As I sat down to observe the children, I noticed one thing right away. The boys in the group were very wild and rambunctious, and the girls seemed to be shy and reserved. The boys tend to be more outgoing, and girls tend to be more reserved. In this class there were various stuffed animals, and I also noticed that the children that I observed had a lot of stuffed animals that they were playing with. The teacher said that she often has puppet shows and the kids love it. I noticed one child was sitting at the table having a conversation with a stuffed beaver.
The two twin girls I was observing had a giant stuffed bee; one of the girls would chase after the other with it and pretend to sting them. This shows animistic thinking. This kind of thinking is the belief that inanimate objects are alive. The teacher called all the children over to have story time. The story that she read was about a leprechaun. When the teacher asked where leprechauns lived, one child replied that, “leprechauns live in the grass and run around from tree to tree, they are itsy bitsy and very hard to see. These children believed that these creatures were real, but they just could not see them. But, the fun with the leprechauns had just begun. To test the children’s belief in the unrealistic, the teacher had the kids make little pots, and then told all of the kids that if they were good, the leprechaun would leave them gold in their pot.
While the children were eating their snacks, the teacher went over and put gold candy in their pots, and then waited for their reactions and comments when they came back to see what had happened. ome of their reactions were hilarious. I noticed that one child jumped around and screamed that “he was here, he was here,” and another child was looking around the room trying to find the leprechaun. Overall, I found that most of the kids seemed to have beliefs based on what they sensed to be true, rather than on what would be logic or rational. Language development between the 4 year old children was amazing. There were some grammatical problems that I picked up on throughout the observation. The five year old girl was very good with sentence structure and words.
I did notice a lot of the four year old children struggled with prepositions, suffixes, and prefixes. I few sentences I heard were, “he sitted down on me,” or “she hitted me with the beaver. I noticed a lot of imitation in the children. I guess I was an adult model for some of the children. I noticed that one child followed me around the room one time when I went to go to the bathroom. He did not go into the bathroom, but I did notice that everything I did when I walked back to the room, he did.
The two twin girls that I observed came over to me and started asking me questions, like “what’s your name? ”, what are you doing? ” when I answered the question the two girls would repeat everything that I said. I guess that would be a form of imitation. I also noticed imitation between the kids themselves. Two of the boys in the class seemed to copy each other when they would cause trouble. If one was standing on his chair, the other would stand on his chair. And, if one was playing in a certain area, then the other one would go to that area to play.
The girls often imitated one another also. I noticed that one little girl went to go play with the dolls, and sure enough, most of the other girls went along to play with the dolls with her. Imitation is a great way for children to learn about the world, and is often a sociable test to see how far that they can stretch the rules. I noticed that when a model is present, imitation is likely to take place. I spent a great deal of time watching how the children in the classroom played. Play is described as “pleasurable activity engaged for its own sake. I noticed that there was some parallel play. An example I found was when two boys were playing with Lego’s. The boys did not participate directly with one another, but they played alongside each other and other children while they were enjoying their Lego’s. There was some associative play, but I saw more of this in the girls. Some of the girls were playing with Barbie’s. The girls were demonstrating associative play because they were playing and sharing with each other.
I had the chance to participate in cooperative play when we played “duck, duck, goose! this showed cooperative play because the children were involved in structured games that involved rules. When I was observing, I was involved in some fantasy play. Two of the girls told me that I was the daddy, and one was the mommy, and the other was the kid, and the giant stuffed bee was also a kid. We played in a little area with toy stoves. The last thing I noticed while observing the two twin girls was that there was a little bit of sibling rivalry. They both fought constantly for my attention. Overall, I enjoyed observing the children, it’s amazing to see all of the wonders that children can accomplish.