Parent PhD’s Child Development Checklist

Looking for a tool to use to document your observations of preschool children’s learning and development? Take a look at the checklist that I use with my preservice teachers. After documenting the evidence they observe, I ask them to write a brief reflection of what they observed in relations to the child’s growth.

Child Development Checklist

 

Your Name: ____________________

 

Child’s Name: ____________________

 

Child’s EXACT age (Years and Months): ____________________

 

Child’s First/Home Language: ____________________

 

Check

Item

Evidence

SELF IDENTITY AND SELF ESTEEM

  Separates   from primary caregiver without difficulty  
  Develops a   secure attachment with teacher  
  Completes a   task successfully  
  Makes activity   choices without teacher’s help  
  Works   independently without requiring adult presence or direction  
  Stands up for   own rights  
  Displays   enthusiasm about doing things for self  
  Displays   risk-free attitude in work  
  Reveals self   in content of work  
  Work shows a   sense of identity and individuality  
  Expresses   satisfaction in work, confident self-esteem  
  Portrays self,   family, world in work  
  Works shows   child moving from egocentric view of self to an awareness of self as part of   a larger society  
  Indicates   favorite art medium/media  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SELF CARE

  Independently selects   materials  
  Uses materials   independently  
  Cleans up   spills, messes  
  Writes name on   work  
  Places   finished product in proper place  
  Replaces   materials in storage place  
  Washes and   dries hands if necessary  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEMORY AND ATTENTION SPAN

  Includes   details in work from memories of experiences  
  Focuses   attention on project to produce a finished work  
  Tunes out   distractions of simultaneous play, talk, work  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREATIVITY

  Uses materials   in a novel way, displaying flexibility in seeing new possibilities in   materials  
  Explores all   facets of a medium  
  Draws from   experiences to create representations  
  Incorporates   creativity into other areas of play (constructing with blocks, drawing and constructing   in dramatic play, forming designs in sand and other mediums)  
  Demonstrates   creativity in secondary awareness (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling,   tasting)  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMOTIONAL COMPETENCE

  Uses work to   express emotions of happiness, anger, fear  
  Verbalizes   feelings about work  
  Enjoys   manipulation and creation  
  Releases   stressful feelings in a an appropriate manner/can control frustrations  
  Expresses   anger in words rather than negative actions  
  Can be calmed   in frightening situations  
  Shows   fondness, affection, love towards others  
  Shows   interest, excitement in classroom activities  
  Smiles, seems   happy much of the time  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL COMPETENCE

  Plays by self   with own toys/materials  
  Shares   materials and supplies  
  Plays parallel   to others with similar toys/materials  
  Plays with   others in group play  
  Works   cooperatively with others on a joint project  
  Gains access   to ongoing play in a positive manner  
  Makes friends   with other children  
  Resolves play   conflict in a positive manner  
  Engages in   positive commentary on other children’s work  
  Participates   in cooperative and collaborative work  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT

  Controls whole   body during work/in space that s/he is working  
  Runs with   control over speed and directions  
  Climbs up,   down, across climbing equipment  
  Throws,   catches, and kicks balls  
  Turns knobs,   lids, eggbeaters  
  Picks up and   inserts objects with dexterity  
  Uses tools (scissors,   hammer) with control  
  Squeezes glue   bottle  
  Picks up small   manipulatives/art materials with fingers  
  Manipulates   clay or playdoh  
  Cuts with   scissors  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

  Explores cause   and effect and experimentation with variables in media (ex: sees differences   in paint when water is added)  
  Observes   similarities and differences, forming theories and testing them out by   manipulating the medium  
  Classifies   objects by shape, color, size  
  Places objects   in a sequence or series  
  Recognizes,   creates patterns  
  Counts by rote   to 20  
  Includes   numerals and quantity in work  
  Displays   1-to-1 correspondence  
  Problem solves   with concrete objects  
  Makes thinking   visible  
  Displays   knowledge of the concept of conservation  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPOKEN LANGUAGE

  Listens but   does not speak  
  Gives   single-word, short phrase responses  
  Takes part in   conversations  
  Speaks in   expanded sentences  
  Asks questions  
  Can tell a   story  
  Names scribbles,   buildings, creations  
  Talks about   work using vocabulary connected with materials and design  
  Uses language   to describe process, intent and satisfaction with product  
  Vocabulary   reflects knowledge of subject  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LITERACY, EMERGENT WRITING AND EMERGENT READING   SKILLS

  Includes   literacy in work  
  Recognizes the   difference between drawing and writing  
  Pretends to   write with drawings and scribbles  
  Makes   horizontal lines of writing scribbles  
  Makes some letters,   prints name or initial  
  Holds book   right side up, turns pages right to left  
  Pretends to   read using pictures to tell story  
  Shows   awareness that print in a book tells a story  
  Knows the   difference between text and illustrations  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ART, MUSIC AND DANCE SKILLS

  Draws, prints,   paints and pastes  
  Makes basic   scribble shapes  
  Draws person   as sun-face with arms and legs  
  Makes pictoral   drawings  
  Moves arms and   hands in rhythm to beat  
  Plays rhythm instruments  
  Sings with   group or by him/herself  
  Moves body to   represent people, animals, feelings  
  Dances with   others to music  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRAMATIC PLAY SKILLS

  Does pretend   play by him/herself  
  Assigns roles   or takes assigned roles  
  Needs   particular props to do pretend play  
  Takes on   characteristics and actions related to role  
  Uses language   for creating and sustaining the plot  
  Enacts   exciting, danger-packed themes  
Reflection: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Resources:

I created this checklist using my experiences documenting children’s development along with guidance from two textbooks:

Beaty, J. (2013). Observing the development of the young child. (8th ed.). New York: Pearson.

Nilson, B. (2013). Week by week: Documenting the development of young children. (6th ed.). New York: Cengage.

 

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