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: Drawing

Age: 54-60 Months

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

Draws stick figures with head, body, arms, and legs

Situations for Observation of Skill

Give the child paper and crayons or markers.

Elicitation Strategy

Ask the child to draw a picture of anything she wants. When finished, ask the child to, “Tell me about your picture.”

Behavior Observed

The child’s picture reflect her perceptions of the world. Key aspects that may not be visible to the child are shown, because the child knows they are there. For example, the animal is lying down, but all legs are shown. Pictures are beginning to show action (as told by the child) and may include elements of a story. For example, “This is the boy and this is his dog. And this is the poop the dog just made on the carpet. This is his mad Mommy.”

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Early childhood educators and parents should give children time to illustrate events of the day or weekend. Pictures may actually stimulate children to talk in more detail about things that occurred. Use of multiple media also give children an opportunity to explore creative ways to express their ideas.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit