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: 6-8 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 6-8 Months.

Grasp: Radial-palmar grasp-object held using thumb, index and middle fingers pressing it against the palm; wrist is straight

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child reach for and grasp a small object about the size of a Ping Pong ball.

Elicitation Strategy

Place the small object in front of the child while sitting. Later place a container in front of the child and prompt the child to, “Put it in.” Demonstrate dropping an object in the container if needed.

Behavior Observed

As the child matures the grasp of the object moves from the palm toward the fingers. The wrist starts to extend, so the reach is more precise.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Help parents understand how the grasp and release develops so they can observe the process as it develops. Encourage early childhood educators and parents to present objects of different (safe) sizes from varying distances, so the infant learns to modify the reach and grasp appropriately.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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