Monday, February 11, 2013

Baby demonstrations

This was a fun day. We had SO many books on babies and pregnancy for this unit. (And I sorted through SO many more at the library. There are a lot of really lousy ones (the ones meant for teenagers, for some reason, were often particularly bad), but we still found lots of good ones---or ones that were good enough if I sorted through them a bit and left out the lame parts.  Anyway, one of the books suggested some fun activities. One of them was to cover yourself up with a blanket and have someone hold down all the sides with you trapped inside. As you wiggle around and try to stretch out in that tight space, you have some sense of what it feels like to be inside the uterus. And the other people can see how funny it looks from outside as you move around in there! :) The children loved doing this and wanted to act out numerous variations---twins, triplets, etc.
To demonstrate the function of vernix (that slippery white coating that helps with "waterproofing" the baby's skin, we rubbed zinc oxide ointment (diaper cream) on our hands and then tried to wash it off. It didn't really rub off in the water at all!
We also took turns palpitating a baby doll inside a pillowcase, to have some idea of how doctors or midwives can tell which way the baby is facing inside the womb even without using ultrasound or Doppler. Abe was quite good at it!

Another interesting demonstration is going into a dark room and shining a flashlight through the fleshy part of skin between your thumb and forefinger. The dim, reddish light you can see is similar to the amount of light the baby can distinguish in the womb. The children also enjoyed shining the flashlight into my belly toward the baby and seeing if they could make the baby wiggle. :) We did quite a bit of poking and prodding and talking to the poor baby during this unit. I hope he or she didn't mind it too much!

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