Naturalistic Observation Essay
For my observation i went to a local child care. There I observed a Three year old little boy named Seth. I observed Seth from 12:30 in the afternoon until approximately 1:10 in the afternoon on Saturday June 8th. The facility was very open inside, and bright. Also the room is very colorful with lots of childrens drawing and pictures on the walls to look at. There is a play structure made of wood and carpet. The structure has steps and a slide. One area of the room is set up for snack time with tables, which is also used for arts and crafts. Another area is setup for toys, blocks, balls, cars, dolls, dinosaurs, and so much more.
They have a large variety of toy for boys and girls of different ages. They have a total of nine children attending the day I was present. Four of the children are boys and five of them are girls. Their ages ranged from two to six years old. There are a total of three adults (a 3 to 1 ratio child to adult). The facility also has a very large outdoor. This is the area the children were in when I arrived. There is a covered patio area with a corner for toys, more blocks, wood cars, and balls. One table is set up with a racetrack for hot wheel cars, another table holds water with bottles, spoons, cups, and scoops of all different sizes.
Outside is a large play structure in sand with monkey bars, slides, tunnels, a captain’s wheel, and even a tic-tac-toe board. Next to the play structure is a play area with funnels and other items to run sand and water through. On the other side of the yard are picnic tables and next to those tables is a small playskool setup for the younger kids. The playskool setup has a little slide and a castle that the children can play inside of. There is also a small vegetable and fruit garden in the corner of the yard where they are growing tomatoes, carrots and strawberries.
Sitting on his knees, Seth takes his left hand and pulls a wooden toy truck from a plastic white bin that is sitting in front of him. With his right hand he spins the wheels of the truck and sets the toy truck down to the left of him on the ground. Seth reaches in the bin with his left hand and pulls out a toy car and again spins the wheels of the car with his right hand, setting the car down in front of him. Seth reaches back into the bin and grabs another car, spins the wheels and sets the car back in the bin. Seth again, picks up another car and drops it on the ground to the right of him.
Seth leans forward and picks up a small plastic red ball he found behind a shelf next to him. He puts the ball in his mouth bites down and holds the ball in his teeth. At that moment one of the teachers walks over and Seth pulls the ball out of his mouth with his left hand. He reaches out towards the teacher and says, “Ball. ” The teacher reaches out as Seth hands her the ball, she tosses the ball in the air 3 times and says “ball” each time she catches it. On the third one Seth reaches out with his left hand and grabs the ball back and smacks it with his right hand.
Seth raises the ball above his head and drops it behind him. Seth reaches behind his back, picks up the ball, then stands up. He extends out his left hand while holding the ball and starts to run over to a nearby table where there is a little girl playing with hot wheels on a racetrack. Seth holds the red ball to his mouth and starts spinning the ball on his lips while staring towards the little girl at the table. Seth abruptly looks to his left and runs past the table with water, Seth making a sharp right circles back to the water table. Seth sets the red ball in the water and picks up a scoop with his left hand.
He dumps water on the ball. Seth starts scooping up more water and pours water on top of the bottles that are in the water. With his right hand Seth picks up a bottle floating in the water and with his left hand he picks up a little scoop. He fills the scoop with water and pours the water over the bottle. Some water starts flowing inside the bottle and some water starts flowing down the sides and onto Seth’s hand. Seth then drops the scoop into the water, he grasps the bottle with both hands and brings the bottle to his mouth.
A teacher then says “No Seth. Don’t drink that please. He then pulls the bottle away from his mouth and dunks the bottle in the water. The bottle fills with more water and Seth pulls the bottle back out of the water. He begins to put the bottle back to his mouth when the teacher says “ Seth no, don’t drink that. Yucky. ” Seth squealed with a smile on his face. He drops the bottle in the water and picks up a scoop and puts it to his mouth. The teacher then says “ Seth lets go get a drink. Come on. ” Seth shakes his head no and splashes in the water with his hands. Seth walks around the table reaching for the red ball he set in the water.
Seth turns his head to the right looking in the direction of the play structure. He begins to run across the yard to the sand. He bends over and puts his right hand in the sand, he stands up and shakes his hand off. He then runs over and climbs up the play structure, jumps up and down and waves both hands in the air. Seth climbs out of the play structure and as he is climbing out he falls in the sand. He sits up and stares into the distance. After a moment Seth gets up and runs around the play structure until another child screams. Seth stops and turns in the direction of the child yelling.
He runs over towards the child yelling and stops. Seth stands there staring towards the children arguing over the small plastic shopping carts they were pushing around the yard. Seth ran around the children, then ran around the tables and over to a stump in the ground that he jumped on top of. At that moment one of the teachers calls out “Time to go inside, outside time is over. ” Seth spins around before running towards the door to go inside. Seth stops at the door looks around then runs inside and heads straight to the play structure inside. He begins upward with his left foot climbing up the steps.
