con­tri­bu­tes to rela­xa­tion and invi­tes us to deal with our­sel­ves more deeply. The book also con­tains a mens­trual calen­dar, where you can write down your mood and other cha­rac­te­ris­tics during the mens­trual cycle.

Who’s behind the coloring book?

Jenz Mau is an artist and wri­ter, among other things. She wri­tes mainly about sexua­lity and self-love. She is also publicly active as a pro­sex femi­nist and is com­mit­ted to ensu­ring that all people can live sexu­ally self-deter­mi­ned lives.

Lan­guages: The texts in the book are in Ger­man and English

Web­site // Cam­paign on Startnext

Why should we learn about menstruation with games?

The idea of edu­ca­tio­nal games is mainly to approach the sub­ject in an respect­ful and fun way. It is best done in a loving and pro­tec­ted space that invi­tes to ask ques­ti­ons. The active par­ti­ci­pa­tion in the games encou­ra­ges a healthy explo­ra­tion of one’s own body, cycle and mens­trua­tion. Because the per­cep­tion and awa­reness of one’s own body has a direct influ­ence on how we feel about it. And the basic pre­re­qui­site for a natu­ral and self-con­fi­dent approach to topics such as mens­trua­tion or fer­ti­lity is that (young) people feel com­for­ta­ble in their own bodies and show appre­cia­tion for them.

Who are the games suitable for?

The tar­get group for all three of these games are actually child­ren or teen­agers, in order to sup­port sex edu­ca­tion at school (or at home). If we learn about mens­trua­tion through games, it is often easier for us. They are also nice pres­ents for young people, pre­fer­a­bly before their first period. But honestly, I think that the games are sui­ta­ble for people of all ages. Because the games are not just about clas­si­cal edu­ca­tion or imr­pro­ving the know­ledge. It is much more about chan­ging one’s per­spec­tive and lear­ning an unbia­sed per­spec­tive towards mens­trua­tion and sexuality.

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
Co-Foun­der Vulvani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-foun­der of Vul­vani. She loves rese­ar­ching, wri­ting and designing new arti­cles or inno­va­tive edu­ca­tio­nal con­cepts about mens­trua­tion all day long. When she is not tra­vel­ling the world, she enjoys spen­ding time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.