Watch the child’s response to familiar and unfamiliar adults. Watch the child’s response to problems encountered in the environment, including engagement with toys, exploration of new materials, and movement challenges.
Observe the child’s reaction to unfamiliar people that try to engage her. Present unique toys or materials that challenge the child to try to figure out how to use them. For example a toy with buttons to make it work or toys with parts that need to be combined (e.g., a driver in a truck).
The child exhibits situation-appropriate responses to unfamiliar people (shyness or fear) and experiences that challenge his skills (concentration on problem solving).
Early childhood educators and parents can model interactions with strangers. Watch the child’s response and don’t push the stranger on the child. Let the child watch and gradually interact with people as he is comfortable. Every routine of the day offers opportunities for problem solving. Introduce cups and plastic spoons into the bathtub for exploration. Let the child empty and fill a cup with cereal at mealtime. Let the child pull-to-stand to reach desired toys on a low table or shelf.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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