The Developing Toddler

The purpose of this essay was to observe the everyday experiences a child has and how it is an illustration of theories and concepts of child development. To also have a better understanding of how these theories and concepts take important role in the child’s life through-out the play years. The observation took place at Ramona Elementary School in their preschool for disables students on November tenth, two thousand-eleven. The children observed were Hunter at four years old, Seannia at three and half years old, Caleb at four years old, and Curran at three years old. The preschool environment is very well set up. There are three adults to four children. The adults are clam with the children giving them time to think and act for them self’s. The room is clean and accommodation for all people. Physical growth refers to the increases in height and weight and other body changes that occur as a child matures. Hair grows; teeth come in, come out, and come in again. It’s all part of the growth process. A child’s body is always changing. Weather is growth in the body or growth in the brain. Most of the development is by the growth of fine Motor Movements use the small muscles of the eyes, fingers, toes, wrists, lips and tongue. The small muscles work with both the large muscles to develop movement. They are often for used communication purposes, both functional and expressive. This is seen when hunter, is coloring over a leaf to make an impregnation of a leaf on a piece of paper. He uses hi fine motor skills to hold down the piece of paper, and to rub the crayon across the paper. This is important because it helps the child grow physically, but also opens up new doors for the brain to learn. The child learns the shape of a leaf, the color, and so much more. Jean Piaget, who is the psychologist credited with forming the Theory of Cognitive Development in the late 1920s, created a list of what children at each stage are capable of, and what they are not capable of. He found that a preschooler’s thought process does not always make sense, and they are not capable of going back through their thought process to see if all of the steps made sense. He also found that once a preschooler has made a decision, it is very difficult, if not impossible to change their mind. Preschoolers are able to speak in complex sentences, but do not completely understand cause and effect. Piaget found that preschoolers are egocentric, and they believe that everyone sees the world as they see it.

Preschoolers often will only pay attention to one aspect of an event. Children of preschool age have a difficult time judging amounts. For example, a preschooler does not realize that if you put a certain amount of candy is a big jar, and then take the candy out and place it into a smaller jar, the amount of candy does not change. Preschoolers are capable of learning. Where Piaget took the view that the child was like a scientist, discovering and inventing the world anew for themselves, Vygotsky’s view was of the child as an apprentice, benefiting from the accumulated experience of the culture by which he is surrounded. Vygotsky took a social-cultural approach. Children do not start afresh, learning everything for themselves; they can draw on the accumulated wisdom of previous generations. According to Vtgotsky children learned because their mentor did the following; present challenges to the child, offer assistance, provide instruction, Encourage motivation to the child. This was seen in my child observation; Hunter was given a task to copy a pattern of colorful blocks. He looks at the block for a minute or two, puts the sample, and picks up his own blocks. He puts the first three blocks together right, then puts the last half in the wrong order. The teacher then show what he did wrong by comparing the sample and he work together. She points and says each color out loud to him. When she gets to the mismatch, she tells him that the colors do not match. Takes apart were he messed up and gave it back to him. Hunter tries again but fails. The teacher then steps in again and helped him by saying the color he needs next, but not doing it for him. After the help from the teacher; Hunter finishes the pattern. This is important because it help the child to not become over whelm and frustrated in the current task. It also provides individual thinking for the child. Helping the child; on their way of becoming independent. This would also be an example of scaffolding. Scaffolding is Lev Vygotsky’s idea of the zone of proximal development. The zone of proximal development is the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers.

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The development of oral language is one of the child’s most natural accomplishments. Vygotsky believed that this speech to the self was vocalized thoughts. He argued that preschool children think out loud because they have not learned to control their thoughts internally. This is seen when a child talks to themselves, thinking aloud and putting ideas to actions. Children are constantly guided through verbal commands by others; as children attempt to control their own actions they imitate the same vocal method others have been using to help them. Vygotsky also believed that private speech gradually evolved from the social speech around the child and, in turn, the child’s external speech gradually developed into internal speech, or thought . This is very important because it leads to creativity. In the use of both private and social speech, they are one of the many keys to learning. Reflecting back on the ideas of scaffolding and the use of social speech the teacher uses these to teach the children. The “vocabulary explosion” that occurs around 24 months of age is one of the more amazing feats of human learning. A typical child learns 8 to 10 words a day for years on end, until by adulthood; the “personal dictionary” can exceed 50,000 words. Such a considerable effect seems to require a considerable cause, and some specialists in language acquisition have proposed that the human brain is uniquely suited to learning language. Leading to what is known as fast mapping. Fast mapping is a hypothesized mental process whereby a new concept can be learned (or a new schema is formed) based only on a single exposure to a given unit of information. Fast mapping is particularly important during language acquisition in young children, and may serve to explain the prodigious rate at which children gain vocabulary. This is seen in our child observation; the children sit in a half circle table, where there is a bucket of toys in the middle of the table. The children have to ask for the toy they want before they can play with it. Curran point to the tickle me Elmo, the teacher says “say I want the tickle me Elmo please.” Curran take a moment then repeats her words with a slight mumble. The teacher repeats back to him and give the toy to him to play with.

