December 28, 2022
Series: Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators – What's in the Bag?
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 0 Comments
This month’s Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators'n post is all about the “grab bag.” December is a gift giving time of year for many cultures around the world, and this post will take a fresh look at different childbirth education ideas that involve students picking an item out of a bag and providing discussion opportunities around a variety of themes. For free access to all the Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators ideas, follow this link.
Many educators are familiar with some variation of passing around a basket or bag filled with objects centered around a theme or topic covered in childbirth classes. Each person pulls an item out that prompts discussion around the common theme. The object can be an actual object or an image representing the desired object. Families can share what they know about the specific item and the educator can supplement with additional info as needed.
- A basket or bag large enough to hold the collected items
- Actual items centered around the specific theme OR
- Laminated photos representing the actual items
How to conduct the activity
Introduce the topic to be covered. Let them know you have gathered some items that support that topic. Everyone will get a chance to randomly pull an item out of the bag and provide some information about how it relates to the theme being discussed. Remind them that they can ask for help from classmates if they are drawing a blank or need some support. After the participants have covered an item, the instructor should supplement with any relevant information that still needs to be shared.
How much time to allow
This activity can be modified to represent the topic and/or the number of families in the class. The number of items in the bag can be adjusted to the size of the group and the depth of information to share. A short activity may take 10 minutes while more in depth subjects may extend for longer.
Where to source items
Thrift stores, local gifting (Buy Nothing/Freecycle/Zero Waste) groups, expired or surplus medical supplies from clinics/L&D units and your own home or office can all be a source for the items you need for your theme. It is fun to use your imagination when you gather objects for your grab bags. Don’t forget a photo can stand in for any hard to procure items.
Suggested grab bag topics
- Perinatal nutrition & lifestyle topics
- Postpartum supplies & adjustments
- Newborn supplies
- Common labor/birth variations & equipment
- Lactation supplies & necessities
- Labor/hospital bag items
- Objects for comfort & coping during labor
- Household/infant safety measures
What families say about this activity
People who have joined in on this grab bag learning activity appreciated the spontaneity of selecting something unexpected out of the bag. Some objects were anticipated while others offered an opportunity to discover new information about the topic being discussed. Manipulating and holding an object while discussing its relevance helps cement learning and keep it memorable for the future when the information is needed.
Grab bags and baskets are a fun way to cover specific information on a topic and for families to develop confidence about important topics for pregnancy, labor/birth and the early days and weeks after baby arrives. This activity also confirms for people that they already know quite a bit about the relevant topics that may impact them. Do you already do something like this in your childbirth classes? What topic do you cover and what items do you use? Let us know in the comments section below.
TagsChildbirth education Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Series: Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Sharon Muza