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Example Child Observation Paper

Updated on January 2, 2019

Sample child observation paper 21 month old female

Tyler, 21 months old

Tyler is female, 21 months old and has brown, mid-length, soft and curly hair. She has large almond shaped brown eyes, and a soft, smooth light brown complexion. She is in her back yard with her 6 year old sister Dyari. Today is a warm day with lots of sunshine. Both of the children are dressed in shorts and tank tops.

How Did The Play Get Started?

C1 How did the play get started?

Tyler walked out of the family’s back door first and went straight to her tricycle grabbing the handles first and gazing at her oldest sibling Dyari. Dyari immediately followed her and began to help her onto the tricycle, as directed by Tyler, non verbally. Her sister, Mya, 4, went straight to the flower bed to dig with the shovel and buckets that were sitting there.

What is the situation in which the interaction occurs?

C2 What is the situation in which the interaction occurs?

Tyler is seated at the kitchen table and has just finished a snack that consisted of string cheese, apple slices, and juice. She seems in a happy mood and ready to play. When Tyler goes into her back yard she immediately goes towards her tricycle followed by her sister. There are several toys in the back yard. There is a child size pool, two push toys, a large ball a few buckets with shovels sitting next to the flower bed and various other cars and a doll. Tyler chose the tricycle first, possibly because it was the toy nearest to the back door. Tyler and her two sisters ages 4 and 7 are present.

Roles and relationships during child play
Roles and relationships during child play | Source

What roles are taken, and by whom?

C3 What roles are taken, and by whom? (Who is who or what? Note role shift, what sort of dog, daddy, baby, etc. is the child? What position does he have in the group- organizer, follower, scapegoat, etc.)

Tyler at first seems to be the one controlling the play. She approaches the tricycle and is followed by her oldest sister, Dyari. Tyler directs her sister, non verbally, to help her get on the tricycle. Once Tyler is on the tricycle and Dyari is standing close as if she is ready to protect her if Tyler falls off. Tyler is wiggling the handle bars back and forth, making car sounds and pushing air through her teeth.

Tyler starts to get off the bike and Dyari assists her. Then Dyari says “C’mom Tyty let’s get the baby”. Tyler follows Dyari over to where the baby doll is and Dyari picks it up and is fixing it’s clothing. Tyler is watching. Dyari goes across the yard and gets the baby’s bottle. Now she is feeding the baby and then hands the baby and bottle to Tyler who begins to feed the baby. Tyler notices a leaf on the baby dress and takes it off then starts to examine it. She crinkles the leaf in her hand and then throws it and the baby down. Tyler seems to want to lead the play but Dyari is the one who is leading the play at this point.

Dyari is paying close attention to Tyler’s actions and reactions to the play. Tyler lead the play at first, roles quickly shifted to Dyari leading and directing the play. Tyler was happy when Dyari engaged in play with her and asked her questions about what she wanted to do, or what she was doing. With in a few minute Tyler lost interest in the play and wanted to move on to something else. Tyler moves on from activity to activity as if she wants to lead, each time Dyari quickly begins directing the play. Tyler seems used to this from her sister and accepts this treatment, but liked to change the play so she could be in control for a moment.

What is the child's emotional response to the play?

D5 What is the child’s emotional response to the play? (Invested on the fringe, timid, anxious, over-stimulated, etc.)

Tyler seemed to be very calm during the play. She was very aware of her sister’s actions and was interested in what her sister was doing. Tyler is not timid, she is very calculating in her actions and checks others reactions. She is very expressive with her face, her eyes are large and it is easy to gauge her thoughts and feelings by observing her eyes. When spoken to, she looks directly at the person making eye contact, but stays mainly nonverbal in her reactions. When thinking her eyebrows come together and she tilts her head in a downward position. When she is pleased she often smiles and clasps her hands together for a second and then drops them to her side opening and closing her hands. Tyler is very easy going when it comes to play with her older sister and will accept her sister’s suggestions. It appears that she is trying to discover her role in the play and likes to show her independence intermittently.


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    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      7 years ago from California

      @ Zulik Henke

      Thank you for your comment. I am glad my article was help to you. Here is a link on cognitive development that may be good information for you.

    • profile image

      Zulik Henke 

      7 years ago

      This helped me so much, but there is more then this i want to learn. Is there cognitive observations? Why or why not?

      Thank you if you post this..

    • profile image

      Youals Killen 

      7 years ago

      okays .

    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      7 years ago from California

      Hi Kathryn,

      Thanks for the comment! The photo is of my two youngest children. I love observing children, they are so interesting. I think Dyari wanted to maintain the controlling role. She is the oldest of her two siblings and Tyler is the baby, but by now Tyler has figured out how to get the result she wants from her sister! They are beautiful and balance each other well.

    • Kathryn L Hill profile image

      Kathryn L Hill 

      7 years ago from LA

      I love this hub. Objective observation is so important. Beautiful photo! I would follow one child at a time to determine its stimulus rather than follow the interactions of all. Did one child actually want to take a "role" on a conscious level? Why?


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