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: Reach/Grasp/Release

Age: 1-2 Months

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Release: No voluntary release

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the infant with an adult and interesting objects.

Elicitation Strategy

Place a finger in the child’s palm.

Behavior Observed

The infant does not have voluntary release.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Explain the grasp reflex and how this gives infants the foundation for later voluntary grasp. Help early childhood educators and parents understand the connection between vision and reaching. Children see best at 8-12 inches at this age, so infants are motivated to reach when they see objects at this distance. Stimulating infants to reach gives them practice with coordinating vision, arm, and hand movements.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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