Child Observation

Find out how you can improve pedagogical observation in kindergarten with a mobile app.

What is child observation?

Observation in kindergarten is a method to support educators and parents in dealing with the needs of early childhood development.

This article briefly discusses the purpose of child observation and gives some examples of methods of child observation. We will also recommend some helpful tools that educators in day care centers or preschools can use for their daily child observation reports  that parents are only too happy to see when they pick up their children.

Purpose of child observation reports

The intention should be clear before you start the observation in kindergarten: Is the intention to work out an action plan with the parents to help improve their child's behaviour? Should it document the learning progress of a child? Do you want the parents to see their child's new skills as they have shown in creating a work of art? Do you want the language development of a child to be closely monitored?

If you first define the goal of the observation, you can better prepare for the observation of the child and choose the most helpful observation method(s).

Methods of observation in kindergarten

Child observation reports are based on what is actually seen and heard should be as detailed as possible. Here are some examples of methods of child observation that will help you to document and fulfill the purpose of observing the child:

  • Anecdotal records - This method involves factual reports of events that answer possible what, when and where questions from guardians or the childs' parents. Child observation reports are written in past tense and include what the child said and did during an event. The record also contains other non-verbal clues such as body language and facial expressions. It also describes the child's reaction and behavior during an event.

  • Continuous Recording - You write down what you see and what the child says during the event. This method of observation  should include as much detail as possible and should be written in present tense.

  • Learning stories - This method aims at telling an anecdote about the child (or a group of children) and the child's choices and the events or scenarios that followed as a result of those choices. depending on the story, it may be a short paragraph or more than a full page.

  • Time examples - A method of recording observations about the child's behaviour and what the child does at certain times. It can be done on a regular basis and can be a useful way to identify and reduce the child's negative behaviour by understanding the context of the situation.

  • Notes - Short sentences in which important events, behaviour or conversations are literally noted down. This can be done together with other methods of observation in childcare: Work samples and photographs.

  • Work samples - These are paintings, clay figures, drawings, cut-outs, writings and other creations of the child. Educators write a report based on notes describing what the child may have said or done in the environment of these work samples.

  • Photographs - Parents love to see pictures of their children so that they can best describe what happens in their absence rather than with pictures of their child in action. Add comments to the photos to give a description of what was happening at the time the picture was taken.

When writing children observation reports, make sure that you write down exactly what you see and hear. Always be objective and factual. The information gathered when observing children should serve the purpose you have defined from the start and helps with supporting the needs of early childhood development.

Digital support for Child Observation Examples

To help you document and report on your kindergarten observation, you can use Lumiform's mobile app to take photos of fleeting moments and quickly annotate what you saw and heard. You can use Lumiform's scheduling feature to schedule your observations with scheduled events such as playtime and art sessions. With Lumiform's cloud-based storage, observations are secure and accessible only to the educators concerned. Use our collection of carefully designed Child Observation Examples as forms and templates for on-site reports. The reports can be sent to the parents at the touch of a button, giving you, the educator, more time for the children.


Featured templates

Child Observation Report

Child Observation Report

This template for behavioural observation in kindergarten children is used by educators as a basis for a conversation with parents. See template