Forms | DAP Observation Form

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Free Download And Print Observation Form

Here’s a form we put together, with the help of Lisa Murphy from, that’ll help users observe DAP (Developmentally Appropriate Practice) during play. Our hope is that this form will help people pay more attention to the amount of learning taking place during play.

The form can be used in two basic ways:

  1. While observing play, jot notes about your observations in each DAP category. For example, while observing children playing with play dough, you might note the children are using their upper body strength to press the dough flat under Physical Development or the amount of conversation between children under Language And Literacy Development.
  2. Preform a frequency count by simply adding a tally mark to a category each time you observe activity that fits that developmental area. For example, observing kids self-organizing and taking turns while playing with ramps would warrant a tally mark under Social Emotional Development and seeing them use masking tape to keep ramps from slipping would mean a tally mark under Cognitive Development.

If you use this document in your program, please let us know how it works for you and share ideas for improvements in the comments.


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Jeff is an early learning speaker, toymaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ who is really bad at getting his picture taken.

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