Inside: Prepare your child for their first period by making up a DIY period kit for school that they can keep in their schoolbag, before their first period starts.
If your daughter (or child with a uterus) is 10, you need to start thinking about getting ready for their first period ie making up a DIY period kit for school.
You may think ‘WHAT?’ and that 10 is way too young for your child to have a DIY period kit for school, but most kids start their period between the ages of 10 and 15 years. The average age is 12 ½ , but every child is different, and your child may start earlier (or later) than the average.
The important thing is to be prepared! You just don’t know when that first period will start – and it could possibly be when they are at school! And having their very own period kit (or period pack) for school is what every child needs.
You’ll find more information about puberty in my Puberty 101 page.
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What is a period kit?
Basically, a period kit (or period pack) is a small bag that holds the stuff that you might need for a period.
So if you’re a parent, it is a bag that your child will use to manage their period when they are out of the house.
They might keep it in their school bag, gym bag, or in their locker at school.
They might have just the one period kit or they might have a few of them. And it is filled with the essential items that your child needs to manage their period throughout the day. (What they put inside it may be different to what you (or their sister) might put in yours. )
We’ll talk about what to put inside them soon!
Why do kid’s need a period pack?
You might be wondering why your child might need a period pack (or period kit).
There are a few reasons why.
But the main reason is that it helps to make them feel less stressed about their first period.
You would not believe how much females stress about their first period!
If you don’t believe me, go and have a look at my Youtube channel for tweens, and read some of their comments on the videos about periods.
Kids are paranoid about their period starting when they are at school. And that they won’t know it has started until someone taps them on their shoulder and whispers into their ear that they have blood on the back of their school uniform. After the whole school has already seen it!
So a period kit helps to decrease their stress because they know that if their first period starts at school, then they’ll be fine. As they have the gear that they need!
The simple act of them having a few supplies in their school bag empowers them and helps to alleviate some of their anxiety about their first period. If you’re unsure about how to start talking to your child about periods, my parent guide will help you to get started.
When will my child need a period kit?
It is impossible to predict when a first period will happen but there are a few signs to look out for!
The warning signs of a first period
Luckily first periods don’t just start out of the blue! Usually, we have a few warning signs before they start.
3 things have to happen before a first period will happen (these changes usually happen over a 2 year period):
- growth of breasts
- growth of pubic hair
- first period
So if your child’s breasts have started to bud and they have some pubic hair, you need to think about making up a period kit for school.
They might not need for a few years yet, but in the meantime, it may come in handy for one of their friends.
Plus they will know that they have it, which means they are prepared. Whether their period starts at home or at school.
If you’re feeling unsure about how to talk to your child about periods, you’ll find some tips in this blog post about the “period talk”.
A first-period quiz
If I had a dollar for every one time a tween asked me when they’d get their first period, I’d have a lot of money in the bank.
So I created a first period quiz that you can complete with your child, to help them work out when their first period might start. So they can stop worrying about it so much!
How to make your own period kit
So how do you make up a DIY period kit for school, and what should it contain?
Step 1: Buying the supplies
So what should a DIY period kit for school contain?
The bare minimum for a period kit should include:
- sanitary pads (tampons when they get older)
- spare knickers in case they leak (you can get some great underpants that are the perfect size for young tweens and that will contain leaks here)
- plastic bags (to hold stained knickers or to put the used pads in – if there isn’t a bin handy)
- cleansing wipes or hand cleanser (just in case they need to clean up blood off their hands before leaving the toilet cubicle & not for washing their vulva)
There are lots of other things that you can include as well – analgesia, tampons, hot packs, anything that you can think of that may be relevant.
Just remember that it needs to be small and compact!
Step 2: Finding the right period bag
There are a few things to consider when choosing the right period bag for a DIY period kit for the school bag!
Discretion for a period bag is important.
You’ll need a period bag that is big enough to hold everything, small enough to be discrete, and constructed in such a way that they can balance the bag on their lap whilst doing what they need to do. I recently read about someone using a pencil case, which is ultra discrete!
And I would choose something that is washable or able to be wiped clean – just in case! A DIY period kit for school is going to be left in the bottom of their school bag – and we all know how grotty schoolbags can get!
There are lots of different things you can use – pencil cases, make-up bags, small purses and more.
Small make-up bags can work as well, and they usually have more pockets and zips, which can help with hiding pads.
