North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

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

Subdomain: Self-Care

Goal: Children develop independence in caring for themselves and their environment.

Skill Progression: Eating/drinking

Age: 54-60 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 54-60 Months.

Uses a knife to spread food items

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child at lunch or snack.

Elicitation Strategy

Provide bread and butter along with child-sized knives.

Behavior Observed

The child spreads a soft substance on bread, a cracker, or other item. The application may be irregular, because the child uses the tip of the knife, rather than the whole blade.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Spreading materials, such as butter on bread, requires careful orientation of the knife, adaptation of pressure depending on the texture of the material, and ability to reorient the knife to cover the all areas. Adults can start by letting children experiment with spreading a very smooth, soft material, such as mayonnaise or ketchup, then move to a margarine spread, then to firmer substances such as butter or frosting.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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