(reposted with permission from HighScope.)

Within HighScope’s six Infant-Toddler content areas are 42 key developmental indicators (KDIs) which define important learning goals for young children.

Each KDI is a statement that identifies an observable child behavior, reflecting knowledge and skills in areas such as language and literacy, math, creative arts, and physical development. HighScope teachers keep these indicators in mind when they set up the learning environment and plan activities. (Please click here for Preschool Key Developmental Indicators.)

Infant-Toddler KDIs Quick Menu

Approaches to Learning

  • Initiative: Children express initiative.
  • Problem solving: Children solve problems encountered in exploration and play.
  • Self-help: Children do things for themselves.

return to top

Social and Emotional Development

  • Distinguishing self and others: Children distinguish themselves from others.
  • Attachment: Children form an attachment to a primary caregiver.
  • Relationships with adults: Children build relationships with other adults.
  • Relationships with peers: Children build relationships with peers.
  • Emotions: Children express emotions.
  • Empathy: Children show empathy toward the feelings and needs of others.
  • Playing with others: Children play with others.
  • Group participation: Children participate in group routines.

return to top

Physical Development and Health

  • Moving parts of the body: Children move parts of the body (turning head, grasping, kicking).
  • Moving the whole body: Children move the whole body (rolling, crawling, cruising, walking, running, balancing).
  • Moving with objects: Children move with objects.
  • Steady beat: Children feel and experience steady beat.

return to top

Communication, Language, and Literacy

  • Listening and responding: Children listen and respond.
  • Nonverbal communication: Children communicate nonverbally.
  • Two-way communication: Children participate in two-way communication.
  • Speaking: Children speak.
  • Exploring print: Children explore picture books and magazines.
  • Enjoying language: Children enjoy stories, rhymes, and songs.

return to top

Cognitive Development

  • Exploring objects: Children explore objects with their hands, feet, mouth, eyes, ears, and nose.
  • Object permanence: Children discover object permanence.
  • Exploring same and different: Children explore and notice how things are the same or different.
  • Exploring more: Children experience “more.”
  • One-to-one correspondence: Children experience one-to-one correspondence.
  • Number: Children experience the number of things.
  • Locating objects: Children explore and notice the location of objects.
  • Filling and emptying: Children fill and empty, put in and take out.
  • Taking apart and putting together: Children take things apart and fit them together.
  • Seeing from different viewpoints: Children observe people and things from various perspectives.
  • Anticipating events: Children anticipate familiar events.
  • Time intervals: Children notice the beginning and ending of time intervals.
  • Speed: Children experience “fast” and “slow.”
  • Cause and effect: Children repeat an action to make something happen again, experience cause and effect.

return to top

Creative Arts

  • Imitating and pretending: Children imitate and pretend.
  • Exploring art materials: Children explore building and art materials.
  • Identifying visual images: Children respond to and identify pictures and photographs.
  • Listening to music: Children listen to music.
  • Responding to music: Children respond to music.
  • Sounds: Children explore and imitate sounds.
  • Vocal pitch: Children explore vocal pitch sounds.

return to top