Naturalistic Observation: Human Growth and Development

Demographics, appearance

The observation took place at a playground of a housing complex. There were several children playing, and one of them was a boy approximately aged 5 to 6 years old. He was wearing blue jeans, white sneakers, and a white t-shirt. He looked Caucasian. His height was 45 to 50 inches, and the weight was probably 40 pounds.

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Physical development

He was very active and looked like he felt comfortable on his feet. I concluded this from the fact that he had no problem running around and climbing the ladders and other structures of the playground. At some point, the group of children started playing soccer, and he had no difficulty keeping up with other children and outrunning some of them.

Cognitive development (Piaget’s stages)

Judging by the boy’s actions, it could be said that he was in the preoperational stage described by Piaget. He was actively communicating with other children, and they were deciding on the activities that they will do together. The symbolism was also obvious throughout their play, as they were pretending to be airplanes, cars, and trains. This shows that they were aware of the machines present in the world and knew how they functioned in reality.

Emotional and social development (Erikson’s stages)

Since the boy was actively participating in all activities and coordinated his actions with other children, it can be assumed that he was in the industry versus inferiority stage. When he was playing soccer, he was able to control the ball and pass it to the person he wanted to give the pass to. He felt very confident in his actions and made others feel included, as he did not want to be the only one controlling the game. At one point, he fell, but it happened with style and grace, as he realized that he was about to fall, so he put his head down and did a type of a roll to prevent falling flat on the ground. This shows that he was aware of his surroundings and the movement of his own body.

Does the child meet the milestones and stages of physical, cognitive, and social/emotional development?

The boy was observed to be well developed both physically and mentally. His cooperation with other children confirmed that he was a social person and could function in a group without separating and making others feel unwanted. He consciously included others in the play and made sure that everyone got a chance to participate.

Is there anything unusual or “off-development” for this child (deficits as well as giftedness)?

There were no negative signs in relation to the development, on the contrary, the boy was very skilled in his soccer play and was in good control of his abilities. The climbing that he did looked like he was strong, and his endurance was on a high level.

My thoughts about observation

The observation was very productive, as it helped me understand the development of children as well as remember my own childhood. Playing and participating in games with others is very important to children, as they learn how to be social beings and get a sense of sharing and cooperation.

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My opinion about what I observed and the application of the theories of development:

Piaget’s stages of cognitive development are very useful in understanding the type of changes that happen to a person. It is very important to understand what stage an individual is going through so that proper care and attention can be given to the person. Erikson’s psychological theories add comprehension to the mental processes of a person, providing an opportunity to develop and better already existing skills and talents.

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"Naturalistic Observation: Human Growth and Development." StudyCorgi, 12 Jan. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Naturalistic Observation: Human Growth and Development." January 12, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Naturalistic Observation: Human Growth and Development." January 12, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Naturalistic Observation: Human Growth and Development." January 12, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Naturalistic Observation: Human Growth and Development'. 12 January.

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