Infant/Early Childhood Naturalistic Observation

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I observed a classroom of four-year-old students who are enrolled at the Child Development Center on the George Mason University campus. This observation lasted about fifteen minutes with a total of twelve students in the classroom. At the time of my observation the students were engaging in free playtime where they are allowed to play games, make crafts, and interact with their fellow classmates. I was seated in the corner of the classroom where the children could not easily see me or get distracted by me. I stayed seated throughout the whole observation so the students would not be affected by my presence. Many different activities were happening at the same time, but a couple standout situations reminded me of many subject areas we focused on in class. One particular observation was the various styles of play the students were engaging in. About half of the students were engaging in constructive play while the others were engaging in dramatic play. Constructive play is characterized by the act of creating or constructing something while dramatic, or make-believe play, is characterized by acting out everyday and imaginary roles (Berk, 2010, p262). The two play styles are very common in children around the age of four.

There were about five children playing “house.” In the family there was a child pretending to be the mommy, the daddy, the older brother, the younger sister, and the puppy. The mommy was making dinner while the daddy was watching television and supervising the children while they did their homework. The young girl who was acting as the puppy gave out a few occasional “ruffs” to make her presence known. The young girl, who assumed her role as the mother, yelled out “dinners ready.” The two young kids pretending to be the children stopped doing homework and sat down at the dinner table. The young girl playing the mom sternly said to her children “be careful, the food is very hot. It just came out of the oven.” They continued this story for the



References: Berk, L. (2010). Development Through The Lifespan. (5th Edition). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

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