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Checklist for Infant Observation in a Preschool Setting

written by: Kara Bietz • edited by: Jonathan Wylie • updated: 10/9/2012

Use these examples to create your own checklist for developmental infant observation and documentation.

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    Points For Your Rubric

    Creating a rubric, or checklist, for infant preschool observation can be a daunting task. The following is an example of a checklist that can be used in an infant classroom setting. When creating checklists for infant observation, keep in mind that each infant develops individually at his own pace. No two infants will reach the same milestones at the same time, so you need to consider this more of a guide than a rule book.

    MOTOR SKILLS and EXPECTED AGE

    • Rolls from side to side 4-7 months
    • Rolls from tummy to back 4-7 months
    • Rolls from back to tummy 4-7 months
    • Sits up with support 4-7 months
    • Scoots on tummy or bottom 4-7 months
    • Sits without support 4-7 months
    • Transfers objects hand to hand 4-7 months
    • Uses raking grasp 4-7 months
    • Assumes hand/knee position 4-7 months
    • Attempts crawling 4-7 months
    • Creeps or crawls efficiently 8-12 months
    • Changes positions easily 8-12 months
    • Pulls to stand 8-12 months
    • Takes assisted steps 8-12 months
    • Can finger feed self 8-12 months
    • Stands without support 8-12 months
    • Walks 2-3 steps w/o support 8-12 months

    COGNITIVE SKILLS and EXPECTED AGE

    • Looks for partially hidden items 4-7 months
    • Explores with hands and mouth 4-7 months
    • Shows preference for specific foods 4-7 months
    • Exhibits feelings regarding change 4-7 months
    • Struggles to get objects out of reach 4-7 months
    • Uses toys in many different ways 4-7 months
    • Drops toys and waits for them to be retrieved 4-7 months
    • Responds to own name 8-12 months
    • Repeats tasks many times 8-12 months
    • Finds hidden objects easily 8-12 months
    • Can efficiently feed self 8-12 months
    • Begins to use objects correctly 8-12 months

    LANGUAGE SKILLS and EXPECTED AGE

    • Responds to “no" 4-7 months
    • Responds to sound with sound 4-7 months
    • Babbles chains of consonants 4-7 months
    • Babbles and waits for response 4-7 months
    • Communicates through gestures and facial expressions 8-12 months
    • Responds to verbal requests 8-12 months
    • Uses simple gestures (i.e. head shaking for “no") 8-12 months
    • Babbles with inflection 8-12 months
    • Uses exclamations (i.e. “uh oh!) 8-12 months

    SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL SKILLS and EXPECTED AGE

    • Enjoys social play 4-7 months
    • Recognizes familiar faces 4-7 months
    • Shows interest in mirror images 4-7 months
    • Appears joyful often 4-7 months
    • Laughs out loud 4-7 months
    • Seems to understand cause and effect 8-12 months
    • Cries when familiar adults leave the room 8-12 months
    • Protests sleeping 8-12 months
    • Shy or anxious with strangers 8-12 months
    • Imitates gestures 8-12 months
    • Extends arm or leg to help when dressing 8-12 months

    In addition to this checklist, it would also be wise to include space in your observation for anecdotal notes and comments. For example, in the Language Development section, after writing down the date that the infant began to respond to verbal requests, a teacher could write: "Today when Ms. Kelly read a book to Ryan, he laughed and pointed each time he saw the elephant," followed by the date of the observation and the age of the child (in months) at the time of the observation.

    Creating a rubric for infant preschool observation that works with your classroom can take some effort. Once the basic checklist has been approved, however, it is an extremely handy tool for infant observation and documentation.