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Peds Observation


Submitted By mbelle25
Words 1198
Pages 5
Textbook Picture: The Preschool Child

The ages between 3 and 6 are often called the preschool years. During this period, a child develops in these main areas: physical development, cognitive development, language development, social development, and motor development. A child grows taller and loses the chubbiness of the toddler period in these years. Gross and fine motor skills become more developed and refined as each year passes as manifested by participation in running, skipping, and drawing pictures. Language develops rapidly, and the child may know thousands of words and is able to construct rather complicated sentences by the end of this period.

The major tasks of the preschool child include preparation to enter school, the development of a cooperative-type play, control of body functions, acceptance of separation, and increase in communication skills, memory, and attention span (Leifer, 2003, p. 422).

Erikson’s preschool stage involves the development of initiative (Leifer, 2003, p. 436). He believed that a preschool child learns assertiveness and can manipulate the environment. Kohlberg’s theory concerning preschoolers refers to the moral development and the beginning awareness of needs of others (Leifer, 2003, p. 436). He stated that a preschool child believes that rules are absolute, and breaking rules result in punishment.

The Five-Year-Old:

Nutrition and Piaget’s theory in relation to nutrition

• Picky eater; likes finger foods

• Food is described by color, shape, and quantity.

• Foods tend to be classed as “like” and “don’t like.”

• Eating becomes less the center of attention.

Physical Development

• Height may increase by 2 to 3 inches; slender appearance

• They may gain 3 to 6 pounds

• Deciduous teeth erupt, and baby teeth start to fall out

Language and Thinking Development

• Beginning concept of past, present, and future, although time is evidenced in activity rather than hour.

• Has better comprehension; spends a great deal of time watching television or playing computer games

• Knows the days of the week and understands what a week-long vacation is.

• Attention span reaches 30 minutes

• Can name four colors and count to 10

• Knows name and address

• Distinguishes right from wrong; behaviors that result in rewards are considered right; behaviors that result in punishment are considered wrong.

• Has vocabulary of 2000 words

• Repeats sentences of 10 syllables

• Counts 10 pennies correctly; can tell a penny from a nickel or dime

• Uses six- to eight-word sentences with plurals, pronouns, and tenses

Social and Emotional Development

• Wants to play “by the rules” but cannot accept losing

• Less fearful; they believe environment is controlled by authority

• More responsible and have more patience

• Enjoy doing what is expected of them and like to finish what they have started

• Asks questions about meaning of words

• Enjoys domestic role playing

• Enjoys activities with parent of the same sex

• Is less egocentric and has beginning awareness of the outside world

Motor Development

• Can copy sample shapes and print first name

• Hand preference is established

• Can dress and undress themselves

• Can run and play simultaneously

• Can skip and jump three or four steps at once

• Can ride a tricycle around the playground with speed and dexterity

• Can use a hammer to pound nails


The child that I chose to observe was a 5-year-old girl named Amanda. Amanda is energetic, confident, and very curious. She is not shy at all. She will come right up to you and ask you your name and what your business is. She also has a big bright smile and a love for dressing up. She also enjoys writing and drawing.


For the most part, Amanda is a very good eater according to her parents. She likes to eat nutritious snacks and finger foods. She refuses to eat a lot of vegetables, but she does like her broccoli and corn. Some of her favorite foods are chicken nuggets, strawberry-banana yogurt, and string cheese.

Amanda is currently in Piaget’s Preoperational Stage. She has grown a taste for food and knows what she likes and dislikes.

Physical Development

Amanda enjoys staying active. She is very enthusiastic about running, hopping, jumping, and playing. She likes all the things young girls do. She particularly enjoys dancing activities, and has joined a ballet class. She is about 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall and weighs 55 to 60 pounds. And she still has all of her baby teeth.

Language and Thinking Development

Currently, Amanda can recognize the alphabet, most shapes and colors, and numbers to ten. She communicates very well and uses tenses in her sentences correctly. She enjoys telling jokes and stories, and is able to tell a familiar story while looking at pictures in a book. Amanda can only read simple words but she understands the concept. She can also state the name of the city where she lives, her birthday, and her parents’ names.

Social and Emotional Development

Emotionally, Amanda knows what she likes and dislikes. She understands what it means to share, she knows what manners are and how to use them, and knows how to love and be loved. She has begun to show an understanding of right and wrong, why it is wrong to scream in a store, why it is wrong to throw a tantrum if you can’t get your way, and so on.

Amanda has good friends from her class that she spends time with. She enjoys playing dress up and make-believe with her best friend. She likes to help others and prefers working in groups.

Motor Development

Like any typical 5-year-old child, Amanda can ride a tricycle, climb a ladder, pump on a swing, throw, and catch and kick a ball. I had Amanda test her fine and gross motor skills by performing the following tasks:

|Run, jump, and hop |Cut and paste simple shapes |
|Walk in a straight line |Match simple objects |
|Walk on tiptoe |Build with blocks |
|Stand on one foot for 5 to 10 seconds |Control pencil and crayon well |
|Walk backwards |Handle scissors well |
|Throw, catch, and kick a ball |Complete simple puzzles |
|Slide and jump rope |Copy simple shapes |

Amanda’s fine motor skills are not as well developed as her gross motor skills. However, she is eager to learn quickly. I also had her do a drawing activity and she seemingly performs it with ease. Amanda is capable of starting and finishing an activity.


Spending time with Amanda has given me the opportunity to observe and understand the physical, motor, social, and cognitive abilities of a 5-year-old. During this observation, Amanda has demonstrated the range of skills, interests, and abilities considered typical development for this age. I learned how she works emotionally and physically as a 5-year-old child. Like any typical child her age, Amanda likes to stay active and asks many questions. She prefers working and playing in small groups, and she can start and finish an activity. I have enclosed with my child observation paper a sample of Amanda’s writing and drawing. She is eager to learn new skills, and she particularly wants to master riding a bicycle. Amanda knows what she likes and dislikes. She is confident and friendly, and expects to be liked and valued by friends and family.

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