Special needs Play Observation

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EDU 221 Play Observation for Children with Special Needs


This assignment meets the following NAEYC Standards #3,4,& 5 and NAEYC Supportive Skills # 1,2, & 3.

Assignment Overview:

1. Students will select two young
children ages 3-8 years with identified disabilities in inclusive
programs. They will observe each child for 30 minutes. The observation
should take place on a playground with the other children, with and
without disabilities, are present. During the observation, the student
should be engaged only in the observation activity (not acting as a
teacher, working on another assignment, or interacting with the

Students will complete a report consisting of three parts: the list of
observed activities, the Play Observation Form coding chart, and the

a. List of observed activities
(make a list for each child) During the 30 minute observation, note the
specific play activities observed. Indicate what the child is doing (“pouring sand from cup to cup”, not “playing in the sandbox” ). Number your observations. At the top of the list include:

Child’s name (first name only, or use a fictitious name)

Age of child

Date, day and time (beginning and end) of observation

Length of observation and recording intervals

b. Play Observation Form Coding Chart (one chart per child) Use the Play Observation Form to record the types and levels of play activities observed (attached).

c. Summary (6-8 pages) This is a very important part of the study and should be given due reflection

briefly describe each play situation: type of play environment,
equipment available, number and ages of other children present during
your observation.

Second, summarize the findings for each child, include:

The dominant forms of play

Appropriateness of play behaviors

Recurring patterns of play

Unusual or unique patterns of play

Relationship between play environment and play activities

Incidents affecting child safety

Third, draw conclusions from the findings:

Compare the play activities of the two children studied, noting similarities and differences

Discuss how the expectations were met or confounded

  • Describe the finding include specific recommendations for curriculum and promote positive outcomes for each child

Associate the findings with research and theory

additional explanations for the findings as needed, give specific
examples of observed activities to support the conclusions and cite
researchers if referring to research or theories.

Fourth, draw implications for practice: What changes in the play environment are needed?

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