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: Manipulation/Tool use

Age: 10-12 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 10-12 Months.

Pushes cars, trucks, balls

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child with a variety of toys, including objects that can be combined, such as blocks; objects with holes; objects with a purpose, such as a phone; objects you can push or pull, such as a car; and a puzzle with knobs.

Elicitation Strategy

Observe the child playing with the variety of toys. After the child chooses one and demonstrates what she can do, replace it with another toy. Continue until you have seen a repertoire of different actions with the toys.

Behavior Observed

The infant is beginning to see how objects can be combined. She manipulates objects in ways that are appropriate to the purpose of the object.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Children often have favorite toys, but these encourage repetition of the same actions. Early childhood educators and parents can rotate toys each day, so the infant doesn’t always just explore favorites. All objects require manipulation in some way, so encourage parents to let the infant participate with any routines and safe objects. They can bang a spoon in a pot or dump toys in a box.

 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