I have recently discovered a bag that has been made just for this purpose, by Raigan J. Raigan is an Aussie mum who tested the design of these period bags out with tweens to make sure that they worked perfectly. I showed them to my daughter and she was quite impressed. She liked the fact that they held more than what her pencil case did, and that the contents don’t spill out as you go diving in for something. I liked the fact that the bag is easy to clean, folds open (so it can sit on your lap whilst you remove your pads etc) or can hang it on the door or toilet roll holder with the inbuilt coat hanger. So do go and check them out as they ship worldwide! And no, this isn’t an affiliate link. I’m just impressed that there is a purpose-made product that is discrete and does the job perfectly! They really are the best period bag for tweens.
This is my daughter’s Raigan J bag in action! She had so much fun filling it up with what she thought she might need! And Raigan has a new fun range, that will appeal to a younger audience!
There are also some other purpose-built period bags that are available. Some are empty and some are already filled with period products.
But remember, you need to keep your DIY period kit for school small.
Trust me, your child won’t use it if it isn’t discrete.
It needs to be something that doesn’t attract attention and just looks like an everyday item. And they’ll only need enough supplies for 2-3 changes maximum.
Step 3: Make up the period kit together
A great way to start conversations about periods is for you and your child to make their period bag for school together.
You could read this blog post together, and talk about what they would like to have in their period kit for school. Let them have a say in what they want, and by having some ownership, they are more likely to take it to school.
Talk about the different menstrual products that are available today. You can read this blogpost together as well, that looks at what menstruation products are suitable for young children. The difference in size between a first tampon, a regular and a super tampon is pretty significant!
I received an email from a mum who sat down with her daughter and they looked at this post together. Together they decided what they needed in their own period kit, and built it together!
It also opened the doorway to start chatting about puberty, periods and all that other stuff too!
She also suggested that a pencil case works beautifully for a period kit!
✅ Buy your own period pants here from Modibodi.
Other things to consider
Period pants for tweens
Something else that you may want to consider getting is period underwear. Now, I’m not just talking about black undies that are just worn when you have your periods!
I’m talking about underwear that has an inbuilt absorbent lining that will absorb menstrual blood and not leak onto outside clothing. You can’t use them as a replacement for a sanitary pad as they will only hold between 10-30 mls of blood.
What I like about these is that it gives young tweens extra protection. So if they become aware that their pad has leaked, the pants will absorb any leaked blood, which means no bloodstains on their outer clothing. So it lessens the fear and potential embarrassment of staining their clothes.
I’ve tested a few brands and my favourite by far is the range by Modibodi. They even have a tween and teen period underwear range, which means smaller sizing. Which means it will actually fit your child!
You can watch the video below, where I talk about why I like the Modibodi period pants for tweens and teens, and how to use them.
I have personally trialed a few different brands and Modibodi is my favourite brand. They hold the most amount of blood before they start to leak. You read more in this blog post, about the best period pants for girls.
Resources to help with talking about puberty
My mission is to create resources that will help you to naturally talk to your kids about sex, all while respecting your personal values.
Which means that inside this website, you’ll find lots of resources to help you with talking to your child about puberty.
My Puberty 101 page includes all of the information on puberty. You’ll find lots of different blog posts to help with talking to your child about growing up.
You’ll find videos about puberty in my Sex Education Videos resource page that you can watch with your child or to learn more about puberty yourself.
You’ll also find an extensive range of children’s books on puberty, for kids of all ages.
If you get stuck and feel that you need some extra support with talking to your child about puberty, then my book, The Parents’ Guide to Puberty, may be helpful. It’s a straightforward common sense guide that will help you to start having honest conversations that will guide your child through puberty, and strengthen your relationship without feeling embarrassed, awkward or nervous.
Or maybe you’re looking for a video course to sit down and watch together with your child. My friend Rowena from Amazing Me has created a fantastic 2 part interactive course for parents/carers to attend together with their 9 to 12 year old. It’s fun, educational and age-appropriate! You can learn more about her puberty course here.
If you have a child who is expecting their first period, then you may want to consider period pants. Period pants are fantastic for kids who are worried that they won’t know that their period has started until it stains through their clothing for the world to see. My favourite brand for tweens and teens is ModiBodi, as they are good quality and quite absorbent.
If you need some help with explaining sexual intercourse to your child, then How to Talk to Kids About Sex will help you explain sex to your child in a way they will understand. It breaks sex down into simple steps that take the stress out of explaining!
If you’re unsure about how to answer your child’s questions about sex, then I have the perfect book for you! The Sex Education Answer Book will give you age-specific answers to the most common questions kid’s ask parents about sex. Which means you don’t need to worry about finding a child-friendly explanation that your child understands.
And if you get stuck, feel free to get in touch! You can contact me here.