Seniors in Christian Vocations classes participate in flour baby projects


Lauren Beh

Seniors in Christian Vocations classes had to plan their lives around their newborn (flour) children for a week.

Every year for a week, BSM seniors find themselves roaming the halls as proud parents of five-pound sacks of flour. The project is a years-old tradition for seniors in Christian Vocations classes and is meant to help students understand how hard it is to be a parent.

This project is part of a unit centered on marriage, and what better way to get a glimpse of married life than having a (fake) newborn child. “Basically [this project] is a simulation trying to care for a newborn child. It’s learning about how to love a child, costs, responsibility, balancing a marriage, keeping a child safe as realistically as possible,” religion teacher Mr. Matthew Brounstein said.

There are several approaches to this type of project: using a doll, an egg or a bag of flour. When Brounstein first started teaching this class, they originally used eggs instead of flour. Ultimately, Brounstein decided against eggs. “You didn’t really feel attached to an egg; there wasn’t a lot of weight, and by the end of the week the hardboiled egg was getting very smelly or sweating in some instances,” Brounstein said.

The idea of a doll that would cry and be slightly more realistic was suggested but turned down. The dolls were just too expensive, and Brounstein did not want his students to lose sleep over this project. In the end, flour was the perfect choice.

It seems as though the whole school gets into this project. Physics teacher Mr. Tanner Stevens likes hiding the flour babies if the parent leaves them unattended. “Babies do all sorts of thing when you aren’t watching,” Stevens said.

Parents even get into it by bringing out old babies’ clothes and reminiscing on baby photos. Although most make it clear they are not quite ready for actual grandchildren. 

The students get a taste of the hardships of parenting, and some make it into a competition of who has the cutest baby. In fact, the students get extra credit if their class votes their child as the cutest in the class. Many would think that all the parents would vote for their own child, but sadly, that is not the case.

At the end of the project students find themselves with onesies, bottles, etc. and no use for them. Brounstein recognized this problem and came up with a solution. “Any items that students buy and don’t want to use again we donate to a crisis pregnancy center; so we are really helping people and they are used in a really good way,” Brounstein said.

As this stress filled week comes to a close, many parents have come to reflect on the short lives of their child. “Everyone [outside the class] seems super excited about the project, asking what’s your baby’s name or what class is this for. They are all really interested in this project. If it was a real baby it would probably be a little different, but I think I’ll miss all the excitement over my child when this is over,” senior Rachel Folkestad said.