The aim of this observation was to observe and note the different physical skills that A, a female of 2.0 years was capable of doing and to record it. I recorded. A was playing alone under the supervision of myself and her mother in her home, while I observed and recorded both of As gross and fine motor skills.
A child observation is a sample of a child’s behaviour and development that is recorded in order to interpret it and /or use it to plan for a child’s needs and development.
CITATION Mar18 t l 6153 (Donoghue, 2018)For the observation a checklist was made as this method is easy for anyone to read clearly. This is to ensure that both the gross and fine motor skills were covered correctly, and that reader could see As developmental skills were suitable for their age.
Developmental check-ups often focus on how close a child is to the developmental norm or average for his or her age group CITATION Arn34 l 6153 (Gesell, 1934)The observation was in As home with just myself and As mother.
No other children were involved or present during the observation. It took place between 1.30 and 1.50pm. A was playing a large conservatory attached to the kitchen. As mother preferred A playing there as it was a wide space for her to wonder and move around and to explore in. The evaluation will lead with fine motor skills and then gross motor skills.
When reading checklist of measures, you will notice that in measure 1, A sat down at a table and picked up a crayon and started colouring.
This demonstrates that A is capable of grabbing the crayon with the aid of her mother and can hold it tightly and move the crayon around the page using her fingers. This shows me she mastered the pincer grasp.
Measure number 2 was that A Zipped down the zip on her jumper. This demonstrated that A was using good hand coordination as she needed to use one hand to pull down the zip and the other to help pull the zip apart. Measure 3 shows A turning on a tap. She showed us that she was able to demonstrate hand strength in order to turn the faucet by herself. She smiled up at her mother when doing so with a facial expression of pride. Curiosity is one of the main driving forces of children’s search for belief in having some control over the learning process CITATION Bru76 l 6153 (Vygotsky, 1976). This shows that she has mastered the pincer grip.
Measure 4 described how A washed her hands attempting the sari method with her mother. As mother washed her hands with her using the happy birthday song to make the process more fun for A. While A can’t do the Sari method correctly, she is however learning through play to practice good habits by her mother. Its all about showing a kid what the next step they’re working on looks like CITATION DrA18 l 6153 (Berstein, 2018)Measure 5 shows that A Built a tower out of Duplo Blocks. This showed that A was using her hand and eye coordination skills. This helps with strengthening her muscles in her hands and fingers which will help with holding other items. CITATION Bru14 l 6153 (Bruce, 2014) mentions that this is an appropriate skill for a child of this age.
Measure 6 mentioned that A pulled off her Velcro fastened shoes. She showed that she had good concentration levels and determination as she struggled at first to pull the Velcro strap backwards, however she then mastered it as she was able to pull the back the Velcro strap faster and easier on the second shoe. You will see their persistence, creative attempts to solve problems CITATION Ann07 l 6153 (Karmiloff-Smith, 2007)Measure 7 showed that A stood on her tip toes to see what was outside the window. She saw a dog run past and stood on her tiptoes and leaned against the windowsill and was curious to see what was going on. She then started smiling and laughing as the dog was running towards from the other side of the window. A could only stand on her tiptoes for 2/3 seconds at a time as she did not have enough muscle strength in her legs at the time.
CITATION Tin14 l 6153 (Bruce, 2014) states Physical development is the most visible of all the abilities shown in childhood. In measure 8, ‘A squatted down and picked up a ball. She squatted down keeping her back straight and legs in line and picked up the ball. A showed great balancing skill while moving both hands and legs which is good for building up her core strength. Children need to be active in childhood, because regular and lively physical activity builds muscle CITATION Jea05 l 6153 (Lindon, 2005)Measure 9 showed kicking the ball at the wall’. A had some success with kicking the ball however occasionally she would miss it. A kept on trying until it was a success. She would then laugh when she finally kicked it at different ways and speeds. A would then clap her hands to celebrate.
