North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

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

Subdomain: Developing a Sense of Self with Others

Goal: Children form relationships and interact positively with other children

Skill Progression: Positive social interactions

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List of Skills by Age

1-2 Months

Responds to different facial expressions of others and imitates simple expressions

2-4 Months

Looks at and touches others

4-6 Months

Responds with enthusiasm to familiar social games with siblings

6-8 Months

Attempts to get the attention of other children with vocalizations and actions

8-10 Months

Approaches other infants

10-12 Months

Offers a child a toy; toy play becomes the center of social interaction with peers

12-15 Months

Demonstrates parallel object play with another child (plays with same or similar toys, but not with another child)

15-18 Months

Spontaneously shares toys, food, etc. with others, but conflict over toys is common; imitates peers actions

18-21 Months

Shows a preference for play with a peer over an adult; demonstrates cooperative play with large outdoor equipment

21-24 Months

Demonstrates pretend play directed toward others (at child’s own initiation); may offer cup or pretend food

24-27 Months

Engages in pretend parallel play; talks about how others feel

27-30 Months

Demonstrates role of both a leader and a follower with peers; shares toys, helps others, talks to peers, cooperates in games, and imitates actions and speech of others

30-33 Months

Language and actions are increasingly coordinated with joint discussion of actions, descriptions, and regulation of play; words begin to serve as turns in games

33-36 Months

Demonstrates associative play (playing together with same materials, but not with same goals); imitates actions and incorporates others’ ideas in play sequences

36-42 Months

Silly boisterous play with peers; demonstrates preference for play partners

42-48 Months

Preference for same gender peers; engages in cooperative play; forms attachments to specific peers; attempts to solve conflicts independently

48-54 Months

Establishes special friendships that last over time; demonstrates cooperative, coordinated socio-dramatic play

54-60 Months

Carries on long conversations with friends related to a wide range of topics; plans complex activities with friends

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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