Toddler Observation Journal

Guidelines for Toddler Observation (Option) Observation Journal 2: Sp23 CHLD F001 CHLD GROWTH/DEVLP:PRENATAL THR … 1/6
Guidelines for Toddler Observation
(Option) Observation Journal 2
Toddler Observation (Option) – Total Possible Points: 30
Due: Upload before Friday, 11:59 pm, in Week 10.
1. You have the choice to complete either One Toddler (18 months to 3 years old) Observation or
one Preschool Child (3 to 5 years old) Observation.
2. You have the option to observe a child in a childcare center or your neighbor/friend/relative’s
child. You can also observe a child in a public place, for example, a park near your home,
community garden, seashore, celebration event, etc.
Please note: The child must not be yours as your observation will become biased. Do not go close
to the child or talk with the child. Observation must be objective and recorded while sitting away from
the child.
Requirement: One observation with a complete description by following the guidelines.
Five Extra Credit Points for doing two observations from one or both, Toddler or Preschool Child
1. Observe a child between 18 months and 36 months of age, who has started walking.
2. The observation can occur in the child’s home.
3. Follow Foothill College Child Observation Guideline.
( Download
Foothill College Child Observation Guideline.
4. Use the questions given here for your guidance to focus on important points of child
observation. You may use this form to take notes. Type up your observation, responding to
each point of the questions below in the anecdotal form, AND number each section. Be specific
in describing what you see there. Use as much detail as necessary to document each area of
development. Use descriptive language and avoid your personal biases.
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Observation Journal Framework
The Observation Journal has 5 major parts apart from the Title Page
Title Page
1. Introduction of the Journal
2. Toddler Information
(a) Describe the setting of the observation.
(b) Describe the Toddler
3. Observation Record –
(A) Physical/Motor Development
(B) Cognitive Development:
(C) Language Development:
(D) Social Development:
(i) Personal-Social behavior
(ii) Cooperation
(E) Emotional Development:
(i) Delight
(ii) Distress
4. Reflection – Your learning process of the child’s development
5. Works Cited:
Write a Toddler Observation with the child’s information, environment, physical
development, cognitive and language development, and socio-emotional
development with your reflection.
Observation Journal Framework
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First Page – Title Page
Write – Observation Journal 2 – Toddler Observation
Add an Image from the Internet to represent the Toddler – A picture of the Toddler
Write Your Name
CHLD 1: Child Growth and Development – Prenatal through Early Childhood
Professor: B. Dave Date: XX/XX/XXXX Foothill College
Second Page – Start Observation details as follows –
1. Introduction of the Journal
Introduction Paragraph – Inform readers of the following:
(a) The importance of child observation – for example, child observation practice is important to
know and understand the skills the child has mastered already, and the skills he is expected to
develop according to his age and stage of development more for physical development, cognitive
and language development, social and emotional development.
(b) Write about how and where you met this toddler and complete the observation. Also, write
about whom you requested to permit you to conduct this observation.
(c) Write about toddler/preschool child observation included in your journal and describe the
reason for selecting either toddler or preschool child observation from your perspective.
New Page –
2. Toddler Information: (One Child)
Child’s Name: John (not real name)
Child’s Gender: Male/Female
Age in Months: Approximate years, e.g., 26 months old child.
Observation Time: 10:00 am.
Observation Site or Location: (Where observed – address if it is child care center)
The number of adults present: (During your observation in the room)
The number of Children present: The number of children present close to John – for example, his
4-year-old brother is playing with him.
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(a) Describe the setting of the observation.
Tell me about the physical space of the room, furnishings in the setting, variety of lightning and
textures, noise level, and the overall tone of this setting
(b) Describe the Toddler:
Note the physical characteristics such as the color of skin, hair eyes, teeth, legs, arms, fingers,
toes, tummy, etc. Describe their entire body from head to toe. Consider the length, shape, physical
characteristics, and markings of the toddler. (Describe his/her body proportions as compared to what
you know about a toddler as discussed in modules/textbook).
3. Observation Record –
Describe what is going on in the scene and keep your focus on skills used by the child in
different developmental domains, for example, Physical, cognitive, language, social, and
emotional domains.
(A) Physical/Motor Development:
Describe the toddler’s physical control and coordination of his head, trunk, arms, hands, fingers,
legs, and feet. Describe all of the ways they use these parts of their body. Note both fine and
gross motor movements.
Describe the toddler’s locomotion such as crawling, creeping, climbing, walking, running,
jumping, etc. How do they move to? Describe the gait and rhythm of their movements.
(B) Cognitive Development:
Does the child capable to think and do the activity himself without the help of adults?
What do you see that shows the child is thinking and deciding his actions of activity well?
Do you see a child can play with other children according to his age and stage of development?
What do you see that shows the child’s self-imagination, self-control, and problem-solving skills?
(C) Language Development:
Describe the language you hear the toddler using.
Are there any recognizable words? If so, what are they?
How many sounds or words does the toddler use at any one given time?
Does the toddler use language with others or is it directed at others? If so, whom?
Does the child seem to use language in connection with their play?
(D) Social Development:
Personal-Social behavior: Describe the toddler’s social behavior.
Note such items as:
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responding differently to a familiar and unfamiliar person,
preferring to be with someone rather than left alone,
responding when spoken to, recognizing voices or sounds,
responding to his/her own name.
Cooperation: Describe the toddler’s cooperation. Note such items as their ability to help
themselves or cooperate in:
carrying out simple requests
stopping behavior when she is asked to.
(E) Emotional Development:
Delight: Record the stimulus and response for any of the following displays – happiness,
contentment, affection, joy, elation, excitement, or hope.
Distress: Record the stimulus and response to any of the following emotional displays – cry,
anger, fear, anxiety, disgust, disappointment, jealousy, envy, or shame.
4. Reflection
Erik Erikson believed that toddlers must gain a sense of autonomy in exploring their
environment in their own way in order for them to grow and develop.
Discuss the ways that the toddler was able to explore their environment during the time of your
What were some of the things you observed the toddler doing that might lead them to a new
awareness or discovery?
Was the environment set up to allow this exploration?
How did the toddlers’ interactions with others support or hinder their exploration?
5. Works Cited:
List of sources used for references and images in the journal.
You may use Word Document/Pdf Document for Observation Journal.
Use images to represent the child’s actions from the internet to represent the child’s activities
and to obtain points for creativity
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Use the Titles given here while describing the child’s observation under various developmental
Prepare the title page for the observation Journal. Start your obse


