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The goal of the study was to observe 2-3 year old children behave in their natural environment when carrying out their day to day activities. It was found out that children develop their motor skills faster at this stage. Children feel more secure when with their parent than around strangers
The early years of life are crucial. Children are likely to survive, to have less diseases and fewer illnesses, to grow in a healthy way, and to fully develop language, thinking, emotional and social skills when well nurtured and cared for in their earliest years. As the child grows it passes through various stages, that is, from birth to 5 years. The following is and abstract of a 2-3 year old child observed under natural environment.
1.2 Various Behavioral Categories Observed
1.2.1 Gross Motor Skill
These are abilities acquired during early childhood and infancy stage as part of the development of the child's motor.2-3 year old children is able to walk upstairs, run ,walk ,stand up push,pull,carry,and lift small objects. Small muscle movements of the fingers and hands in coordination with movement of the eyes incorporate fine motor skills. Large muscle movements incorporate gross motor skills.
For a child that has difficulty in mastering motor skills, frequent imitation, teaching and reteaching is important. It involves the use of feet, torso, legs and arms. Rhythm songs and body movement of large and small muscles help in teaching motor skills.
Children have difficulties in expressing their feelings through words. Psychologist have determine that a child expresses himself more through play. 2-3 year old can be likely seen playing sensorimotor play. This involve different senses such as sound e.g. trying to imitate name of a person, movements such as jumping up and down when he sees an earoplane pass by , tactile and visual experiences.2-3 year old can also be seen involved
in practice play. These involves the repetition of what it had been learnt. These activities include twirling, sliding, and throwing, jumping, running, finger painting. Motor skills needed for later game play is developed through such practices. The child under observation can be seen driving toy cars, kicking the ball with friends, the child is more self-centered with his toy car or the ball because he likes holding the ball more than he can allow his friends to hold it this is seen as normal.
Children imitate adults naturally this inspire their play their. Fantasy play occur at around 2-3 years of age children are real world oriented; simple house hold objects like pans pots and wooden spoons, their own bodies, simple toys like balls trucks, dolls and balls. Themes commonly played include caring for the baby, cooking and driving trucks.
It is a process that begins shortly after birth, children need to be socialized well so as to grow as responsible adults. According to Erikson's eight stages of development, 2-3 year old child socialization falls under the second stage ,that is, learning autonomy verses shame; a child who emerges from this stage sure of himself proud rather than ashamed is from the “well-parented”. The early part of this psychosocial crisis includes negativism, stubbornness, tantrums, and stormy self-will. For example a 2year old may be seen folding their arms so as to prevent their mothers holding their arms as they cross the road another example is when a 3 year old boy refuses to eat because the mother simply corrected his bad habit of throwing stones to visitors.
2-3 year old is expected to talk out the few learn words to express their feelings for example when hungry, when he want to sleep, need food, when he is unhappy or when he is sick. If the parent is not keen on what he is saying, the child may cry. The child smile or laughs when happy.
1.2.4 Attachment styles
When the child is in the present of the parent, they feel more secure and can do anything for example play close to the parent. They feel loved and more confident. Therefore the child is seen to be more playful with others, sociable and this leads to him or her exploring his or her environment.
1.2.5 Parenting Style
Most parents are authoritative to their children at this age because the child is not expected to make his or her own decisions. The parent moulds the child to be well behaved for example when the child beats his or her friend with no reason, she corrects him that it's not right. In addition, the parent has responsive relationship whereby they react quickly and sensitively to the interest, observation or experiences of the child.
1.2.6 Authority figures
Examples of authority figures are parents, teachers at preschool for the 3 year old children. A 2-3 year old can not actually keep in mind that he or she is in the presences of authority for along time. For example when a child is play in the yard and a teacher comes along, the child will not play freely. But after a short while he forgets his presences and will resume his play. If the authority is friendly to the child, he or she feels free to ask questions and interact freely with the peers around him or her. When the authority disciplines the child for the bad habit he or she has develop, he will hardly repeat the mistake, because he knows the consequences. The bad habit will need to be rectified oftenly since the child forgets it easily.
1.3 Physical Growth and Development
In early childhood an explosion of new motor skills takes place. Gross motor skills such as jumping, running, throwing and catching appeared and became better coordinated. Fine motor development gain appeared in preschoolers for example ability to dress themselves and painting letters of alphabet. Environment and heredity combine to influence early child development. Physically the child grows in height and weight as compared to his birth. They gain balance, muscle control and eye-hand coordination which enables them to master basic motor skills. For example being able to walk more steadily, kicking, running and throwing a ball.
1.3.1 Gender difference in playful interaction
It appeared that 2-3 girl child likes more spending time playing with their dolls and their friends. They also imitate their mothers for example cooking imaginary food, washing the “baby” which is the doll. Boys like spending time driving their toy cars and trucks running around with their friends. The subject under study liked driving his toy car around the compound while the girl liked playing with her big dolly. The subjects liked playing as a group with their friends from the neighborhood. In the evening they could meet at nearby play ground and they could play till sunset.
1.3.2 Piaget theory of cognition
According to him he describes cognitive development into four stages and relates them to assimilation of new information and a person's ability to understand information. The four stages are:
- Formal operation
The subject under study falls on the second, that is, preoperational because demonstration of intelligence is seen through the use of symbols, memory and imagination is developed. Thinking is predominated by egocentric at this stage. Sensorimotor was also observed in relation to the study since when the child is being thought by the motor she uses senses to emphasis her point e.g. frowning, soothing or stern voice.
Through my research I realized that not all children have the opportunity to explore their environment since other children live indoors because they don't have enough playing ground therefore I suggest that a common childcare center should be created whereby all the children will meet to interact without no payment of entrance. The condition of the childcare center placed by the council should focus on minimization of noise, and balance the obligation it has on the surrounding community
Neisser, U. (1967) Cognitive psychology. New York: Appleton-Century Crofts
Piaget, J. (1972). The psychology of the child. New York: Basic Books
Piaget, J. (1990). The child's conception of the world. New York: Littlefield Adams