Toddler Observation

Toddler Observation

ECE205: Intro to Child Development

Child Development Toddler Observation

Groark, C., McCarthy, S. & Kirk, A. (2014). Early child development: From theory to practice. Bridgepoint Education: San Diego, CA. 

  • Observation summary
  • While I watched this video, I noticed that it is in a daycare setting with other toddlers that are playing during free play. As the video starts you will see some stairs that the toddlers can climb on underneath those stairs that are some pads on the floor, so they are protected if they happen to fall. To the side of the stairs there is a slide for the toddlers to go down. There are blocks, dinosaurs, balls and a tower maze in the classroom this gives the toddlers plenty to play with during the day. In the video you will see quite a few different toddlers that are playing, the teacher is more focused on one child. We are observing him today. His name is Nick. Nick’s age seems to be around two years old. You can see that Nick is interested in more than one activity in the play area.
  • When you start the video, you can see that Nick first starts to work his way up to the top of the stairs, as soon as he gets to the top Nick then slides down the slide backwards. After that Nick then starts going over to the area that has the tower maze. You’ll see a little girl dropping a small toy car down the maze. Nick then picks up the toy car but he doesn’t drop the car down the maze instead he rolls the car up the tower. The teacher then moves the tower from the corner into the middle of the floor so he can have more space to play with the tower. Once she does this Nick then sits on the floor where the tower has been relocated. You will then see another little boy playing with a container filled with toy bugs. Nick then picks up the car and puts the car a couple levels above the bottom of the tower and watched the car as it fell to the bottom of the tower. At this time Nick then turns around and starts playing with a couple of cars that are on the floor next to the tower. Nick then goes over to play with another little boy that is playing with a toy that drops balls. (Hatfieldmomof3, 2011)
  • Developmental stages and domains.
  • This video focuses on play, play supports social-emotional and cognitive development as well. In this video Nick understands different categories of social participation for example private play, unoccupied behavior, and parallel activity. Nick seems to be more interested in parallel activity. “Parallel activity means when a child plays independently beside another child, but not with other children and typically the child plays with a similar toy or activity as the other child playing beside them” (Groark, McCarthy, & Kirk, 2014, Sec. 6.5). Nick has been watching the other children and quickly picking up on how they are playing with different toys and doing different activities. He is also learning new skills by watching the children do these different skills. “Parallel play can increase social development as well as confidence since children are learning to play near other children and this will lead to forming relationships with other children. “(Mueller & Brenner, 1977, Pg. 7).
  • As Nick listens to other children play, he is learning a new skill called social participation. McEntire (2009) stated “that play assists in talking and future abstract thought and is linked to social and linguistic competence” (McEntire, 2009, Pg. 210).
  • Parallel play can also help with help children with their gross and fine motor skills develop as the toddler plays by oneself which in return helps support their physical development. I believe in play because it can help children’s cognitive development as they use their creativity, problem solving, and imagination. So, play is going to be something Nick should be doing to help him learn more.
  • Typical development
  • Because Nick is still involved in parallel play this means he is not socially confident yet. From what I can see in the observation video Nick does not use any language, this makes me believe that Nick is needing more language skills. As I continued to observe the video, I noticed that Nick was sitting on the floor with his knees underneath him making a W. As I looked up more information on why a child would do this, I read about how it can cause orthopedic problems and cause stress on his hip joints. This can cause a delay in development postural control and his stability; it may also delay his development of refined motor skills. (Richards & Snyder, 2013)
  • Developmental support Strategies
  • The first thing we can do to help support this stage of development is to help encourage Nick to use different seating positions to help prevent any development delays that come from sitting in a position that our bodies wasn’t designed to do. I also plan on providing different opportunities for the toddlers to have unstructured, unplanned, child-driven play. As the toddlers, instructor I will be teaching them different playing skills in sessions. These sessions will be for toddlers who have difficulties getting into different playing scenarios. I hope I will be able to motivate the toddlers to talk to other children about the toys that are around them and to help encourage them to share toys so everyone can have a turn. This is will be big motivator for me to teach especially for those who have troubles sharing. My second step would be that I ask each toddler an open ended question. By doing this it will help broaden the toddlers mind and help increase their learning experience. My third and last step would be to add a block center and a dramatic play center into my classroom. My hopes in adding these centers for the toddlers are to help their creativity, engagement, imagination, and collaboration.
  • Resources

hatfieldmomof3. (2011, March 21). Toddler observation video 3Toddler observation video 3. [Video File]. Retrieved July 7, 2014, from

McEntire, N. (2009). THE ROLE OF PRETEND PLAY IN CHILDREN’S COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT. Childhood Education, 85(3), 210. Retrieved from Retrieved July 7, 2014, from ProQuest database.

Mueller, E., & Brenner, J. (1977). The Origins of Social Skills and Interaction among Playgroup Toddlers. Child Development48(3), 854-861. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.ep10402729. Retrieved July 7, 2014, from EBSCOhost database.

Sherri Richards Carrie Snyder; Forum News, S. (2013, January 15). The ws of W-sitting. Grand Forks Herald (ND). Retrieved July 7, 2014, from EBSCOhost database.