Sure, here is a Toddler Observation Journal that I created based on the guidelines that you provided.

Title: Toddler Observation Journal

Author: JK

Date: June 15, 2023


Child observation is an important tool for understanding the developmental milestones of children. By observing children in their natural environments, we can learn about their physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional development. This information can be used to provide support and guidance to children and their families.

In this journal, I will describe my observations of a toddler named John. John is a 26-month-old boy who is enrolled in a daycare center. I observed John for one hour during his morning routine.

Toddler Information:

Child’s Name: John
Child’s Gender: Male
Age in Months: 26
Observation Time: 10:00am-11:00am
Observation Site or Location: Daycare Center
The number of adults present: 2 (1 teacher and 1 assistant)
The number of Children present: 8 (all toddlers)


The daycare center is a large, bright room with plenty of space for children to play. There are several different areas in the room, including a block area, a dress-up area, a reading area, and a play kitchen. There are also several toys and other materials available for children to use.

Physical/Motor Development:

John is a very active toddler. He is able to walk and run well, and he is also able to climb and jump. He is very interested in exploring his environment, and he is always on the go.

Cognitive Development:

John is a very curious toddler. He is always asking questions, and he is eager to learn new things. He is also very good at problem-solving. For example, when he was unable to open a door, he tried several different ways to open it until he was successful.

Language Development:

John is a very talkative toddler. He knows a few dozen words, and he is constantly using them to communicate with others. He is also starting to put words together into simple sentences.

Social Development:

John is a very social toddler. He loves to play with other children, and he is very good at sharing. He is also very affectionate, and he loves to give hugs and kisses.

Emotional Development:

John is a very happy toddler. He is usually smiling and laughing, and he is very easy to get along with. However, he can also get frustrated when he is unable to do something, or when he doesn’t get his way.


I was very impressed with John’s development. He is a very bright, active, and social toddler. He is clearly on track for his age, and I am confident that he will continue to thrive in the years to come.

Also, I believe that the daycare center is a great environment for John. The staff are very caring and attentive, and the environment is stimulating and safe. I am confident that John is getting the best possible care at this daycare center.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have observed John. He is a wonderful child, and I am excited to see what he accomplishes in the years to come.

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