A child’s development is connected to various behaviors and activities that children engage in during their unstructured time. Child development is usually difficult to define due to complexities in the behavior. However, play is an important aspect of a child’s physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development. Play accounts for a greater proportion of primary school and preschool children exposed to different physical opportunities. The time spent by children in outdoor activities in the school environment contributes greatly to their development as well as exposing children to other physical opportunities. The frequency and duration of play enable children to develop physical and social skills due to interaction in several unstructured groups (Ridgers et al., 2011). This paper will conduct a study on children’s behavior in a school environment, that is, a playground to determine its effect on children’s behavior development.
The study includes an observational study of children’s behavior at the playground that involves the recording of naturalistic behavior that can be observed in structured settings. The children’s behavior is compared to a similar context to deduct comprehensive results. The study involves children between 5 and 11 years who access school playground often. The children at this age are not allowed to remain in class during playtime. Therefore, children between 5 and 11 years interact regularly on playgrounds which has a significant impact on their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. This study aim at finding out student cognitive skills at different age levels and how they apply the skills during their interactions with others. From the observation, some critical issues for developmental psychology are revealed. For instance, the normative approach in development that documents commonality patterns in childhood development at a given age. The study applies a cross-sequential design that tests children’s development longitudinally at a different age. Therefore, children between 5 and 11 years manifest a wide range of differences in their interaction, emotional, social, and physical characteristics as elements of growth. During data collection, some ethical standards are adhered to. For instance, the study is conducted after the informed consent of the children. The children’s freedom to participate in a different kind of play is considered, and thus students are not forced to engage in a specific type of play for the interest of research (Berman, 2016). Non-harmful procedures and operations are observed to protect the children from psychological and physical harm. Therefore, the invigilator must ensure that students engage in plays that don’t harm them in any way. Parental and guardian consent should be acquired before the conduct of the study.
The observational data is structured depending on the type of play students engage in. In regards to social interactions, the degree of interaction observed from every student is determined. For instance, some children actively participate in the play while others remain dormant during play activities. In regards to emotions, some students, particularly below eight years, tend to react differently to distinct situations. Specifically, children below eight years show their emotions through crying. Concerning psychological development, it was observed that children above eight years tend to be more creative during play. For instance, they improvise different types of play to match their interests. However, the gender difference in this group of study is not significant (Ridgers et al., 2011). Children tend to participate in play without sensitivity in their gender. From the study, play is important for children’s development for different stages as it contributes to their social, psychological, cognitive, and emotional development.
Berman, G. (2016). Ethical considerations for research with children.
Ridgers, N. D., Carter, L. M., Stratton, G., & McKenzie, T. L. (2011). Examining children’s physical activity and play behaviors during school playtime over time. Health education research, 26(4), 586-595.
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