Project #33953 - Developmental Journal

Development Journal

You are to keep a running journal of child observations throughout the quarter, one for each week starting at week 1 and ending at week 11, equaling 11 entries total. The entries are to be based on an observation that you have made of a child that week.

This child should be between the ages of birth and preschool age (our focus ages). (I’ll allow you to sneak in 1 school age observations.) All entries should be of unique children.

These brief observations can occur anywhere- at Starbucks while you are getting coffee, at a library story time you are at with a child, even in Trader Joe’s checkout line. I’m not asking you to go formally observe, just reflect on children that you naturally bump into in your daily life.

This child cannot be your own. You can observe a niece, a nephew, or the child you nanny, but make sure you stay objective.

Step 1: Observe

You are to watch the child and his or her behavior. Take note of their interactions â€‹with other people and their environment. Try to remember what is said.

Step 2: Record

Go home and record what you saw as soon as possible. Remember to use â€‹observation techniques and write down what you saw as a camera would see it.​​ If you interacted with the child, or know the child, be very careful that you remain â€‹objective in your observation and don’t put in your own opinions or bias.

Include a brief description of the environment and the child (including gender, â€‹approximate age and physical appearance).

Step 3: Reflect

1. Reflect on what you saw the child doing.

2. Based on what we are learning, what did you notice about the child’​development?  For each observation, address the Physical, Cognitive, Social, â€‹and Emotional Development, what did you observe that provided evidence of​how the child is developing?

Please note that I’m not asking you to rate or grade the child’s development. â€‹Rather, gather evidence that gives you an indication of how they are developing.

3. Identify which of Erikson’s psychosocial stages you believe the child is in and â€‹why.

4. Identify which of Piaget’s stages you think the child is in and why.


Submit all entries as one document to the ATS section by the due date.

Please see the example of an “A” paper in the Resources section! This will greatly help you succeed!


this is an example 

Observation Week 1


The children were a set of identical twins. They were girls about 4 years old, both in blue pants and purple blouses, with purple ribbons, curly blonde hair.

It was a sunny day, and they were riding their matching purple and white bicycles on the paved walkways that weave through my apartment complex.

The sister in front (sister #1) suddenly stopped her bike, causing sister #2 to bump into her. Sister #1 turned to #2 and said “Go the other way!” Sister #2 screamed “Noooo!” and bumped her bike into sister #1’s bike. Sister #1 yelled “Goooo!” and started backing her bike up but had to stop since sister #2 wasn’t moving. Sister #1 climbed off her bike and walked around to sister #2, grabbed the handlebars of sister #2’s bike and started pushing bike and sister backwards. Sister #2 screamed “AHHHHHHHH!” and waved her arms around, “I’LL DO IT!”. Sister #1 said“Back up, go!” and got back on her bike. They both backed up down the path to an intersection where they had enough room to turn around on the path and then rode out of sight, both of them yelling in unison “GO, GO, GO!”


What i noticed about the girls’ development:

● Physically: they seemed normal for their age, about average height for 4 years old and coordinated enough to be able to ride bikes fairly well.
● Cognitively: They seemed to be working on problem solving, each in their own way, which was surprising to me. I would have expected twins to work together more intuitively and they seemed to be at conflict with each other in what they wanted to do.Also, I wasn’t sure why they thought they needed to back up down the path instead of simply turning around on the grass.
● Socially: The girls seemed focused on their individual desires, unaware or not having regard for the feelings of each other or the fact that they were creating a loud disturbance in the apartment complex.
● Emotional Development: If I had to base an opinion on just this one observation of them, I would guess that they are below average emotional development for their age as they were not using their words with each other very well. I would have expected 4 year olds to be able to better express themselves verbally. The #1 sister was physical in grabbing her sister’s bike and pushing instead of asking her to collaborate. The #2 sister seemed to have strong emotional responses to being pushed but only verbalized it by yelling.
● Erikson’s stage: I believe these girls were in the Initiative versus Guilt phase. They both seemed determined to do things on their own.
● Piaget’s stage: Preoperational. They seemed to understand that they had to work together to get to where they wanted to go, but couldn’t conceptualize or articulate to each other how to do it.

Observation Week 2

At a friend’s house, I observed the family giving their child a snack. The child is female, about 2-1/2 years old with dark hair and brown eyes.

Dad: “Jenny, I want you to come wash your hands before you eat.” Jenny: “OK!” (ran down the hall) Dad: “Jenny, walk please honey.” After washing her hands, she ran back down the hall. Dad: “Jenny, walk please!” Jenny: “OK!” She went into the kitchen and looked at her mom. Mom: “Do you want a piece of toast?” Jenny: “Yes please!” Jenny

went to the dining room and started to climb into her chair. Mom: “Jenny, let me help you.” Jenny: “I can do it!” Mom steaded the chair while she climbed in. Mom made toast while Jenny sat in the chair kicking her feet and looking out the window. Mom set down the toast and Jennyquietly eats. When finished, Jenny: “Dada, I’m done!”... “Dada, look, I finished it all!” Mom: “He’s in the bathroom honey, you can tell him when he comes out.” (A few seconds pass) “DADA! I’m done Dada.” She climbs out of the chair and runs down the hall. “Dada!” Dad: “Honey, I’m in the bathroom.”


