November 27, 2019
Series: Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators - Five Childbirth Class Teaching Aids You Already Have in Your House
By: Sharon Muza | 0 Comments
In the United States, we are entering the major “holiday shopping period” that starts with a bang the Friday after Thanksgiving! Lots of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday offers and so much pressure to spend money on “great deals.” There may be similar experiences and pressure to purchase "all the things" in other locations around the world as well at this time of year.
As I try not to get sucked into the spending frenzy I see around me, I offer up today’s Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators activity that involves simple items that you may already have around the house or office. These ideas and activities are easy on the budget and at the same time fun for the families in your classes and help make learning fun and memorable too! To see all the Connecting the Dots Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators ideas, follow this link.
A very inexpensive teaching tool that may already be around the house or available at the local home improvement or hardware store is a PVC elbow. I like to use one that is around 5 inches in diameter. This plumbing joint easily demonstrates the curve that exists between the cervix and the vagina and shows the journey the baby needs to make as it descends. The 90-degree elbow is particularly effective at letting families clearly see how pushing a baby out while laying on one’s back means that a birthing person is attempting to push a baby “uphill.” Families can easily observe how standing up or moving into a hands and knees position allows gravity to come into play and helps the baby to navigate the their way out. I like to find an elbow that fits through my demo pelvis, and that additional visual really drives the point home that upright pushing can make a difference. Thanks Ann Tumblin, LCCE, FACCE, CD/BDT(DONA) for this great visual aid idea!
A Deck of Cards
I use a deck of cards all the time for quick and easy ways to divide a class into smaller groups for certain activities. Every person (or family) gets a random card from the deck. When you need to move to small groups, invite all the red cards to one group and the black cards to another (2 groups). Odd cards here, even cards there (again, two groups). Divide into suits (4 groups). All the same number come together (small groups with as many “sets of numbers” that you handed out). Picture cards here, number cards there (2 groups). The sky is the limit on how you want to use these to quickly and easily move your class into small groups. And just for good measure, here is another great teaching idea to do with a deck of cards.
A Brain Hat
When talking about informed consent/refusal and decision making during the childbearing year, many childbirth educators talk about using your *BRAIN* as a guide when making decisions. Many of you may already be familiar with this acronym, B – Benefits, R – Risks, A – Alternatives, I – Intuition, and N – Nothing or Not Now, which helps families to confirm that they have all the information they need to make a decision that feels right to them. I like to have all the class members wear their “brain hats” when we cover this in class to help make the activity memorable. You can order them from Oriental Trading Company like I did, or print and cut out your own from this free template here. No matter how you procure them, the families get a kick out of wearing their brain hats as they work through practice scenarios similar to what they may face in labor. Hat tip to Angela Garvin, LCCE for this idea!
Ring the Bell
Everyone likes to ring these classic call bells, even without a reason! Whenever you play a game or ask a question in class, provide these noisemakers to give your families added incentive to race to be the first to answer or respond. Nothing gets people’s attention like a little competition and the ringing will even wake up the sleeping partner in the back of the class. They are very inexpensive here, or you may even have some sitting around your house or find another suitable bell or buzzer. You can also use one to call families back from break when you are ready to start class again.
Plastic Bottle Tornados
All of us have empty plastic drink bottles hanging around the house. Before you throw those bottles out with the recycling, consider the inexpensive purchase of some “tornado connectors” and make your own kinesthetic learning tool to demonstrate how moving the pelvis helps babies descend and rotate. Deanne Falzone, MS Ed, ICCE wrote up a great Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators activity explaining exactly how to use them here. The pack of 12 connectors is just about 10 USD, making this a very thrifty idea. With one purchase, every family gets to give it a try at the same time.
Childbirth class materials do not have to cost a ton of money. Many inexpensive items that are already in your home can be utilized for teaching activities or inexpensively purchased and used time and time again. These ideas here are just some simple suggestions for keeping costs low while delivering an engaging and interactive learning opportunity for your families. Do you have any other suggestions for thrifty learning aids? Share them in the comment section below.
TagsChildbirth education Teaching Tools ChildBirth Education Aids Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Series: Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Teaching Aids Sharon Muza