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

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

Prone: Initially, limited head control, unsuccessful bilateral reaching, hands flexed; later, head lifts, hands partly open, and some weight shifting takes place, so one arm is freed to reach

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the infant on his stomach.

Elicitation Strategy

When the infant is on his stomach, place an interesting object on the floor in front of him.

Behavior Observed

In prone, the infant over time begins to lift his head to look toward an object. The infant initially tries an ineffective reach with both arms. Gradually, the infant puts more weight on one arm and the other arm then reaches forward.

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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