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: Manipulation/Tool use

Age: 54-60 Months

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Completes 10+ interlocking piece puzzles

Situations for Observation of Skill

Let children cut out a favorite picture from a magazine. Laminate the pictures if possible. Have scissors available for both right and left-handed children.

Elicitation Strategy

The adult tells the children they are going to be able to make a puzzle. Using a pencil or marker, the child next draws lines on their picture. Tell them to draw a line down the middle of the picture, using a curving line. Then draw a line across the middle in the other direction. Continue to give directions for dividing each of the sections in half again. The children then cut on the lines to make puzzle pieces. The children then mix the pieces up and put the puzzle together. Children can also exchange puzzles.

Behavior Observed

Children can now both draw and cut straight and curved lines with accuracy (if the lines are fairly thick).

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Early childhood educators and parents need to provide reasons for children to want to draw and cut. Art projects at school or home and making birthday cards or presents at home are two simple ways to encourage using drawing and cutting. Children also love puzzles, so creating puzzles from laminated pictures is a fun way to constantly have new puzzles on hand. Children can make them with as few or as many pieces as they want.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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