Edc 20 Section 9
15 April 2013
Observation of a Child
The sun is out, but there is some wind making the day a little chilly. As I am about to walk up to the Brownstone, I notice there are about six tricycles and bicycles outside parked in front of the house. They have the helmets and pads hanging on to the handle bars. On an overhead sign in bright colorful letters is the name Sweet Dreams Family Group Day Care. I walk up the steps inside to what is a house on the outside but a child’s wonderland on the inside. I am greeted by three warm caregivers, two younger than the first and they all look related.
Once inside, everything is so colorful and lively. The walls are filled with colored letters and numbers, and Sesame Street characters holding shapes. The children’s drawings are posted on the other end. Next to the drawings are pictures of the children with their names under them to use for attendance. There are height charts with the children’s height measurements on some of the walls’ edges. There are two red tables with small chairs; two of each color. They have units with bins that match the colors of the chairs. I see high chairs for the smaller children to eat, and rocking chairs. The mats and rugs are colorful or numbered or lettered. There are two baby cribs, and playpens.
The environment looks very homey and welcoming. The children are very comfortable in this setting. They are all eating their breakfast and there is one child that catches my eye far off to the more oval side of the table. She is eating alone. She is about three years old, and three feet tall. She is light skinned and has soft black hair in pigtails.
Emily* is having Rice Krispies cereal, a banana, and orange juice for breakfast. When I first noticed her she had already finished her cereal and was eating her banana. She ate only half of the banana and drank only some of her orange juice. She still hasn’t said a word. She walks up to the sink and washes her hands very thoroughly with soap. She dries her hands and walks to the kitchen center of the play area. She opens one of the cabinets and reaches for a pot. She then opens the refrigerator, pulls out the toy vegetables, places them inside the pot and onto the stove. She then reaches into the cabinet and grabs the apron to put it on. Emily shakes the pot on the stove vigorously. She goes to the refrigerator and takes out the toy juice carton. Then two other children have walked to kitchen center. The boy says “Emily why are you playing by yourself?” and Emily replies “Because I want to.” Emily takes off the apron, grabs the toys she used and puts them away. She walks to the other side where she picks up a nude baby doll. She takes a doll diaper and clothing and dresses the baby doll. She then “feeds” the baby doll and rocks it. She sings “The isy bisy spider went up water spout, down came the rain and wash spider out. Out came the sun and dry up all the rain and isy bisy spider went up the spout again.” Emily places the doll in the toy crib carefully and walks to the library. There, she chooses a picture book on birds.
Physical-According to the Child Development Chart, Emily is on the right track for her age. Her fine motor skills seem to be a little more advanced than I would presume for a three year old. She used her tiny hands and fingers to dress the doll with the help of no one. The doll’s clothing had small buttons and she was able to button it herself. She has a very steady balance in her walk. She had a very firm grip on the toy pot she was using and shook it with force.
Intellectual-Emily was very aware of her duties once she was finished with her breakfast. She also knew to wash her hands after her meal. She understood the concept of putting things back when she was finished using them. What intrigued me the most was that she understood that the doll she was playing with was nude and needed to be clothed. She also fed and rocked the baby doll to sleep with love as if to understand that the baby was supposed to be treated with delicacy. She even sang the baby a lullaby like she had been caring for babies for years. My best guess is she is taking after her caregivers or is the older sister to a baby.
Social, Emotional-On the chart we also see that at age three, children are supposed to be able to play with other children but I noticed that Emily likes to spend a lot of time by herself. She speaks with a very soft voice and not very often. Emily should be taught to speak up. She should also try to be a little more open to group activities. She would rather play a different game or with another toy than stay with the other children. She may be an only child or like I said before, the older sister to a baby.
Observing a child requires a lot of patience and concentration. Children have a very short attention span and can be playing with one thing and then with another not even five minutes later. Then again although I was not at the child’s home for a long period of time (days), I was able to distinguish Emily’s developmental stage, as opposed to where is supposed to be. We can read a million books, but learning how a child interacts and why is almost impossible without the child present for you to observe. They are little people that require patience and attention. The best way to teach them is to work with them to improve what they already know and work with them to expose them to what they don’t. The best way to conduct an assessment on a child is to observe them, to watch their behavior. There are many things children will do or not do when they know an adult is present. So while the children are unaware, is the best time to observe.