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Developmental Markers In Children

Developmental Markers in Children

Observe a child around the age of 2-5yrs old, writing up an observation of its developmental markers including motor development, language development, attachment issues, environmental exploration, social skills, emotional regulation, academic skills, etc. following the following outline for the paper with wherever age is chosen:

I. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT CHILD for Developmental Markers in Children Research Paper

  1. Do not use real names of child used for observation such as his/her date of birth, or the name of the place where child was observed. Look for information that may explain the child's behavior, reinforce what was seen, or contradict what was noticed.
  2. Physical description - Give a complete physical description of the child. Discuss height and body build in comparison to other children the same age, hair color and style, and any other distinguishing features.
  3. State reasons for choosing this particular child.
  4. Give a complete description of the child's room-arrangement, equipment, decorations, etc. List and describe each interest center--materials and equipment, activities performed there.

II. MOTOR DEVELOPMENT (List and discuss every skill listed here. Use specific examples to describe each skill you observe how, where, how well. The list all the remaining skills you were unable to observe. The fewer skill you see, the more details you need to induce about the ones you did not see.)

  1. Gross (large) motor skills. Describe the types of gross motor skills the child has compared to other children around him/her.
  2. Fine (small) motor skills. Describe the types of fine motor activities the child engaged in and tell how his/her performance compared to other children the same age. Including small objects, eating, buttoning, zipping, tying shoelaces, dressing, etc.

Developmental Markers

III. COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT for Developmental Markers in Children Research Paper:

  1. Number concepts. Discuss the child's ability to count with comprehension and tell what the child counted (plates, blocks, etc.). How high can he/she count? Tell if the child used pre-math words such as "more", "less", "bigger", "longer", "shorter", indicating understanding of quantity or size.
  2. Attention and problem-solving-solving style. Discuss the child's ability (or inability) to attend (pay attention, focus or concentrate) to various activities or projects. What did the child seem to enjoy doing the most? the least? Was he/she easily distracted by other people when playing? Does the child get frustrated easily and give up or keep trying for a long time? How did the child show when he/she figured something out to work? What did the child learn as u observed him/her? What specific problems did he/she solve?
    The child may learn that some things aren't allowed, and that some things don't work. Curiosity, creativity and imagination, how does this child show curiosity about things around him/her? exploratory tendencies? Give examples of creativity (new, different, unusual, original) things the child has made, said or done. How did the child use his/her imagination?
  3. Memory. Discuss the child's shortest and longest memory ability. How did the child indicate remembering usual daily routine, people, special events from the past? Discuss any memory errors.
  4. Piaget's stages of cognitive development. In observing the child, determine which stage and substage the child is in, according to Jean Piaget's theory. Give specific examples, reasons for the answer.


  1. Phonetics. Does the child pronounce words clearly and correctly? Quote "bigger" words pronounced correctly. Quote any pronunciation errors. Example: She says "fwee" for "three" or "teeter" for "teacher".
  2. Semantics. Quote several of this child's "bigger" vocabulary words ( words the child says). This is active/productive vocabulary. How does this child's vocabulary compare with that of other children the same age? How well does the child understand the meaning of words used by others? This is passive/receptive vocabulary. How does the child's vocabulary compare with that of other children the same age? How well does the child understand the meaning of words used by others? This is passive/receptive vocabulary. Give examples of specific directions if the child was given any and if they followed it.
  3. Syntax. Does the child generally use good grammar? Quote examples of correct grammar, then quote any grammatical errors you heard and try to explain the reason for the errors.
  4. Pragmatics. Does the child speak when appropriate and keep quiet when appropriate? Does the child speak especially loudly or softly? in a pleasant tone quality? How does the child use language? To whom does he/she speak, and in what settings? How does the child use language? To whom does he/she speak, and in what settings? To what extent does the child use egocentric speech (falling to take the listeners viewpoint into account) vs. socialized speech? How effectively is the child able to communicate with peers? with teachers? Give examples in detail. Tell how this child communicates. Describe the non-verbal communication-body language, gestures, facial expressions - especially if the child is not yet very verbal.
  5. General complexity. Quote four to six typical sentences spoken by the child, including the longest one. How effective is the child able to communicate with people around her/him? Describe non-verbal communication-body language, gestures, facial expressions -especially if the child is not yet very verbal.
  6. General complexity. Quote four to six typical sentences spoken by the child, including the longest one. Compute the average length of the sentences {# words} spoken by the child. Be sure to average in some of the shorter sentences. How does the child's language compare with that of the other children in the room? (Indicate if the child is younger or older than other children around him/her if any are present.

Developmental Markers and Social Environment


  1. Play. What types of play does the child engage in? Number, list, and underline each type. Give specific examples of each:
  2. a. Practice

    b. Pretense/symbolic,

    c. Social

    d. Constructive (this is making or building something this is 2 or 3 dimensional art, puzzles, blocks, legos, sand castles, etc. Tell which ones the child does not use. Tell what % of the time the child spends in group play? Percent alone? Is this age appropriate? What have you observed the child learning from play? What gender differences in play activities have you noticed? What toys/activities are both sexes involved with? Girls only? Boys only?

  3. Interactions with peers. Give examples of each behavior. How does your child interact with other children? How is he/she influence the others if at all? When and how is the child friendly, cooperative, hostile, outgoing, withdrawn? Does the child engage in aggressive behavior? When? Why? To whom? And how? How does the child react to aggression expressed by others? Who does the child spend the most time with? How do the other children react to this child? Does the child express sympathy to others or help them in any way?

  4. Interactions with adults.

    a. Parents. Describe the parent-child interaction if observed. Was the child’s behavior different when the parent was there? How? How did the parent relate to the child? What was said?

  5. b. Teachers. Does the child have a favorite teacher? How does the child relate to the teacher if one is present? If not, how does the child relate to adults around him? her? Is the child clingy, dependent, or independent? How do the teachers react to this child? How do the teachers deal with problems concerning the child? What methods of guidance and control are used with all the children if any were present? What guidance of control was used with the child? Tone and voice? How are positive actions reinforced? How do the teachers help the child or adults around the child? How much attention does this child get from other people around him/her?

  6. Erikson's theory of personality development (psychosocial stages). In observing the child, determine which stage the child is in according to Erik Erikson's theory. Give specific examples and reasons for the answer.
  7. Emotions. Describe the emotions that the child expressed. Does the child cry show happiness, mad, sad etc. Give examples of situations.
  8. Self esteem. How would you describe the self-esteem of the child--high, low, average, a combination? What have you observed that causes you to draw to this conclusion?


  1. Developmental Milestones. Describe how the child is on target, behind, or ahead of schedule in each area. Give specific examples. Keep in mind there is a very broad range of normal as far as the ages that different children reach various milestones.
  2. Developmental evaluation. Summarize how the child is doing in each area--social, emotional, cognitive, physical and language development. In what areas is the child most advanced for his or her age? Which abilities are least developed? Which areas are average? Why do you think so?
  3. Preschool program. Do you think the preschool program is meeting the Child's needs if the are at a preschool or home with a parent? Why or why not? Plan a very specific activity for the child even if you think the program is perfect as is. Choose an area that you just determined in section VI C of this paper that the child is weakest in and tell how it would help which area of development. Be specific and detailed.


  1. Describe in detail how observing a child was valuable. Was anything new to you? What was new to you if any? Where you surprised? How can you apply what you have learned to your personal and professional life, both now and in the future?

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