What i noticed about the girl’s development:

● Physically: She seemed to be developing normally, still not quite solid on her feet, working on her balance. She was a bit tall for her age, maybe a little thin for her height.
● Cognitively: She seemed to only be able to see the world through her own eyes and didn’t seem to care or understand that her parents might be busy.
● Socially: Again she was very id, which is normal for that age I suppose. She didn’t pay much attention to me or show any interest in me, she was more focused on her parents.
● Emotional Development: It looked like she got frustrated very easily, didn’t have much patience.
● Erikson’s stage: Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt. She really wanted to do things on her own and it was really important to her to show her dad that she ate all of her toast.
● Piaget’s stage: Either the Sensorimotor stage or the Preoperational stage based on her age. Other than her age I didn’t really see any evidence that she had the symbolic thinking that would go with the Preoperational stage.

Observation Week 3

The child was between 3 and 4 years old, a blonde boy in a swimming class. There are 3 other children in the class, all about the same age. The boy’s father brings in the boy after the class has started. The boy sits down on the edge of the pool but doesn’t get in. The teacher says“C’mon, get in!” gesturing with a big smile. The boy keeps shaking his head no and looking at his father. He finally gets in, and starts splashing around but he’s not following the class or doing what the other children are doing. The father left the poolside and went to the observation room. The boy saw that the father had left and became visibly upset, and went to try to get out of the pool. The teacher went over to try to keep him engaged in the class. The boy’s father came back in and teacher and father were trying to convince him to get back into the class.


What i noticed about the boy’s development:

● Physically: The boy seemed a little bit short for his age but otherwise normal.
● Cognitively: He appeared to have normal cognitive development based on this brief observation.
● Socially: I would say that either he was afraid of the water or was having trouble functioning without his father present.
● Emotional Development: It could have been a bad day for the little guy but it seemed like he was having trouble functioning without his father present. I’m not sure if he’s socially having trouble or if he would have been just fine had it not been in a pool.
● Erikson’s stage: I think he’s in Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt. He seemed to have trouble being on his own without his father. The lack of autonomy seemed to cause him stress.
● Piaget’s stage: It was hard to determine but I would say Preoperational just based on his age, I had no evidence that he was still in an earlier stage.

Observation Week 4

The child was a 4 year old boy with dark hair and olive skin. I observed him in the locker room after the swim class. He was getting changed from swimming clothes into regular clothes with the help of his mother. The boy said: “I want ice cream for dinner!” and his mother said “No, we’re not having ice cream for dinner.” The boy said “NO!” and struck his mother on her arm. She said “Stop!” and he struck her again. She yelled “You don’t hit me!” and the boy started to cry. She said “You’re not supposed to hit anybody!” As she gathered their things he stopped crying and they walked out of the locker room together.


What i noticed about the boy’s development:

● Physically: physically the boy seemed about normal height and weight.
● Cognitively: He didn’t have any trouble processing information; he was normal.
● Socially: It seemed odd that he would hit his mother over not getting what he wanted for dinner. I would have expected him to know it’s not socially acceptable to hit others.
● Emotional Development: I would guess that he has some developing to do emotionally on problem solving or dealing with his emotions so that he doesn’t strike out physically at other people.
● Erikson’s stage: If I had to guess, I would say that he is still in Trust versus Mistrust. He didn’t seem to trust at all that his world would be consistent and safe.
● Piaget’s stage: Just based on age I would say that he is in the Preoperational stage.

Observation Week 5

The child was a girl, about 4 years old with light brown hair and brown eyes. It was in the waiting room of my dentist’s office. She asked her father: “Dada will you read me this?” holding up a magazine. Her father was using his phone and told her, “You go ahead and start and I’ll read to you in a minute.” She said “Ok.” and started flipping through the pages of the “Highlights for Children” magazine. Her father put down his phone and asked “What do you want me to read?” She said “This one!” and pointed at a page of the magazine. The page was directions for making a snack. Her father was reading a few words here and there and she was flipping through the pages fairly quickly. She paused on a page and said “That’s a bird, huh dada?” Her father said “It sure is!” and she said “He’s hungry, huh dada?”. Then they were called into the dentist’s office.