Seth puts both hands onto the rails and looks over his right shoulder. He spins, plops on his butt and sits on the steps. Another little girl then comes over and starts up the steps. At that moment Seth turns in front of her and begins going back up the steps towards the slide. Seth sits down, scoots to the edge and slides down the slide. Seth gets up and walks to the steps. He turns around with his back facing the steps now , bends over, and puts his hands down on the ground. While his hands are on the ground Seth looks between his legs, picks his feet up and tries putting them onto the steps.
He begins moves his left hand back, followed by his right hand, and begins to scoot up the steps backwards. His right hand slides out and he slide down the steps. Seth tries scooting backwards onto the steps again. Seth falls on his stomach. Seth gets up, runs up the steps and slides down the slide on his stomach. When Seth gets up he runs over to the toy area and picks up a toy car, then drops it. Seth turns to his right, sits down on his knees and picks up a bucket with rubber bugs and reptiles. Seth turns over the bucket and dumps them all on the ground.
Seth picks up one of the bugs examines it and then tosses the bug on the ground. Seth turns around, while still on the ground, and picks up a toy car. He puts it off to his left side and he reaches for another car. He also places that to his left adding to the car next to him. He continues to reach out with his left hand to grab cars, and lays them down adding to his growing pile of cars. Seth reaches under a floor screen to try and grab the last car. When seth was not able to reach the car he stood up and ran around the screen. He picked up the car and then Seth ran back around the screen.
He added the last car to his pile. Seth turns to the right and runs towards another child playing with a toy. He began dropping balls into this toy. The balls would then twirl down and around the shoots until the balls would come out the of the bottom of this toy. The other boy picked the balls back up and put them back into the top. As they were coming down the tube Seth reached down with his left hand for the balls. As the balls went by and touched his fingers he squealed. The little boy stopped and stared at Seth when he squealed.
Seth reached for the balls one more time as they went down the next tube and squealed again as he touched the balls. As the balls came out of the bottom Seth waved his arms up and down with a big bright smile on his face. Seth then looked to the right and ran back over to the play structure. He climbs up the steps to the slide and walks down the slide. He picks up a block that is sitting at the bottom of the slide. Seth runs across the room with the block over to the toys. Seth drops the block with the toys then reaches down with his left hand and picks up a plastic toy dinosaur. He runs back to the slide.
Seth throws the dinosaur up the slide and begins to climb the steps. He picks up the dinosaur, sits down and slides down the slide dinosaur in hand. Seth leaves the dinosaur at the bottom of slide. He starts climbing up the side of the slide with his right foot on the steps and his left foot on the slide. Seths left foot slipped and he slid down the side to the bottom. One of the teachers then calls out to Seth and says “ Seth your mom is here. Time to go. ” Seth gets up off the ground and runs over towards the teacher and his mother. As he gets close to his mother he calls out “Mom! Seth’s mom bends down opens her arms and picks Seth up. The teacher says “ Bye Seth. See you tomorrow. ” Seth smiles and says “ Bye” while waving over his mom’s shoulder. From doing this observation I had the chance to see a very fun little boy enjoy his day playing. He put his hands on everything he could. It would appear to me that Seth is left hande. I have come to this conclusion due to the fact that he favors his left hand in doing tasks. For example he mostly used his left hand while picking up items like, the bottles in the water or the cars in the bin.
Seth seems to be a highly active child with lots of energy. Seth seems to have no problem interacting with other children. An examples to support my statement is when Seth played with balls with the other boys or when he was playing on the play structure with the little boy and girl. However, it seems he enjoys and has no problem being by himself. This seem true whether it was playing with the cars outside or playing in the water. Seth seems to be a generally happy child. I observed this through constant smiles and laughs throughout the day. Seth likes to explore and is intrigued by sounds and textures.
When another child would scream or cry he would look and stare for a moment but then would go right back to what he was doing. This to me shows that Seth has some focus. Seth would appear to be a very well behaved and obedient child. When instructions are given Seth almost instantly listens and follows suit. When the teacher said it was time to go in Seth reacted within 30 to 45 seconds and headed straight for the door. However, when Seth was playing in the water and was attempting to drink from the bottle it took three times of being told for him to stop trying to drink the water.
This tells me that even though he is obedient he may have lower self control. This would cause him to have the lack of control not to drink the water that he was told he was not supposed to. This explains why the urge was still there. Something else i noticed about Seth is that even though he likes to play with others and by himself he does not seem to be highly social. He speaks very little and mostly with the adult figures around him. I would simply encourage more social activities for Seth to build his verbal skills with others.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 1 November 2016
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