This observation took place in a childcare setting in my old job. The childcare had four classrooms in total, two infants, one toddler, and one preschool. I talked to one of the directors, and I was instructed on the procedure for the observation process. I presented my consent papers, and after the process was finalized, I started the observation at 10.00 in the morning. The physical environment consisted of a playing area, a napping room, a toilet, and a diapering space. The setting had enough furniture with a kitchen. I would say that the environment was well equipped.
The children were playing with papers while running around. Others were playing with toys with their teachers. I chose to observe one child, Zaya, a two-year-old girl (not her real name). Zaya looked active and jovial, the reason why I chose her. Zaya had been in the care setting for the second month at the time of my observation. She had, however, skipped a month since her admission because she had gone for a vacation with her parents. At the time of my observation, there were five teachers and three assistant teachers. Some of the physical activities that were taking place include puddle jumping and throwing balloons. Others were blowing balls and sticking ribbons. Zaya, with a few others, was kicking some balls on the floor.
Zaya and Emma were busy kicking balls, which they seemed to enjoy. Ian and Jacob later joined them. They were laughing, making eye contact as they smiled at each other. This was important because the toddlers are able to develop their social- emotional skills (Erskine, 2019). When Ian slipped and fell, Zaya quickly ran and helped him get up. She dusted her pants off and smiled at him, and then they got back to playing with the balls. Here, Zaya demonstrates a temperament of high distractibility by stopping playing and moving to help Ian get up. This shows that she could not focus on her play, having seen Ian fell (Kefalianos et al., 2017). A bell was rung by one of the female teachers, signaling that it was time for the children to take a snack. Zaya seemed to be approaching as she started jumping and clapping hands. She was excited and was ready to be served her meal (Yoleri, 2017).
All the toddlers sat together around the table as the teacher handed them their plates and spoons. Zaya received napkins from the teacher. She picked one and past the rest to the other toddlers. As the teacher went around serving them, some toddlers made noise and started banging their plates with the spoons wanting to be served first. Zaya stood from her chair and walked to pick a spoon for Zion, who had dropped hers. Zaya’s high intensity of reaction is demonstrated when she stands to pick the spoon. This shows that she is highly distracted by a sound (Kefalianos et al., 2017). A teacher took it and replaced it with a clean one. Conner was crying, and the teacher quickly served him with his food.
Other teachers were singing, and this seemed to calm those who were crying and fusing. Zaya and Jacob finished their meal early. Zaya stood and took her plate and spoon to a dish bin. Zaya asked for water from one of the teachers. She then asked if she could help feed Sarah, a toddler who was having problem feeding. The teacher washed her hands and wiped them dry.
The caregivers and the teachers led the toddlers into the bathroom while singing, implying that they were going to use a potty and wash their hands. Zaya held Emma’s hand as they jumped and throwing their hands. After coming back, they started throwing balloons. Zaya switched and started making airplanes with papers. Zaya was highly adaptable as she switched activities from throwing balloons to making paper airplanes. She seemed to adapt quickly to change of activity (Yoleri, 2017). Gael ran towards a chair, and Jacob pushed her. She fell on the carpet and started crying. Zaya stopped playing and moved closer to Gael, who was profusely crying in the teacher’s arm. Zaya demonstrates the temperament trait of high sensitivity by stopping playing and running to help Gael. She got sensitive when she heard Gael cry, prompting her to stop playing (Kefalianos et al., 2017). Zaya looked at Jacob and lightly pushed and shouted at him. The teacher talked to them and told them to be calm. The teacher told Jacob not to harm other toddlers. The teacher rang a bell for napping, but Zaya could not stop playing with the balloons. Her biological rhythm was irregular. Because of her high level of activity, it was hard for her to go to nap as she wanted to play with the paper airplanes (Yoleri, 2017).
In my observation, I learned how vital the physical activities the toddlers were engaging in between themselves. Zaya had a high activity level because she was quickly moving from one activity to another. She was always playing and moving from one place to another to interact with other toddlers (Yoleri, 2017). The toddlers’ interaction contributed to their development. I would recommend that the teachers engage with the toddlers in more physical activities to contribute to their child development (Erskine, 2019). I would also suggest that toddlers involve more in interactive social activities like singing and dancing. This will substantially be significant to interactive social development. Additionally, more social interaction will be necessary for their social wellbeing.
I liked seeing Zaya showing love to other toddlers both in playtime and mealtime. I would recommend the teachers to introduce more activities for the toddlers in the setting. For example, they could introduce animal walks games where the toddlers can walk like bears or hop like a frog. This will help in the development of their gross motor skills. The toddlers can also engage in fly kite activity to develop their running skills. Egg and spoon game will be necessary for toddlers to learn the importance of coordinating as a team as well as developing their fine motor skills. A teacher can read stories to the toddlers to teach them proper behavior. Zaya will significantly benefit from these stories as she seems to be a caring child who wants to help other toddlers in need. Zaya should also be given toys to play with as she will interact with them while making smiles and other caring gestures.
I observed toddlers in a childcare setting — the children engaged in activities like playing and singing. I also observed their behavior as they took their meal. The childcare setting was spacious enough to allow the toddlers to interact with each other. Allowing the toddlers to help the less active ones under adult supervision is essential because it helps the toddler to have a sense of maturity and develop a feeling of independence. Throughout the observation period, Zaya demonstrates a more positive mood because she seemed to be happy and jovial playing around and interacting with other toddlers (Yoleri, 2017). Caregivers need to take care of toddlers because they need supervision in their activities, which may be harmful to others. And thus, the children should be under a caregiver at all times. In conclusion, I learned that toddler interactions help build their social, emotional skills, and each step in their development.
- Erskine, R. G. (2019). Child Development in Integrative Psychotherapy: Erik Erikson’s First Three Stages. International Journal of Integrative Psychotherapy, 10, 11-34.
- Kefalianos, E., Onslow, M., Ukoumunne, O. C., Block, S., & Reilly, S. (2017). Temperament and early stuttering development: Cross-sectional findings from a community cohort. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60(4), 772-784.
- Yoleri, S. (2017). Teacher-child relationships in preschool period: The roles of child temperament and language skills. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 9(1), 210-224.