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Day 13 - Observation

Day 13 - Observation

Alexis Ralphs Sep 17 • 7 min read

Of all the topics we cover over the 30 days of this challenge, the ability to observe your child is the most impactful.

Pay attention to what they are doing. Really look. Sit in silence for a few minutes and just watch them play.

A two-year-old might repeat the same action over and over again. A train going through a tunnel, a doll wrapped in a blanket. Even if you aren't interested in the theory behind their actions, in this case schema play, you'll learn a lot simply by watching and assessing. What can my child do? What other experiences could I offer that present the same challenges? Can I extend the learning by offering new materials or a different context?

Through your observations, you are looking for ways to help your child make new connections.

A five-year-old who loves snakes and ladders and using a 100 square might enjoy playing battleships. The grid is still 10 x 10 but the focus is on co-ordinates. This might then lead to crosswords, draughts and programmable robots. From there it's only a small leap to simple coding with software like Scratch.

But if you weren't looking, if you didn't notice that your child was interested in grids, none of this can happen.

Take five minutes now and watch your child play. What will you observe? Where might it lead?

Here's the rest of the series:


Day 1 - Theories of Development

Day 2 - Stages of Play

Day 3 - Play is Multisensory

Day 4 - Gender-Neutral Toys

Day 5 - The Zone of Proximal Development

Day 6 - Heuristic Play

Day 7 - Spot the Difference

Day 8 - Sorting

Day 9 - Schemas

Day 10 - Ask good questions

Day 11 - Conservation

Day 12 - Seriation

Day 13 - Observation

Day 14 - Set a good example

Day 15 - Fewer toys = more focus

Day 16 - The Hundred Languages of Children

Day 17 - Plan-do-review

Day 18 - Practical life

Day 19 - Free-flow play

Day 20 - Executive functions

Day 21 - Spaced repetition

Day 22 - Independent play

Day 23 - Project-based Learning

Day 24 - The Environment As The Third Teacher

Day 25 - Start With The Child

Day 26 - Symbolic Play

Day 27 - Learning To Write

Day 28 - Blocks: the indispensable toy

Day 29 - Outdoor Learning

Day 30 - Play

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