North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

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

Subdomain: Mathematical Thinking and Expression

Goal: Children identify and use common shapes and concepts about position during play and other activities.

Skill Progression: Composes geometric shapes

Age: 18-21 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 18-21 Months.

Puts together two pieces to form a whole geometric figure

Situations for Observation of Skill

Provide puzzles or pieces of paper cut into geometric shapes, then cut in half. During playtime present these as an interesting new plaything.

Elicitation Strategy

Start with the geometric shapes together, so the child can see the whole object. Then separate the pieces. Observe what the child does with the pieces.

Behavior Observed

The child can combine halves of the circle and square, but may have a more difficult time with the triangle and need to experiment.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Show parents that they can make simple puzzles from (colored or designed wrapping paper) paper or cardboard that will be just as motivating as the more expensive ones. The child can even put his own designs on homemade puzzles.

 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