North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Cognitive Development (CD)

Subdomain: Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning

Goal: Children demonstrate the ability to think about their own thinking: reasoning, taking perspectives, and making decisions

Skill Progression: Thinking and reasoning

Age: 15-18 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 15-18 Months.

Reflects thinking in problem solving with toys

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child with simple puzzles or novel cause-and-effect toys.

Elicitation Strategy

Do not demonstrate how to use the toy.

Behavior Observed

Watch the child with single-hole puzzles. The child will try placing one piece. If it doesn’t work she may bang it on the puzzle space again, or try a different space. The child will examine cause-and-effect toys and begin to bang or push anything that looks like a button.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage early childhood educators and parents to let the child explore and discover what objects do on her own before demonstrating. Figuring out how something works is exciting, and the child will want to show the adult her new skill. If the child cannot figure out what to do with the toy or object the adult should step in and demonstrate before the child gets too frustrated or disinterested. Encourage early childhood educators and parents to watch the child’s persistence and read her facial cues for when she is becoming upset. Letting the child figure things out independently builds persistence, but getting too frustrated makes the child give up.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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