North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Language Development and Communication (LDC)

Subdomain: Foundations for Reading

Goal: Children develop phonological awareness.

Skill Progression: Develop phonological awareness

Age: 30-33 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 30-33 Months.

Identifies and imitates sounds in the environment

Situations for Observation of Skill

Play a sound guessing game. The adult and child take turns making noises from the environment and the other person guesses what the sound is (e.g., a bird, dog, vacuum cleaner, etc.)

Elicitation Strategy

The adult begins the sound game by making sounds the child will recognize. For example, a “Ding! Dong!” sound, and the child says, “Doorbell!” Then ask the child to make a noise for the adult to guess.

Behavior Observed

The child creates and recognizes familiar sounds.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage early childhood educators and parents to play games that require the child to listen to different sounds. For instance, listen to the sounds outdoors or in the house and identify what is heard. Help parents understand that listening games will sharpen the child’s ability to identify sounds of letters for reading. Clapping games are also listening games that help the child listen for syllables in words. Adults can start with names, as these are typically easy, and add other words the child wants to clap to. Librarians can help parents find books that are alliterative and/or involve rhyming. Explain how these types of books help the child learn to differentiate sound patterns in words, an important literacy skill.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit