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: 12-15 Months

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Release (of tiny object): Precise release into small container with wrist extended

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child putting small food items into a narrow-necked container.

Elicitation Strategy

Give the child small food to feed an open-mouthed plastic animal, or drop food into a small-mouthed container to “feed” it.

Behavior Observed

The child releases small objects into a small container.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Introduce activities that require two hands, such as drawing, using a bowl and spoon to stir, holding a toy with one hand, activating it with another, etc. Explain to early childhood educators and parents how as the child matures, an increasing number of activities will require different movements on alternate sides of the body. Provide activities that encourage using hands in different ways, such as holding a box and removing the top.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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