For this assignment, I observed a four year old male child of African American descent by the name of Nicholas at a local shopping center near my house. The shopping mall where I observed Nicholas is an extremely busy and crowded place. There was a play area in the mall that had a jungle-jim, slides, miniature rides for children, transportation train, and a mini basketball court for children. I first observed Nicholas’s physical growth, gross and fine ,motor skills. Nicholas was approximately thirty -seven pounds and thirty inches. Therefore, Nicholas meets the average height and weight of a four year old child.
Nicholas seems to be on a pretty healthy diet because I noticed that he was eating fruit such as; kiwi, strawberries and grapes from a receptacle that his older brother was holding while drinking water. Nicholas gross motor skills seem to be adequate. I noticed Nicholas running around the play area challenging other children to race him; although Nicholas did win the race he participated in.
I noticed Nicholas was having trouble shooting a basketball in it’s goal because the rim was too high. Although, he made several attempts and made only two shots but later gave up and adventures off to find something else to get into. Nicholas went to play catch with the other children in the play area but once he threw the ball it never made it too far or accurately to the correct direction. Usually, around the age of four children learn how to skip, hop, jump, and run back and forth.
At the age of four, male children are a little more adventerous than at the age of three and they like to show their athletic prowess. Unfortunately, I observed and assessed Nicholas fine motor skills and I noticed that while he was playing catch and basketball that when the ball was on the ground he was able to pick it up and hold it appropriately. Although, Nicholas was having a little trouble stacking and building high towers with the building blocks in the play area.
Futhermore, I observed Nicholas cognitive skills which includes his language, memory and perception. While observing Nicholas, I noticed that he is an extremely talkative child. He likes to talk about anything and everything with the other children. According to Lev Vygotsky and his social learning theory, “children develop their ways of thinking and understanding through social interaction . Their cognitive development depends on the tools provided by society, and their minds are shaped by the cultural context which they live in ( Santrock, 2018 pg. 199)”.
Vygotsky believed that children should not only use speech for social communication but also to help them solve tasks. Therefore, children use language to plan, guide, and monitor their behaviors. I noticed that Nicholas would talk his way through learning how to work the minature ride in the play area in the mall. The minature ride was not working so he pressed every button to see if that would work than he later noticed and siad, “mom this ride needs money, I need money” this is called private speech.
Private speech is when yound children talk to themselves and guide themselves through a particular problem. I was unable to observe Nicholas memory during my day at the play area. But I knew that Nicholas was aware of his surroundings. He would go around trying every ride in the play area, playing with every toy, game and object within the play area. Therefore, Nicholas was extremely curious about his surroundings and would explore everything with the other children surrounding him.
I observed Nicholas psychosocial skills. Nicholas is not a shy kid at all. He ran and played with everyone and communicated with everyone as if he knew them for years and like they were best friends forver. Nicholas acted as if his family was not around because he was enjoying himself. He was friendly to eveyone and did not cause any trouble with the other children.
I noticed that Nicholas was enjoying the park and liked to explore and learn new things but he needed to consider the feelings of the other children as well. He loved to make friends and talk to all the children in the play area but he did not realize that some of the children just wanted to be liet alone but he kept persisting on making friends with them anyways.