“Flour Babies” Help Child Development Students Simulate Parenthood


Credit: Brooke Smith.

Some Williston students are taking the role of being a mother and father early on.

Amber Rodgers, the teacher of Child Development, created a project to simulate the feeling of having and responsibilities of having a child. In this class students learn about the stages of children’s behavior by carrying around a sack of flour all day, everywhere they go.

Rodgers picked a sack of flour for the students because it weighs five pounds and is most similar to real life. Students in this class are required to carry their “baby” for seven days.

Students in this class are required to carry their “baby” at all times. Students must have a log which they are required to document each activity, encounters, problems, and application to the developmental stages each day. Students must take a picture of their baby every day and post it on their Adobe Spark web page to keep track of their everyday moves. If someone babysits his or her “baby” the student must take a picture with the person and have him or her sign a log. They must add captions with the pictures.

Rodgers has previously done a similar project with her AP Psychology with an egg to teach her students the responsibilities of having a child.

Post-Grad Marielle McEnaney is a student in Child Development.

“I think the projects has its pros and cons, such as the weight of the flour baby is more like the weight of an actual baby, but this baby does not make any noise, so it is hard to remember it is there sometimes,” Marielle said. “Overall I would say it is a better simulator for a baby than an egg.”

Gabriella Dicomitis, a senior in Child Development, named her baby Jolie Ray. Dicomitis told The Willisonian about the project and its challenges.

“The babies need a lot more work than you think they do,” Gabby said. “They require a lot of attention and it’s another thing to think about while you have so many things to think about and carrying it around campus is a hassle.”

After school actives made this project hard for Gabby.

“Going to practice was hard because all my trusted friends were on the [hockey] team and could not watch my child,” she explained, “but one of our girls was hurt for the week [so she] watched the baby.”