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 small muscle control and hand-eye coordination to manipulate objects and work with tools.

Skill Progression: Arm movements

Age: 2-4 Months

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Supine: Initially arms reach from side with elbow, wrist, and hand flexed; later, moves both arms toward object, elbows extended, hands partly open

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the infant on her back.

Elicitation Strategy

Observe the infant lying on her back. After a minute or two, hold an interesting object above the child.

Behavior Observed

Over time the infant’s reach becomes less flexed; elbows extend, and the hand partially opens toward the object.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Explain to early childhood educators and parents how time on back and stomach helps the infant’s development. Play on the back encourages children to bring hands to midline. “Tummy time” is important for building head control and upper body strength.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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