What is a moon box? First of all, the term “moon box” is almost a misnomer, since it really doesn’t have to be a box at all. I think the term is probably used because it denotes a collection of items. But, with so many items, it will probably be easier to fit everything into something like a larger sized gift bag or a basket. If you can manage it though, a box is certainly charming – almost like opening up a treasure chest.
Besides being just plain fun, the moon box has a significant purpose as sort of a prelude to later rights of female passage. It affirms membership into the “club” of womanhood, validates femininity, and opens the door to important conversations about menstruation and sexuality. It teaches girls that periods are not something to be hidden or ashamed of, and that they can actually have a lot of fun collecting and using their menstrual paraphernalia.
I recommend giving girls a moon box around ages 8-12, gauging individual maturity, necessity, and interest. It’s important for menstrual topics not to be put off indefinitely as a taboo subject, giving girls the impression that it’s something to be ashamed of. Even if you think that your young woman isn’t quite there yet, it might be a good idea to have one ready, just in case. Considering the current trend of girls getting their periods earlier and earlier; a moon box could be very helpful to young girls, especially, enabling them to feel more at ease and to make sense of it all.
Imagine if every girl in the world received a moon box! I think it would have a huge, positive impact on our collective value of the “feminine.” It would encourage girls to see this aspect of their physiology as something to be celebrated, besides showing them that they are noticed and cared for. This is my wish.
I’ve featured reusable menstrual products in this post, however, even if you don’t plan on using cloth pads, you can still use this post as a guide to creating a moon box, while substituting with disposables.
What to include in the “box,” part I (essential components):
- Reusable pads in an assortment of sizes and absorbencies. It’s best to buy a variety at first, rather than buying from just one manufacturer or in one size, in order to experiment and learn which types work best for you. Most people use about 20-30 pads during each cycle. You can search for handmade reusable pads from individual sellers on Etsy, or buy from manufacturers like Sckoon or Glad Rags. I sometimes have pads as well as other reusable items available for purchase in my etsy shop.
- Wet bags in both large and small sizes. The wet bag is a handy place to store used pads before you’re ready to wash them. They’re lined with water resistant fabric on the inside, and feature zippered tops, and straps for hanging. You’ll need a larger size (around 12×12″) for at home use in the bathroom, and a smaller size for portable, on-the-go storage. Don’t let the name confuse you – even though they’re called “wet” bags, they’re actually used for dry cloth pad storage. Just throw your used pads into the bag until wash day. You can also find these, handmade, from many independent vendors on Etsy, or learn how to sew your own zippered pouch in my tutorial.
- A device for air drying reusable pads. There are several different versions of drying racks that hang right in your closet. You can purchase my favorite style from Amazon. Alternatively, you can use a simple drying strap – an inexpensive option. They’re sold by various independent vendors on Etsy for just a few dollars a piece.
- A book that explains the basics of menstruation. I highly recommend this book, “Period: A Girl’s Guide,” by JoAnn Loulan and Bonnie Worthen. Its title is a play on words because the info is really succinct and stays on-point to the immediate topic. It has some cute line drawings that give enough imagery without getting too graphic. This is the only book that I’ve found that explains menstruation without getting into the finer points of sexuality and birth control, which is what I want, since I’d rather present those topics to my kids from my own perspective. The drawback to this book is that it only explains how to use disposable products, and doesn’t mention reusables at all, so you’ll have to teach that information through another format.
- A personalized note. Last but not least, as we reach the end of the essentials list…. this note can be as fancy and eloquent, or simple and silly as you want it to be. The important thing is for it to be thoughtful, and to include in some way, a recognition that your girl is growing up, and that you’re proud of her for that!
What to include in the “box,” part II (ideas for fun, extra, nonessentials):
- Menstrual cups and accessories. A lot of young girls are turned off by the idea of using an internal menstrual product. But it might be a good idea to get one in case they become curious and want to try it. Menstrual cups can be so freeing if you find one that fits you well – almost like not even being on your period! It does take some experimentation to find the right one. A few of my favorites are the FemmyCycle teen, the Pixie Cup small, and this adorable rainbow colored Yuuki Menstrual Cup small. You’ll also want to get a cup spot, which is basically just a cute fabric resting spot where you can place your cup while you’re changing it so that it doesn’t get dirty. Most menstrual cups come with a storage pouch, but there are also some really fun handmade ones that you can find on Etsy.
- Assorted bath and body personal care items. My absolute favorites are from Indigo Wild. Their scents are delicious, created with essential oils rather than irritating synthetic fragrances, and their products are made with all natural, non-toxic ingredients. This assorted sampler would be a perfect addition to a moon box.
- Nail Polish. Ella+Mila is a favorite brand in our home, not only because of their colorful shades but also because it’s a “7 free product” (does not contain: Formaldehyde, Toluene, DiButyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor) and made in the USA.
- Deodorant. These are two of my personal, non-toxic favorites for kids: Meow Meow Tweet, which comes in a solid, stick form, or EO Organic Deodorant, which comes in a spray bottle.
- Manicure kit. I have yet to find a standard manicure kit that I really love, so I opt instead to create my own. I buy a nice set of tweezers, cuticle clippers, toenail clippers, cuticle pusher, and nail cleaner. They don’t have to be the most expensive, just whichever quality brand that you can find at your local drug store. The one brand that I swear by for nail files is Diamancel. They’re simply the best! The Diamond Nail File (2 Medium) is a standard grit that you will use frequently. Lastly, I sew a zippered pouch that is just the right size to hold all of the equipment. If you don’t sew, you can find an assortment of handmade zippered pouches on Etsy
- Make-up. I prefer to purchase a non-toxic brand, such as Rejuva Minerals. They carry the perfect starter set that includes a variety of products to experiment with.
- Training Bras. You can go for commercial bras, like these ones that I bought at Nordstrom’s online, or you can splurge and buy some comfy handmade bras and underwear from independent vendors on Etsy.
- Cycle charting Apps. Bonus points for teaching your girl about the various nuances of the menstrual cycle. I haven’t found any books on the subject that are written for young girls, as most of the books about menstrual charting are geared towards couples who are trying to conceive or avoid pregnancy. But I still think it’s a useful and empowering thing for all girls to understand more about their body and how it works. If you have access to a smartphone, you can download a free menstrual charting App, such as “Clue”, to make charting even easier and more fun. If you don’t have access to Apps, you can also google for “menstrual chart” to find free downloads to print out for personal use.
- Personalized gifts. Maybe your girl isn’t into make-up or some of the girly things that I’ve featured in this post. You know her best – be sure and find things that she will like. Moon boxes are the most meaningful when they convey that you see her for who she is, and affirm that. Some other items that might be fun to include are: books (for bookworms), a cozy pair of socks, stationary, a journal, art supplies, or all natural treats (like these three ingredient peppermint patties,) It doesn’t have to be expensive – it just needs to come from the heart.
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