What i noticed about the girl’s development:

● Physically: She was normal physically, but didn’t seem very coordinated for her age, maybe a bit clumsy.
● Cognitively: She was pretty sharp cognitively, looking at the magazine and asking her father questions about it’s contents, asking him to read to her.
● Socially: She was engaging socially, seemed aware of the people around her and wanted to engage her father in an activity.
● Emotional Development: Her emotional development appeared to be normal. She wasn’t shy or introverted, seemed well adjusted.
● Erikson’s stage: I’d say she was in Initiative versus Guilt and she was doing just fine taking initiative.
● Piaget’s stage: She showed signs of being in the Preoperational stage. She could think symbolically and could decide that the bird in the picture was hungryshe was using her imagination.

Observation Week 6

The child was a girl who was about 5 years old. She had dark, long hair and fair skin. She and a group of children at a birthday party at a gym had just finished eating pizza. Her father gave her a piece of chocolate cake. It was a Thomas the Engine cake and she got a certain piece of the picture. The girl said “I don’t want this piece, I want a different color piece!” pointing at another piece of cake. She started to cry. Her father said “No, you can eat that piece, it’s exactly the same, just try it.” She cried harder and started sobbing. After about 30 seconds of her crying her father turned to her and asked quietly and calmly “Ok honey, what kind of cake do you want?” She said through her sobbing “I want the blue one.” Her father went and got her the piece with blue frosting on it and he ate the one that he got her initially. After she got the piece of cake that she wanted she stopped crying and ate the cake.


What i noticed about the girl’s development:

● Physically: she was average for her age in height and weight.
● Cognitively: from what I saw she was functioning normally cognitively.
● Socially: I think socially she may have been slightly immature, I don’t usually see children her age getting upset in that manner.
● Emotional Development: she didn’t seem to be self-aware that she was causing a commotion over something that I wouldn’t have expected a 5 year old to cry about.
● Erikson’s stage: Based on her age I would guess she’s in Initiative versus Guilt but I don’t know for sure.
● Piaget’s stage: Again based on her age I would say Preoperational.

Observation Week 7

The child was less than a year old, a boy with dark (thin and soft) hair and dark eyes. He was sitting in a high chair at an asian pho restaurant with his family. It was a large party with 14 people including adults and children of several ages. The boy waved his arms around and babbled at his mother sitting next to him “Augaughuaghaugh!” She gave him a small piece of a cucumber and he munched on that, kicking his feet as he gnawed on the cucumber and his fingers. After he finished the cucumber, he waved his arms around again “Aughhhhhhaugh!” The adults sitting near him continued to eat and chat with each other. He studied them for a moment and then, louder “Aughhhhhaughaughaugh!” His mother looked at him and murmured something I couldn’t hear from where I was sitting. She took a noodle from her bowl of soup and pushed it together then pushed it into his mouth. He chewed the noodle and smiled at her. He sat chewing his noodle and kicking his feet until the noodle was gone. Then he scrunched his face and yelled again. His mother got a bottle out of her bag, took him out of the high chair and placed him in a carrier with his bottle. He drank from his bottle quietly watching the people around him.


What i noticed about the boy’s development:

● Physically: he was developing normally, able to focus on and follow visually what other people around him were doing.
● Cognitively: He only seemed to be concerned with being hungry at the time that I saw him so I didn’t get to see a lot but appeared to be normal.
● Socially: He understood that he could yell when he was hungry and get his mother to respond.
● Emotional Development: He was able to interact with and smile at his mother. He followed the actions of others at the table, made eye contact and interacted with them. He seemed to be normal emotionally.  
● Erikson’s stage: He was in Trust versus Mistrust. His relationship with his mother seemed trusting. She was attentive to his needs and he was able to elicit a response from her.
● Piaget’s stage: I’d say he was in the Sensorimotor stage, I don’t think he was capable of any symbolic thought at that point.

Observation Week 8

The child was about 6 years old, male with red hair and blue eyes. I observed his behavior while out shopping at Target in the toy aisle. Boy “Mom, I want this one!” (grabs toy ray gun and makes laser shooting noises) Mom: “Can you find something else you might like? I think we can find a better one.” Boy: “No Mom, I want THIS one!” Mom: “Honey, let’s look at these over here, you like these right?” He went over to look at the Nerf toys she was pointing at, still holding the laser gun. Boy: “But those don’t have a LASER!” Mom: “Honey, Mommy doesn’t like to have guns in the house. There are so many toys, we can find you something else.” The boy threw down the laser gun toy and a piece popped off when it hit the floor. The mother grabbed his arm saying very sternly “Look at what you did, you broke it! Now I have to buy it anyway! We’re not getting you anything today!” she picked up the broken toy and she pulled him down the aisle as he cried.


