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: Reach/Grasp/Release

Age: 48-54 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 48-54 Months.

Hand preference established

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child at play, eating, playing ball, and/or drawing.

Elicitation Strategy

No elicitation needed.

Behavior Observed

The child consistently uses a preferred hand for routine tasks. Note: in writing, the left-handed child will push the pencil across the page, rather than pull it. This may cause tearing if the tool is designed for right-handers. Adaptations are important.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

If children are left-handed, early childhood educators and parents should use the following tips: • Provide left-handed tools, such as scissors. • Slant paper 45° to the right at the top for writing and drawing. • Position the hand under the line, rather than over the writing or hooked above it. • Left-handed pens help prevent tearing the paper, as the nub is slanted differently. Quick drying ink helps prevent smudges from the hand crossing the writing. • Left-handed pencil grips are useful for improving grip. • Position the child at the left end of a table when in a group, so elbows don’t collide.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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