Case Study: Amani Observation

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I have enjoyed observing and interacting with Amani. Amani is always smiling, except when she does not get her way. I connect with her, see laugh and get energized when I come around. On my first day of observation on February 9, 2020, she is dressed in a pink top and bottom with matching socks. The setting is in her parents’ Home Living-room area. Amani is 3 years old, as mention in the book chapter 1 (pg6) Early childhood: from 2 to 6 years. The body becomes longer and leaner, motor skills are refined, and children become more self-controlled and self-sufficient. Make-believe play blossoms, reflecting and supporting many aspects of psychological development. Thought and language expand at an astounding pace, a sense of morality becomes evident, and children establish ties with peers. She is the younger sister of Brandon, who is 5years old. She interacts a lot with her brother and frequently toys with him. I observed Amani’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development to gain a better understanding of child development in a toddler. On the first day, I observe Amani’s physical development. She demonstrates motor skills, as she can run from place to place, leap and bound.

Amani is on the floor with her toys around her, she jumps, tiptoe, march, throw and kick a ball, and make a riding toy go by pushing with her feet or by pedaling.” Amani plays allot with her riding toy. Over the past hour, Amani has made the riding toy move by pushing her feet on the ground. I observed her riding her tricycle back and forth, sometimes hitting the wall and couch the getting off to lift the toy around then getting back on. At the time she would play with a doll that she would place in a stroller and push, at the time having the doll sit and putting a teacup to the doll mouth as if to have tea. Brandon sits on the floor next to her, watching tv. Amani throws a ball at Brandon and runs and laughs. She does this a few times until when Brandon yells at her to stop, she laughs and runs. When Amani is not playing with her stroller, she plays with her brother’s basketball, she attempts to throw the ball into the air and catches the ball but with no avail. While Amani can throw the ball, she is not yet able to catch the ball. When I throw the ball to Amani, she often will open her hands so wide that the ball would go right through her hand, then close them after the ball has passed through as mention in chapter 5 (page. 179) where they talk about Babies come into the world with a primitive ability to learn through imitation—by copying the behavior of another person. I am thinking she is imitating the action of her brother. By doing this she is also improving her motor skills Amani is demonstrating Gross-motor development which refers to control over actions that help infants get around in the environment, such as crawling, standing, and walking and even catching.

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She has already developed Fine-motor development which has to do with smaller movements, such as reaching and grasping. Which the TV talks about on page 182 and shows the average ages at which infants and toddlers achieve a variety of gross- and fine-motor skills. It also presents the age range during which most babies accomplish each skill, indicating large individual differences in the rate of motor progress. At times I have observed Amani trying to pick up the ball and she will run after the ball as it rolls away from her. Amani is not yet able to catch a ball because it is not developmentally appropriate for her age. When she is older, she will be able to easily catch a ball, however developmentally she is only capable of throwing and kicking a ball at this time as she is only mimicking the behavior of what she sees. I have observed Amani’s physical development in her home. February 12@2pm. Amani is playing inside, she has all of her toys on the floor, her mother brings her lunch, slice apple, hot dog and apple juice.

With the tray in front of her, she picks up the apple and moves it to the side, she also removes the hot dog from the bread. Holding it in one hand, she bites into it, then puts it down while humming to herself and moving her head side to side. Amani then picks up the sippy cup with both hands and place it in her mouth, going back and front of the sippy cup to the hot dog she places the sippy cup down and goes to her mother, showing her mother her hand, her mother wipes her hand and she returns to her lunch. Amani is still learning to talk so she does say many of her words or short and she says yes for everything. Amani like when I play peek-a-boo with her, places her hands over her eyes and repeats “peek-a-boo” while laughing. At times Amani would attempt to hold all of the toys in her hands. And each time she tries a toy would fall and she would try to pick it up and another would fall, she would attempt this a few times Then, she would carry the one left in her hand while looking back at the other on the ground. Since she tries to carry all of the toys at once, most of what she is carrying winds up on the floor. Based on my observations, Amani’s physical development is appropriate for a toddler. Not only have I observed Amani’s physical development, but also her social development. Social development is key for developing toddlers because “as their social awareness expands, they pick up cultural messages about who they are and how they should be. Based on the messages they receive from their sibling and parents and associates with whom she comes in contact, toddlers begin to form their identity. Since toddlers are just beginning to develop socially, they work very hard to understand social rules and get things right.” While toddlers are learning what behaviors are socially acceptable, they are also figuring out who they are in the world. Social development includes a variety of behaviors that developing toddlers are likely to exhibit.

