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: 8-10 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 8-10 Months.

Grasp (of tiny object): Lateral pincer - Picks up object between thumb and side of index finger

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child with a small piece of food, such as a Cheerio.

Elicitation Strategy

No elicitation needed.

Behavior Observed

Grasp of tiny objects becomes more refined as objects are now picked up between the fingers and thumb, and over time the tiny object moves to between side of the fingers and thumb.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage early childhood educators and parents to provide opportunities for the infant to self-feed with tiny bites. This gives the child an opportunity to practice picking up small objects. Provide different shapes and sizes of containers for the child to drop objects into. Large openings are needed at first, so the infant can be successful.

 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