An observation was held in the children'"s wing of Tarrant County Junior College. A variety of children between the ages of two to six were observed in activities ranging from physical and motor to social and cognitive development. Specifically I mean that whether it was leadership skills or lack of, running, climbing and jumping, drawing and writing, or anything that could fall between, it has been seen, done and accounted for in the following observation.
First let's start with the physical and motor development. Please say hello to Karligh and Bethany, my first volunteers of the observation. Both girls are in the four-year olds. The first activities under physical and motor development that I'm going to observe them performing are the large muscle/gross-motor skills. The large muscle/gross-motor skills include: climbing across the monkey bars, riding bigwheels (or tricycles), and running through a built-in obstacle course on the playground.
Starting with the monkey bars, it's clearly obvious that Karligh is physically stronger upperbody-wise than Bethany. With surprising ease, Karligh crossed the monkey bars using nothing but her arms to perform this task. Bethany on the otherhand was shaky and uncertain from the start. After hanging from the first bar, she quickly swung her feet over to the side for leg support. She was able to cross but only with a great deal of assistance from me.
Karligh also showed mastery in riding the big wheel. Her speed and turning ability seemed to surpass anyone else on the playground. Bethany chose to ride only after a piece of candy bribery. Her tricycle skills were somewhat sluggish but more or less average. However, once again Bethany was victorious.
The last large muscle activity was completing the obstacle course. The obstacle course involved running up a slide, crawling through a tunnel, crossing a shaky bridge and then walking along a balance beam. Karligh ran up the slide with a considerable amount of effort. She quickly crawled through the tunnel and crossed the shaky bridge with little effort. She crossed the balance beam more quickly than I'd seen any child do that whole day. Bethany climbed up the slide in a time that was a bit quicker than Karligh's. The crawling through the tunnel was done quickly and she was first stalled on the shaky bridge. She managed to cross the bridge in a modest time but she hit some trouble at the balance beam. After slowly completing about ten percent of the travel across the beam, she turned her feet sideways for the remainder of the crossing, which took about two minutes.
The second area in the physical and motor development involves the use of small muscle or fine motor skills. For the observation, these skills include writing, and playing the drums (the only two fine motor skills I saw both children perform). These children are four years old so when I say writing I of course am not talking about paragraphs or even sentences. More simply, my writing section only involved writing their names. Karligh was able to produce her name on paper in a legibility that was impressive for someone four years of age. Bethany too was able to write her name but just not quite as nice as Bethany.
After observing the two children playing the drums, I think it's unlikely for either girl to win a scholarship for college as a percussionist. Bethany's playing was sporadic and entirely inconsistent but hey, she's only four. Karligh's drumming skills were a bit more impressive since she managed to lay down and keep a beat for a short amount of time.
In judging overall competence in gross and fine-motor skills, it's obvious Karligh was better at both, but for most children competence seemed to lean more on one than the other. The "strong kids" on the playground who were the fastest tricycle riders, the highest jumping and so on, seemed to shy away from more of the finer fine...