North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Cognitive Development (CD)

Subdomain: Mathematical Thinking and Expression

Goal: Children compare, sort, group, organize and measure objects and create patterns in their everyday environment.

Skill Progression: Patterning

Age: 4-6 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 4-6 Months.

Responds to rhythmic music

Situations for Observation of Skill

Music with a strong beat.

Elicitation Strategy

For a child who is sitting independently, play some fun music and see if the child moves to the beat spontaneously. Also see if he can imitate your movement patterns with body, arms, or head.

Behavior Observed

Movement to the beat of the music demonstrates awareness of physical movement patterns.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Parents often do not know that the simple things they see their child doing, like lifting an unfamiliar cup to their mouth, demonstrates learning. Explain that noticing different kinds of patterns, whether they are physical, tactile, visual, or mental helps us organize the world in a meaningful way. “I do this with things that look like a ball, and something different with an object with a different shape.” As infant’s move from mouthing everything, encourage parents to notice the child’s growing ability to understand different patterns.

 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