Child Observation 5: The Playground

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            On Saturday May 23rd around 11:45 am, I was sitting in a park in Trastevere by a playground.  In the park there were a few children climbing on the jungle gym but I decided to observe one little boy more closely.  He was wearing a blue cap, a blue shirt, blue shorts and tennis shoes.  He looked to be around four years old and was playing by himself.  I first noticed him when he was skipping next to the large jungle gym.  Then I observed him as he began to watch others around the park.  He first watched two little girls playing on the slides.  He watched them interact and then began to climb the stairs to the slide.  The little girls left so he began to entertain himself again.  He would climb a few stairs and then jump to the ground.  Then he would do this again, going up another step and jumping down. 

            While he was climbing the steps he kept looking towards two women sitting on the bench next to the large slide.  After jumping off the stairs a few times he ran towards the women and began talking to them.  The two women were just conversing on the bench before and after the little boy came over.  After taking a drink the little boy ran over to the smaller slide near me.  He tried to climb it from the side and after a few attempts he climbed the stairs and went down the slide.  He looked at me a few times, but was constantly looking back to the other two women sitting in the park. 


            Watching this little boy I couldn't help but think how typical his playing was.  He was a little daredevil like boys usually are.  He would jump off steps, challenging himself by climbing one higher.  Eventually he realized he couldn't go any higher without hurting himself so he stopped going higher.  Also, he tried to climb the one slide from the side, a little rule breaker.  While he was doing these risky maneuvers, he was always looking towards the women.  He was probably checking to see if they saw his awesome tricks, or checking to see if he would get yelled at for trying something new. 

I think that one of the women was either a babysitter or his mother.  Like I have noticed many times before in America as well as here in Italy, this little boy liked to explore on his own, but constantly looked towards the woman as a safe base from which to explore from.  The women did not seem interested in playing with him, probably because he was old enough to play on his own.  At the park I did see a few adults playing with children on the playground, but the kids were a little younger. 

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This page contains a single entry by CHRISTINE MARIE BAUR published on May 31, 2009 12:37 PM.

Assignment 1: Places for Children was the previous entry in this blog.

Child Observation 6: The Doctor's Office is the next entry in this blog.

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