North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Emotional and Social Development (ESD)

Subdomain: Learning About Feelings

Goal: Children identify, manage, and express their feelings.

Skill Progression: Emotional expression

Age: 2-4 Months

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Objects when play is interrupted with negative vocalizations and facial expression

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe child when a toy is removed or face-to-face play is abruptly stopped.

Elicitation Strategy

Introduce a rattle or interesting object for the child to see and hear. Shake a rattle or activate a toy that the infant likes. (He may vocalize, smile, or make more active body movements to indicate pleasure). After two or three activations remove the toy from the child’s view and wait. Watch for a reaction.

Behavior Observed

The infant’s facial expression may turn to a frown or the infant may vocalize with fussing sounds when the toy is removed. His body may also become quiet while waiting, then tense when the face play or action with the toy does not recur. This indicates the child’s growing exploration of emotions.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Stopping face-to-face play or removing a toy after several activations, allows the child to communicate that she misses the engagement. Read any movement or facial expression change as an indication that she misses the toy. Repeat the actions. Soon the child will learn that she can communicate her desires. Parents will also begin to read the baby’s change in facial expression and body language.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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