If you’re a woman, or any person with female anatomy, you likely remember the first time you got your period. Whether you were excited, bummed out or horrified, it was probably an event that made an impression.
For me, the memory is crystal clear. It was Easter Sunday, and the whole family was at my grandma’s house for brunch. I was 11 years old and wearing my favorite jeans: white denim with yellow and purple stripes.
But then, I went to the bathroom and realized there was black stuff all over my underwear AND my awesome jeans. I called for my mom. Mom called for Grandma. Together, they confirmed it. I had my period. There was whispering among the aunties, and suddenly all the men and cousins were sent outside to play baseball.
Then, all the ladies in my family fussed over me. I got extra cake and fudge. Grandma washed out my jeans and dried them with the hairdryer. They told me funny stories about periods and gave me tips. Decades before period parties were invented, I was lucky enough to have one.
What’s a period party and what are the benefits of having a period party?
A period party — sometimes called a “first moon party” or a “menstruation celebration” — is a way to commemorate a child’s first period.
While it might seem a little awkward to have a biological-function-themed party, period parties turn a stigma into a celebration. Getting your first period can feel scary or embarrassing. The party is a way to help a young adult feel comfortable — and even empowered — by the changes that puberty brings.
Ideas for your child’s period party
The first rule of period parties: The child decides who to invite. If they only want close family, that’s great. If they want a girls-only affair, it’s their call. If they don’t want anything at all, that’s OK, too.
After polling my friends with teens and preteens, I found out about three variations of period parties:
- A small celebration — like a favorite meal — with their immediate family and maybe a best friend.
- A group of 2 to 4 girls for a sleepover or something similar as a special treat.
- An all-out bash, with a red velvet cake, period-themed decor and a bunch of friends.
If you’re inviting kids outside of your family or household, it’s best to tell attendees’ parents or guardians that it’s a period party in advance. Parents who are unfamiliar with period parties might have questions or reservations.
Again, it’s important that everything at a period party is OK’d by the guest of honor. That said, ideas for period parties are all over the internet.
With a quick search on Pinterest, you’ll see all sorts of period-related decoration ideas. You can even buy period decorating kits online. The defining feature of most of these decorations is the color red. In fact, many period parties have all-red menus, with foods like strawberries, watermelons, red fondue and red soft drinks.
There is also a surprising number of appropriate menstruation songs on YouTube for a period playlist. Just be sure to screen the videos before you play them. You might have the kids rate them on awkwardness, funniness or other factors.
Activities and games for your child’s period party
So, what, exactly, do you do at a first period party? Pretty much the same thing you do at other kids’ parties — only with a period theme.
Games might include:
- Pin the pad on the panties: similar to pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, but with pantyliners and a poster with a picture of underwear.
- Play period-related bingo sets, available for purchase online.
- Play trivia about amazing women in history.
- Get or make a uterus piñata. Again, Pinterest is your friend.
- The Period Game, an educational board game that teaches girls about periods, including the scientific names for everything.
Crafts and other activities:
- Make red-beaded jewelry.
- Make tampon puppets inspired by this song and video from Norway.
- Decorate hot water bottles.
- Assemble “period pouches” — bags with period supplies for their backpacks.
- Do scrapbooking or other art projects with pink and red paper.
- Decorate cookies with red or pink toppings.
Consider making your period party educational
If your child is one of the first in their group to get their period, a period party also can be an opportunity to share some knowledge.
For example, you can:
- Introduce the kids to the different kinds of menstrual products and how they work.
- Ask moms and other menstruators for their best period tips and read them at the party.
- Talk about how to support other kids when they have period leaks, cramps or other menstruation challenges.
With any luck, you’ll help your newly minted menstruator and their buddies become comfortable and confident women.
Backed by the experts at Mayo Clinic, PERIOD. is the no-nonsense guide kids and caregivers alike can trust to navigate menstruation, period.Shop Now
Want more children’s health and parenting information? Sign up for free to our email list.Subscribe Open parent optin subscribe modal