North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Cognitive Development (CD)

Subdomain: Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning

Goal: Children demonstrate the ability to think about their own thinking: reasoning, taking perspectives, and making decisions

Skill Progression: Making decisions

Age: 36-42 Months

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Determines dramatic play themes and leads others

Situations for Observation of Skill

Children just need a play space and materials to come up with dramatic play themes based on their current interests. Provide props if they need them or materials they can combine to create them.

Elicitation Strategy

If children are not inspired to come up with a theme, the adult can ask about the children’s favorite books, movies, or TV characters. Ask them what the characters need and help them come up with some props, boxes for enclosures, etc. Then turn them loose!

Behavior Observed

A leader will emerge with an idea and others will contribute. There may be conflicts, but the child will stick with the theme and add ideas and actions. Not all children lead by telling others what to do, some just do something interesting, and the others follow.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Play dates! Children need opportunities, space, and time to develop their ideas. Have spare materials, boxes, sheets, and junk available along with their favorite action characters or dolls. In school, the early childhood educator should rotate through various themes so children are not just playing house.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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