The teacher is scaffolding him by brooding his vocabulary and helping him to from sentences. During the grammar explosion, children’s sentences are getting not only longer but more complex, with fuller trees, because the children can embed one constituent inside another. Children extend regular grammatical patterns to irregular words, resulting in overregularizations often after a period of correct performance. The errors seem paradigmatic of rule use, hence bear on central issues in the psychology of rules: how creative rule application interacts with memorized exceptions in development, how over general rules are unlearned in the absence of parental feedback, and whether cognitive processes involve explicit rules or parallel distributed processing networks. For example a child will start out saying “I want two cookie” then later with learning they will say “I want two cookies”. This is very important because it is the start of forming complete literacy. The psychosocial domain involves the interaction between the psyche and social context in in toddlers. Social context can be observed as toddler receives much attention. Toddler’s emotional development reveals how toddlers begin to perceive, understand, and respond to their surroundings. This domain includes emotional development, personality characteristics, and relationships with others (Berger 188-189). This is seen in the child observation, Roman takes a toy away from Jayden, Jayden then proceeds to take his toy back, Roman become upset and begins to cry, Jayden then give to toy back to Roman. As seen, Roman showed anger by crying when the toy was taken from him. But Jayden showed compassion when Roman began to cry. This is important because it is the beginning of self-awareness.

All of the stages in Erikson’s epigenetic theory are implicitly present at birth, but unfold according to both an innate scheme and one’s up-bringing in a family that expresses the values of a culture. Each stage builds on the preceding stages, and paves the way for subsequent stages. Each stage is characterized by a psychosocial crisis, which is based on physiological development, but also on demands put on the individual by parents and/or society. Goodness of fit is a similarity of temperament and values that produces a smooth interaction between an individual and his/her social contact, including family, school, and other community. Goodness of fit is wear the teacher goes the extra mile to make sure the preschooler is comfortable in a new situation without being over protective or neglecting the child (Berger 294) Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and young school-aged kids develop an emotional and physical foundation for sexuality in many subtle ways as they grow. Just as they reach important physical and emotional milestones, like learning to walk or recognize mom and dad, young kids hit important milestones in how they recognize, experience, and feel about their bodies, and how they form attachments to others. The attachments established in these early years help set the stage for bonding and intimacies down the line. By age 2 or 3, a child starts to develop a sense of being a male or female. This awareness is called gender identity. Kids this age start to understand the difference between boys and girls, and can identify themselves as one or the other. Some people think gender identity is biologically determined and some say it’s a product of a child’s environment . Play enables your child to interact and respond to you and others. Play is also a major contributor to your child’s physical development. This stage of play is often referred to as the Preoperational Stage. This is the stage immediately after Piaget’s Sensorimotor Stage. The Preoperational Stage spans from two to about five or six years of age. At this stage, according to Piaget, children acquire skills in the area of mental imagery, and especially language. They are very self-oriented, and have an egocentric view; that is, preoperational children can use these representational skills only to view the world from their own perspective. On the surface, we witness fun, games and lots of Vegemite.

Life seems to be a happy adventure and children during this period spend most of their waking hours playing. But dig a little deeper, and researchers have found that these ‘play years’ may hold the key to our future adult behaviors and personality. As the development theorists Piaget and Vygotsky discovered, being an observer and watching these children develop at lightning speed is fascinating. This is seen in the child observation. The child all sit down in a small group, they all began to sing and play games with one another. One of the songs they sung was, “the wheels on the bus go round and round” the children play in a car bored box they made the week before, acting out the parts of the song. The children are learning without even knowing it. They are learn rhythm, parts of a bus, how to work with others, and so much more.

This is very important because it is hard for a child to sit down and have formal learning. A child’s play time is the most important time of their life. A child is always learning, wither they know it or not. They learn though play and interaction with one another; they learn though art and play music. Learning for child come easy for children when nature is allowed to be free. The biosocial domain affects physical growth and development of children. The family, community, and cultural factors also influence growth and development. It involves brain growth and development, motor skills, nutrition and health, sensory, and perceptual capacities including vision and hearing. Their language explodes with knowledge. Biosocial development is uneven, but occurs rather rapidly. The cognitive domain is knowledge or mind based. It has three practical instructional levels including fact, understanding, and application. The psychosocial domain involves emotions, personality characteristics, and relationships with other people, as well as cultural influences. Children begin to explore everything, exhibit a stronger sense of self, and expand their range of self-help skills. They become more independent and more individualized. They become more interested in other children and interact with other peer groups. The main point is children learn by playing and should be taught by playing educational games.

Works Cited
Berger, Kathleen Stassen. the Developing person . 2009.


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