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

Age: 27-30 Months

You may choose a different domain, go back, or click on a skill below for more information.

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

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child interacting in play with peers. Have motivating dramatic play props related to daily routines or favorite stories. Action figures, trains, blocks, or theme sets (e.g., zoo, farm) may also prompt joint play.

Elicitation Strategy

If no interaction occurs, prompt the interaction by joining the play and beginning a dramatic play scenario. “Let’s play doctor. I don’t feel good, so I need to see a doctor and nurse.”

Behavior Observed

Once engaged in play, the child begins to create a story or follow the peer’s actions and words. She shares materials and offers comments. The play is not goal-oriented but is imitative and repetitive.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage parents to provide dramatic play props for siblings related to everyday activities. Explain the type of toys that will promote joint play. Dramatic play, construction, and theme play promote sharing and positive interaction among siblings. The adult’s suggestions may also stimulate play.

 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