North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Health and Physical Development (HPD)

Subdomain: Motor Development

Goal: Children develop small muscle control and hand-eye coordination to manipulate objects and work with tools.

Skill Progression: Drawing

Age: 24-27 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 24-27 Months.

Imitates horizontal stroke

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child with paper and a crayon or marker, first spontaneously, then after watching an adult.

Elicitation Strategy

Give the child markers or crayons and paper on a small table, where the child can be stable and comfortably reach the paper. Let the child mark on the paper independently. The adult then models drawing a straight horizontal stroke, making a “road” or a “ziipp!” sound to interest the child in the movement.

Behavior Observed

After observing the adult make a straight line, the child imitates this action. Children prefer circular marks. They stabilize the paper with one hand and make marks with the other, moving their whole arm.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage parents to give children a place and time to draw. Children will say their scribbles represent a drawing. Early childhood educators and parents can ask what the child is making and make their own drawing. Draw alongside of the child. Demonstrate how to make a horizontal line for a road, then drive a small car across the road. The child will want to make a road too. This type of imitation will prompt the child to try making different directional strokes.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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