Observing a child is a fascinating experience. It is amazing to see how differently children view certain things than adults view them. I recently observed a little girl, and I had her complete a few conservation tasks. For example, I placed two equally long sticks parallel to one another; I then pushed one stick a little farther than the other and asked her which stick was longer. For the purposes of confidentiality the name of the little girl has been changed to Christina. I observed Christina on December 1, 2001 at twelve in the afternoon, in her home with her mother present. Christina has two older sisters and has just started kindergarten this year. She was born July 09, 1996, and is now five years and five months old.
Christina has wonderful fine motor skills, which involve physical movements with her hands and fingers. I watched her turn pages in her Winnie the Pooh book with no hesitation or problem. After I read the Winnie the Pooh book to Christina we colored together. Christina held the crayons perfectly, with both her thumb and her finger. She is capable of drawing and can use circular strokes. Christina is in the stage of actively experimenting to learn about the properties of objects, which is also Piaget's term for little scientists. After Christina and I were done coloring I asked her to cut her drawing out of the page; it wasn't perfectly on the lines, but it was close enough. I then asked Christina if she could write her name for me on a piece of paper. She was very excited to show me that she could. I was actually impressed by her neat writing.
Christina also has incredible gross motor skills, which is the ability to perform large body movements like running. Christina and I went to her backyard so she could show me her many skills. First, we played a game of tag. Christina chased me until I was too tired to run anymore. I noticed Christina had on her play face while she was chasing me. A play face is a ...