The life cycle of a child is filled with an array of unpredictable discoveries, reactions, levels of energy and so forth based on the environment. This paper will cover naturalistic assessment of preschool children and toddlers in a playground and homecare scenarios respectively.
In regards to preschool children, our assessment will be based on the playground environment in presence of their teacher. I observed the child play on slide and jungle gym with other preschoolers. First and foremost, I observed preschoolers have higher tendency of mimicking each other. They like repeating or copying one another. On the slide, the children slide down it, however, when one of them decided to walk up the slide instead of sliding the others followed suit. The children that accomplished walking up the slide felt proud of themselves. In addition to this, they looked for appreciation or praise for their accomplishment from their teacher. Next, preschoolers are very social and like making friends. Several preschoolers stuck with their newly formed friends throughout the different activities in the playground. They were always connected to each other and kept view of each other throughout. For instance, on the slide, they were sliding down in pairs following one another like a train. Furthermore, preschoolers like to explore so much. This was observed mostly on the jungle gym (a round metallic object having a ladder). Several preschoolers explored and tried independently how to climb the jungle gym. Those who did not manage were discouraged and quickly left going back to sliding. However, with assistance, they managed to climb. On the other hand those who managed portrayed good eye to hand coordination that enabled them to climb effectively. This indicated normal growth and development. Relative to Erickson’s development theory, preschoolers are portrayed as highly initiative and experience guilt easily. By copying those around them they take initiative to enhance their ability in the task/situation. On the contrary, if they fail to fulfill their goals and desires they are easily frustrated and feel guilty (DelCarmen-Wiggins, and Carter, 2004).
With respect to toddlers, they were curious, active and reacted appropriately to different situation throughout my observation time. The toddlers were always in good mood and smiled frequently which signaled good health. Their movement and manipulation of objects was more evident. Toddlers who did not walk primarily by themselves crawled and could walk through support of caregiver or stationary objects like the table. Whilst for those who could walk freely, could walk lift one leg, swayed or wiggled and in the possibility of danger seek for support. They would seek support by either waiving or crying. In the manipulation of objects, the toddlers portrayed various motors skills. These include holding milk/juice bottle to drink; picking and transferring objects; chewing and biting objects; banging objects together; and waiving or pointing out for the objects they want or can not reach. Additionally, I observed toddlers are excited and happy about sounds or music. When a radio was put on they started to clap and wiggle. Banging of objects was common to them due to the sound produced. During my acquaintance with the toddlers, I received suspicious looks accompanied by crying, whereas others ran to hide. This indicates cognition development where they are able to differentiate people and situations and seek for protection. Lastly, the toddlers were acquainted to the reaction of the caregiver (approval or disapproval) regarding their behavior or demands. Erickson’s development theory describes this stage as the stage when the child develops autonomy of learning new skills and differentiating right and wrong. This builds the self image of the child. Contrary, it may lead to low self image and feeling of shame incase of poor care (Branson and Demchak, 2011).