Amani does not go to daycare so I wonder if this may affect her social development? Engaging in group activities is important, playing with other children or imitating their behavior is a big part of social growth, Amani often plays alone. She does not engage in many group activities compared to the other children. While toddlers tend to “choose friends who share their interests and will play with them. Chapter 5 (p181),” when Amani brother tries to share toys with Amani she will yell, “mine!”, “mine!” As evidenced above, toddlers become upset when others try to share their toys because they believe it is their toy. Her social development needs to develop such bonds with peers. In addition to physical and social development, I also observed Amani’s emotional development. Amani can use words to express strong feelings and to induce what is not present. Amani has said, “Dada comes.” She repeatedly will say “Dada comes” throughout the day, even hours before he will pick her up. She does not say the phrase as a question or an exclamation, just as a matter of fact. Perhaps by saying “Dada comes,” she is expressing a strong feeling she is experiencing when she Dada is not with her. Or perhaps she is just looking forward to her picking her up. While I am unable to interpret what Amani feels when she says “Dada coming,” I can get a better sense of her emotions when she plays with a doll.

I have observed Amani playing with a doll and she is very gentle; she holds the doll in her arms and will rock and pat the doll. While I have observed Amani’s kindness by the way she handles a doll, I have also witnessed Amani burst into tears. Toddlers are capable of expressing empathy and kindness and “at other times, fatigue, anxiety, or other distress overwhelms them, and they burst into tears or full-blown tantrums. Amani’s brother playing with her, he took a toy that Amani had had in her hand Amani burst into tears. She began yelling “no! No! No! She was shaking her head back and forth and her facial expression appeared to be pure anger. I Saw in my observations; Amani experiences a variety of emotions; her emotional development is appropriate for a toddler. I have observed physical, social, emotional, as well as intellectual development. In terms of cognitive development, “toddlers are fascinated by words. They constantly repeat the words and phrases they hear.

Amani often repeats words she hears from her mother such as “stop, or come,” as well as “her brother’s name” even though she may not as yet pronounce them properly.” Amani quickly picks up words her mother says and repeats them numerous times. However, Amani repeats words most often when she is looking at the TV. Amani’s cognitive development is important to recognize “toddlers love TV-especially cartoons that have animals, she usually points and say look, and make sound and, actions to imitate. What she sees. Sometimes Amani looks at the tv and tries to touch the animals that she sees. For example, she points to the cow on the screen and says, “moo!”. In addition to looking at TV, Amani also tends to “find all of the crayons, and line up the wax crayons according to their height. Amani will empty the basket full of crayons and put each back one by one. She repeated this a few times while saying 1,2,3 she then at times lines the crayons up pick different colors to write with, I am not sure if know the difference in colors even though her mother has her repeating the color names. Amani will continue until she has had enough or she turns her attention to something else. Based on my observations, Amani’s cognitive development is appropriate for a toddler. As Amani is “experimenting with objects, language, and social interaction, she is entering a new phase of cognitive growth. Amani’s home environment encourages her to expand her mind in a variety of ways. Her brain is growing progressively refined, mental depictions of this present reality and is very successful through utilizing them Through play, language, and social collaboration with her toys the TV and family.

Amani can stimulate not only her intellectual development, but also her physical, social, and emotional development. By closely observing Amani I feel I have a better understanding of Piaget’s theory of child development in which he states development happens in stages. Observing Amani allows me to think about my childhood development and ask, is this why I am the way I am? Reflecting on Amani’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development has raised questions for me to consider how I developed these areas as a child.


  1. Berk, L.E. & Meyers, A. B. (2016). Infants and Children: Prenatal through Middle Childhood. (8th ed.). Pearson Education. 


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