Flour Babies Teach Students About the Responsibilities of ParentingFriday, October 22, 2010 By Liz Wendt
NDA students have been carrying around sacks of flour dressed up in baby clothes for the last two weeks. It is that time of year again, when the school is invaded by babies; the time of year when the Child and Family class assembles flour babies to create the experience of students being parents. The students must assemble the baby, watch over the baby at school, acknowledge that they would need a sitter if they have after-school activities and then find a sitter, create a babysitting log and keep track, and make five phone calls to instructor Mrs. Julie Campbell between midnight and four in the morning, create a birth certificate and a birth announcement and finally type a paper describing their week as a parent. It all sounds rather exhausting. The idea actually came from one of Mrs. Campbell’s classes a couple of years ago. The class wanted to have the Baby Think it Over dolls that weighs about 6-1/2 pounds and are 21 inches long. The fake baby dolls cry at random intervals, just like infants. But Mrs. Campbell decided against the fake baby dolls because many teachers didn’t want the distraction of crying in class. She finally chose the flour babies, where students would have to make a baby out of a sack of flour. Since her first year doing this, she has made small changes, such as stamping the flour sacks “so students can’t just re-assemble a new baby if they broke the original one,” explained Mrs. Campbell. She has made a few changes as to when the students turn in some of the assignments. “Instead of having the students turn in everything at the end of the project, they turn in some papers earlier and some later,” said Mrs. Campbell. Aspects that the students are supposed to take from this project are “how much having to care for a child would change their academic and social life,” said Mrs. Campbell. As for how the students react to the assignment, many students really take the project seriously and learn what they are intended to. Senior Sam Vanderveren said, “I learned that to be a parent you don’t have any free time and parenthood is worrisome. I am constantly worrying about the whereabouts of my baby, Matt Jr.” Senior Cullen Johnson said, “I learned how hard it is to be a parent and how much responsibility is required.” “I think when the kids take it as seriously as they should, it’s a very good project,” said Mrs. Campbell.