Child Development and Learning:

Consider the Child's Point of View

Breadcrumb trail:

Gain valuable insights through the child's perspective.

Children see the world quite differently than we do. The world is new to them. They are experiencing so many "firsts" and trying to make sense of them. When we seek out their points of view, we gain valuable insights into their thinking, their questions, their fears, and the things that tickle their fancy and delight them. Take time to listen and watch closely. Let their perspectives inform everything you do in your day-to-day practice.

A young boy looking through a toy magnifying glass while the teacher looks on.

Explore a common theme — superhero and monster play — that often occurs with children in the preschool setting. Consider the child's point of view through this exploration.

  • When children engage in superhero or monster play, what developmental themes might they be exploring?
  • What are your program policies regarding monster or superhero play?
  • Explore the process by which these policies were developed.
  • What is their foundation (research on play and child development, "this is the way we've always done it," personal feelings, preferences, or biases)?
  • Why do you allow or ban this type of play?

Try This!

Listen to Eric Hoffman as he began his journey with this topic. For more of Eric's story, you can visit the Learning Environments and Curriculum competency.

  • Is there a child you wonder about who plays out similar themes?
  • As you watch the child at play, switch your perspective to his or her point of view. Write your reflections on a specific play experience from the child's point of view.
  • What is this child working on? Attempting? Discovering?
  • Write a story of this play from the child's perspective while it's fresh in your mind.

Use this template to record your observations, thoughts, and feelings.  Download the Template

Deepen Your Understanding

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Deepen your understanding of the role of play in supporting development. Refer to Performance Area 2, Topic: Individualized developmental expectations in the CA ECE Competencies. Scroll to page 20.

Can you find other places in this competency area that address your interests and needs?

Download the California ECE Competencies

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Extend Your Learning

Read the article "What's So Bad About A Boy Who Wears Dress?" to further explore gender issues.