Toddlers have an increasing desire to explore and experiment CITATION Chr04 l 6153 (Frankel, 2004)Measure 10 showed that A walked towards the mother and handed her the ball. She held the ball up above her own head trying to get to her mother’s eye level. As mother said that it was a first, as it was her first time suggesting that mother plays with the ball also. Children’s physical growth makes new behaviours possible CITATION Und05 l 6153 (Lindon, 2005). In measure 11, A then caught the ball with her own arms straight out. She then curled her forearms into herself cradling the ball confidently while her head remained straight and upright. A showed a great example of flexibility and co-ordination. All children need to learn the skills of co-ordination CITATION Arn07 l 6153 (Gesell, 2007)
In measure 12, A walked up and down the stairs. She managed to do this with her mother’s help as she held her hand in order to keep her safe and free from falling. A also held onto the banister of the stairs with her other hand to sturdy herself furthermore. They learn about the world through their senses CITATION Ele07 l 6153 (Goldschmied, 2007)I recorded this observation about a number of different gross and fine motor skills. I observed a 2.0-year-old female, who throughout I called A in order to keep her privacy.
This observation took place in As home, which worked well for me as I got to observe her in her own environment where she feels comfortable. If I had done my observation in a creche it may not have worked out as well, as A may not have had as much room to move about and do various different measures. It also worked out well that it was not in a creche as I got to see how A acted while she used the stairs. I also liked that I got to see A interact with her mother, as that links to Aistear’s theme of Identity and Belonging. A got to feel part of a family and community. She also got to experience expressing her own ideas when it came to play which led to her feeling a sense of her own identity.
It also helped A with the theme of exploring and thinking, as she wandered over to the window to see the dog outside the window. A also had to think about how she was going to zip down her jumper when she got too warm. She also had to think about how she was going to take off her shoes that had Velcro straps on them. Once she had figured out how to do it correctly she then had to apply it to her other shoe in order to take the two shoes off.
A seemed to be in her normative developmental range for age as she demonstrated measures and hit her age appropriate targets. I also benefited from this as I got to witness and observe all different varies of gross motor skills and fine motor skills.
From this observation I have gained a lot of knowledge in relation to the physical development of A.I have learned that a lot about children who are 2.0 years old and were they should be at, at every different stage and age in their life. I learned that there is a big difference between gross motor skills and fine motor skills, yet that they have a lot in common at the same time, as they are both important and go hand in hand with one another in relation to a child’s physical development.
During my time with A, I noticed that her mother plays a big role in her physical development as she searches for her mother in a lot of measures to look for some reassurance before she does something. She often involved her mother in a lot of measures e.g. climbing the stairs, playing with the ball together. Her mother helped A if she got into difficulty when trying complete something but ultimately left it up to A to figure out by herself, so she can learn how to do things for herself e.g. opening the Velcro straps on her shoes.
I now feel more confident when looking at a 2.0-year-old child in terms of physical development, stages and skills. It has given me the knowledge to notice if a child is not developing at the same rate as another child of the same age. It has given me knowledge on how to help a child who has not met their physical developmental target. This will help me for when I work in an ECCE setting.
I found that having a check list guided me through the observation and made the information a bit clearer. It also worked to my advantage as it was easy to tick the boxes as I observed the child. I also learned that it very important to not talk about the child in questions, physical developmental skills or to show their records others. It is also important to ask for their parents consent before observing their child.
While I was observing A, I was in their home. The observation itself took pave in the conservatory which also had a wide spread kitchen attached to it. This was ideal as the child had plenty of room and space to wonder around and explore. It gave me many possible measures to observe as the child was walking around discovering new things and ideas. It gave A the freedom to roam about become more independent.
I would recommend that the parents baby proof the house a bit more as there were a few protruding edges which could cause an injury. I also noticed that the conservatory had soft maths placed down to ensure that if A falls, she will not hit her head or any other part. However, once it came to the kitchen there were tiles on the floor. I would recommend either keeping the baby in the conservatory where the soft mats are down or rooms that have carpet to prevent accidents.
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