Why we observe children?

The five type child observations

Children needs to be observed in order to know if their meets the developmental milestones. Activities for children should be organised according to their developmental needs. Children would get bored with too easy activities and they may loose they interest if the task is too hard for them.
 Vygotsky believed that the job of the teacher is to provide a correct level of support to the learning child. When a challenging task is introduced teachers should help more, and this support should be lessen when the child becomes more competent. 

The five type child observations

 Each observation address one of the five areas of development

  • physical
  • social
  • emotional 
  • language
  • cognitive
Make a written documentation of each observation with the following sections:
  • A statement on the aim or purpose of the observation and/or a brief rationale for the choice.
  • Background Details 
  • Details of the setting 
  • The type of observation method used  
  • The time of starting and finishing the observation 
  • The date of the observation
  • A brief description of the child/group of children including age, gender and any other relevant details
  • Observation Record 
  • An objective account of the observation
  • Format depends on the observation method used e.g.: narrative, trail, checklist, time sample, event sample.
A number of observations of the child should be done to make the final conclusion.  All the observations must incorporate aspects of physical, social, emotional, language and cognitive development for the child.  They should be accompanied by background details and a brief evaluation for each observation.

Names, addresses or information that might identify a particular child/children should not be recorded.

Permission must be obtained from the adult responsible for the child/children when carrying out observations.  All observations must be signed by the relevant adult.

Once you know your child's developmental stage, you’ll understand the importance of using learning toys.

learning toys have the following advantages:

1.  Learning toys are challenging but extremely fun for your child.
2. They keep your child entertained for hours at a time and each toy has an objective and your child can play with them until they can finish it!
3. They have an opportunity to learn and with educational toys you can learn and have fun.
4. Develops their mental and physical skills. 
5. Helps engage your child’s senses. A lot of toys discuss touch, smell and hearing.
6. They help teach your children about the importance of interacting with others.
7. They help develop your child’s creative skills and even their imagination.
8. It helps improve and foster their problem solving skills:
 Problem solving is a skill that needs to be taught from a young age!
9. It helps develop your child’s cognitive skills.
10. Learning toys develop and encourage good social skills:
Learning toys focus on having fun and enjoying yourself. You will notice that most all learning toys encourage social skills with smaller children.

Flood, E. (2010) Child Development for students in Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan