The designers wanted to help tweens feel empowered by their bodies.

Credit: The Period Game

Menstruation has been occurring in women's bodies once a month since, well, forever. So why are people scared to talk about periods?

That's what Daniela Gilsanz and Ryan Murphy were wondering when they came up with The Period Game for a class project at the Rhode Island School of Design. The adorable and clever board game—featuring a 3D model of ovaries (naturally)—is meant to teach tweens about their bodies in a fun and taboo-free way.

Players spin one of the ovaries and a marble "egg" drops out. The color (clear or red) determines your next move. As kids make their way around the board, they throw down cards related to PMS symptoms and period protection. The idea? To allow both girls and boys to get used to saying things like "ovulation," "super tampon," and "menstrual cup" without any stigma attached.

“[Ryan and I] were very open with each other and fairly comfortable with the subject matter," says Gilsanz, "but when we first began presenting the project to our class—a bunch of art school twenty-somethings—people were more uncomfortable than we expected. Seeing that reassured us that this was a project we needed to pursue.”

Their Period Game has been gaining some much-deserved national attention after winning the (very appropriate) Red Dot award, an international design competition. The game is still in the prototype stage, but Gilsanz and Murphy are shopping their model to potential partners, and hoping get it on store shelves in the not-too-distant future. “We want pre-teens to feel empowered by their bodies," says Gilsanz, "and comfortable talking about them from an early age." That can't happen soon enough.