North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Health and Physical Development (HPD)

Subdomain: Motor Development

Goal: Children develop the large muscle control and abilities needed to move through and explore their environment.

Skill Progression: Supine/prone

Age: 4-6 Months

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Supine: Kicks feet

Situations for Observation of Skill

Supine: Observe the infant on her back (with no pants or socks) and on her tummy. Interview the adult if the child does not spontaneously demonstrate sucking toes. Position a low mobile over the child as a target for feet and hands.

Elicitation Strategy

Supine: No elicitation may be needed if the child is playing on her back, with nothing on her legs and feet. If the child does not spontaneously put her foot to her mouth, put a bracelet with a bell on the infant’s ankle, or hang low mobile and use baby’s foot to activate it. Movement of the leg will cause the infant to investigate her foot. If neither of the above work, ask the adult if toe sucking has been observed.

Behavior Observed

Infants are flexible and easily explore their feet. Sucking on feet lets infants know they can cause a sensation they feel. This sensation also tells them their feet are connected to their body.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage parents to allow the child floor time for play on tummy and back. Present interesting toys or materials. Let parents know that any household object can be of interest to a child (e.g., a shiny spoon, a pan, a set of washed keys, etc.) The infant will want to see, touch, feel and mouth the objects. Encourage early childhood educators and parents to let the infant work to get the objects rather than just handing them to him. Adults can provide different play activities that challenge the child to work against gravity, including pulling to sit in an “up and down” game and “flying” the child through the air. Children roll over in different ways and at different times. Some never roll over and just move into all fours. Emphasize the wide variation of normal development.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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