North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Skills for ages 30-33 Months

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Language Development and Communication

Understands basic spatial words (e.g., in, on, out, off)

Participates in storytelling and book reading with adult

Responds to 33% of questions asked by adults

Understands “What...doing?” questions (e.g., "What is the baby doing?")

Asks “What…doing” questions

Conveys ideas using pitch and intonation

Cluster reduction, cluster of sounds reduced (e.g., peak/speak)

Gliding may occur (substitution of glide /w/ or /y/ for liquid sounds, /r/ or /l/ (e.g., woom/room)

Stopping /th/ (e.g., dis/this)

Converses about people, places, and objects that are not present

Demonstrates awareness that sentences need noun and verb phrases

Produces utterances that describe physical characteristics (“big doggie”)

Produces negative before a verb (“no go”) as well as “no,” “not,” “can’t,” “don’t

Acts out multiple action sequences within an event with dolls or action figures; talks to or for the dolls or figures

Talks about a theme, with objects or actions mentioned relating to the theme. (e.g., “Baby eating. Baby likes apples.”)

Talks using a series of unrelated sentences

Produces the following morphemes: Irregular past tense (e.g., "came," "went") Regular past tense (e.g., "jumped")

Starts a sentence with and, because or so (e.g., “And I runned.”)

Uses to as a preposition to indicate direction toward (“giving it to the baby”)

Produces can, will, be as auxiliary verbs + negative forms (e.g., can’t, won’t, don’t)

Says own first and last name

Uses gender words

Knows directional words (e.g., up, down, out, in); uses differently than location of object

Knows all possessives (yours, ours)

Uses descriptive words (e.g., bad, sleepy, heavy)

Tells what the story is about based on the picture

Coordinates text read (words) with pictures (e.g., finds aspects of text in the pictures)

Asks questions about the story and characters in the book being read

Knows there are picture books, story books, and books about real things

Moves finger or hand across a line of print in a favorite book and verbalizes text exactly or accurately paraphrased

Identifies and imitates sounds in the environment

Claps to syllables in two-to-three syllable names

Repeats alliterative words starting with /f, v, s, z, g, k/ in pairs or sequences

Zigzag scribbles are added to loops

Copies a circle

Demonstrates understanding of the uses and formats of writing; scribbles and calls the result a note or letter

Holds crayon in writing position with fingers and thumb directed toward the paper

Makes up and down movement needed to make a V, though shaky

Produces imperative implying “you"

Cognitive Development

Interconnects parts to construct a simple 4-5-piece puzzle, nest objects, etc.

Remembers visual landmarks and anticipates the intended destination

Talks to self about how to solve a problem

Ascribes thoughts and feelings to dolls and action figures

Determines what he is good at; preferences begin to strengthen

Remembers pictures, finger plays, dance moves, songs

Tells adults what to draw

Remembers songs and finger plays

Imitates adults’ actions and movements

Tries to draw lines, angles, zigzags

Draws circles to represent everything

Dresses up for role play

May be hesitant or shy around new people; takes time to warm up

Play may reflect sibling or parent-child relationships

Demonstrates preferences for play partners

Chooses playmates of the same race if they are present

Verbally counts to 10 with some one-to-one correspondence, but when counting objects loses track of one-to-one correspondence or the next number

Instantly tells how many with groups of 1-3 items

Examines a group of up to four items and creates another group of the same amount

Points to smaller/larger of two objects

Points to short/long

Size: Points to smaller/ larger of two objects

Length: Points to short/long

Makes spatial designs with blocks or shapes

Matches pictures of similar objects

Matches colors (red, blue, green, yellow)

Stacks rings (or other objects in the correct order)

Identifies familiar objects by feel

Places shapes, even after puzzle board is rotated

Manipulates individual shapes and randomly arranges them, but can’t combine them to make a larger shape

Attempts to imitate building a bridge with blocks

Knows near/far and uses question, “Where is…”

Provides descriptions of observations in nature (e.g., squirrelis climbing the tree)

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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