What i noticed about the boy’s development:

● Physically: he was average for his age, maybe a little bit heavy. His clothes seemed to fit his girth but not his height, his pants were too long and dragged on the floor.
● Cognitively: he seemed normal.
● Socially: It seemed like he lacked the self awareness most children have at his age. I don’t normally see children at six years old yelling in a store.
● Emotional Development: I think he was a bit immature emotionally. He got a fixated on the toy gun amidst an endless amount of other toys.
● Erikson’s stage: I’d guess that he was in the Industry versus Inferiority based on his age.
● Piaget’s stage: Again, just based on his age I’d guess he was in the Preoperational stage.

Observation Week 9

The child was a girl, about 5 years old with dark hair and blue eyes, fair skin. She was riding a bike with the help of her father in my apartment complex. It looked like he was maybe teaching her how to ride without training wheels. Dad: “Ok Anna, I’m gonna push but you have to pedal.” Girl: “Ok Daddy, let’s go!” The dad pushed the bike but she didn’t pedal. Dad: “Pedal Anna, you can do it!” Girl, sounding a little scared: “Don’t le t go Daddy!” and took her feet off the pedals. The dad stopped and the girl got off the bike, looking at her dad. Dad: “Anna, you won’t be able to go if you don’t pedal.” Girl: I know Daddy but I’m afraid.” Dad: “What are you afraid of?” Girl: “I’m afraid if you let go I’ll fall down.” Dad: “If you keep pedaling, you won’t fall down. Come on, let’s try again, you can do it. This time pedal, I won’t let you fall.” As they went down the path out of sight, she was pedaling and I just barely saw him let go of the seat.


What i noticed about the girl’s development:

● Physically: She seemed to walk with a little bit of a limp, I’m not sure what the cause of it was.
● Cognitively: She was normal, able to explain to her dad why she was afraid.
● Socially: I only saw her interact with her dad but she seemed normal socially.
● Emotional Development: I would say she was perhaps advanced emotionally since she was able to understand and explain exactly why she was afraid to her dad.
● Erikson’s stage: I’d guess she was in Initiative versus Guilt, based on her age and that she was trying to take initiative to ride the bike.
● Piaget’s stage: I think she was in the Preoperational stage.

Observation Week 10

Four little boys were playing football, three of them were 8 or 9 and the one I focused on was about 9 years old and he was helping the one boy who was smaller than the others, the little one looked about 5 years old. The older boy I focused on had dark olive skin, dark hair and brown eyes. Older boy: “C’mon, let’s go!” and threw the ball to another older boy who clumsily attempted to catch it, then dropped it. The 5 year old boy: “I want to throw it, let me throw it!” Older boy: “It’s not your turn yet, you have to wait.” All the boys ran a ways away, and the 5 year old lagged behind. The older boy went back to the 5 year old and said “C’mon, let’s go.” They caught up to the rest of the group and started to play again. The 5 year old tried to kick the ball when one of the other boys was holding it. The older boy who seemed in charge of the 5 year old pulled him aside and said “Essie, you can’t kick the ball when someone else is holding it, that’s against the rules, ok?” The 5 year old said “Ok.” and they went back to play with the other boys. A lady walked over who seemed to be the mother of the older boy and the 5 year old came over and asked “Are you guys playing nicely?” Both boys answered “Yes!”


What i noticed about the boy’s development:

● Physically: He seemed normal physically, he was running and playing normally although he was a bit clumsy with the game, maybe just learning.
● Cognitively: Cognitively he seemed normal, seemed to understand he was responsible for his little brother.
● Socially: I think he did really well socially, managing to help his little brother and play with his friends the same age as him at the same time.
● Emotional Development: I would say he was advanced emotionally, because he never got frustrated with his little brother, it was really sweet the way he was talking to him and helping him.
● Erikson’s stage: I didn’t really have any indicators but based on his age I would say he was in Industry versus Inferiority.
● Piaget’s stage: I think he was in the Concrete Operational Stage because he was able to think logically about the rules of the game and how to help his brother.

Observation Week 11


The girl I observed was about 3 years old with blonde curly hair and brown eyes. It was in the toy aisle at Target as I was there (again) with my family. The girl was sitting in the cart her father was pushing. Girl: “Dada, I want that. Will you buy me that?” Dad: “No honey, you already have one of those.” They went a couple more steps down the aisle. Girl: “Dada, will you buy me that? I want the pink princess!” Dad: “No honey, you have plenty of toys, you don’t need any more. We’re buying something for the baby, not you, remember?” Girl: “Ok, let’s buy the pink princess for the baby!” Dad: “Honey, the baby is not interested in a pink princess, you want the pink princess.” The girl sat quietly for a moment, then said “Dada, can you buy me squinkies?” Dad: “Honey no, we’re not going to buy you any toys today, we’re here for the baby, remember?” Girl: “Oh.” Dad: “Let’s pick something for the baby and then we can go to the park.” Girl: “Yaaaayyyypark!” and shrieks. They went down another aisle out of sight.

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Due By (Pacific Time) 06/23/2014 12:27 am
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