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 the large muscle control and abilities needed to move through and explore their environment.

Skill Progression: Locomotion: Crawling/walking/running

Age: 4-6 Months

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

Propels self on tummy with legs, steers with arms, goes backward or forward

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the infant with the adult on the floor.

Elicitation Strategy

The adult draws the child’s attention with her face and/or a favorite toy. The adult stays at the child’s eye level and moves back slowly encouraging the child to come to the adult or to get the toy. Watch how the infant maneuvers to get to the adult.

Behavior Observed

Arms and legs are the engines of movement and the tummy is the “wheel.” The infant moves forward primarily by pulling with the arms and pushing with the legs. She moves backward by pushing with the arms.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Early childhood educators and parents often do not realize how their faces motivate the infant. Infants want to see and touch them. This means that adults who are willing to get down to eye level with the infant on the floor can encourage her to move toward them. Toys are also motivating, but at this age, faces are more so. Encourage early childhood educators and parents to play at eye level with the child, especially on the floor, where the child can practice pushing and pulling limb movements.

 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