Safer Sexual Behaviour: A board game for children

Laura Walker and Carol Laugharne.  Loggerhead Publishing.

Laura and Carol didn’t stop at producing a story book and resource guide: see Billy and the Tingles.  They took things on to the next step and also produced a board game to be played with children, reinforcing and extending some of the ideas introduced in a manner which children can easily open up and discuss.

First of all, I love the fact that it is packaged in a study plastic box!  This is so less likely to get battered and fall apart than a carboard box.  Secondly, I love that we get to play a game around things that are considered taboo.  As an individual who trained as a science teacher and controversially developed the “Sperm Race” for my final assignment when training, this is right up my street!

The game itself is a simple track, rolling a dice allows your token to move and where you land the colour dictates a scenario card that you need to discuss.  I think it’s important that this is not about getting answers right or wrong but simply playing a game to generate which question is posed.  For those students who resent board games and the concept of a winner (whoever gets to the end first) simply replace the board and numbered dice with a coloured spinner.  I also think that for a group of students who might need regular reinforcement the cards provide suitable prompts for a 5-minute circle time each day for a focussed few weeks.

The scenarios presented can also be found in the accompanying booklet along with an outline answer.  The answer presented isn’t the only correct one, but can be useful in those awkward silences (or nervous panics…not everyone is comfortable using the words penis and vagina in front of students) to guide responses. 

Scenario cards are from 8 everyday situations: trips out, toilets, walking home, PE & games, lunch, play time, classroom, school bus.  And there are ‘fun’ rainbow cards too.

It’s certainly not a game that will be out on the desks during wet break, but is one that teachers can dip into to support their PSHE or SRE delivery alongside working with students who need a more bespoke sexual behaviours intervention.  

Whilst this complements Billy and the Tingles (Helping Children to learn about safer sexual behaviour: A narrative approach to working with young children and sexually concerning behaviour) well it can also be used as a standalone resource.

Billy and the Tingles