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Developmental Milestones

Gross Motor, Fine Motor, and Sensory-Motor Skills

Watching your child master new skills is exciting and fun. Many questions arise throughout development, however, that can be difficult to find at times. “When should my child be able to do______” is a common question I get in my pediatric occupational therapy practice. Below is a checklist to serve as a resource for your child’s development of fine motor, gross motor, and sensory-motor skills.

Age 13-18 months
  • Scribbles on paper

  • Points with isolated index finger

  • Squats to pick up toy without losing balance

  • Lifts foot to kick large ball

  • Is interested in imitating others

  • Turns head in response to name being called

  • Points to object of interest

  • Maintains balance in sitting or standing while using two hands together to explore toys

  • Turns head to look at objects without losing balance while standing

  • Able to self-calm in car rides when not tired or hungry

  • Tolerates and wear new and varied textures of clothing

  • Has grown accustomed to everyday sounds and is usually not startled by them

  • Cries and notices when hurt

Age: 19-24 months

  • Is interested, aware, and able to maintain eye contact with others

  • Able to locate objects you are pointing to

  • Enjoys playing with new toys in varied ways

  • Usually plays with toys without mouthing them

  • Enjoys sitting to look at or listen to a book

  • Usually walks with heel toe pattern and not primarily on toes

  • Can maintain balance to catch ball or when gently bumped by peers

  • Is able to throw and attempt to catch ball without losing balance

  • Enjoys bath time

  • Is usually able to self-calm to fall asleep

  • Able to tolerate and wear new and varied textures of clothing

  • Enjoys a wide variety of touch, noise and smells

  • Able to transition to new environment or activity

Age: 2 – 2.5 years

  • Stacks 8-10 small (1″) cubes

  • Cuts paper

  • Imitates drawing lines on paper

  • Strings beads

  • Throws ball overhand at least 7 feet

  • Jumps down from step

  • Kick ball forward

  • Usually plays with toys without mouthing them

  • Participates in messy activities that result in dirty hands

Age: 2.5 – 3 years

  • Hops on one foot approximately 3 or more times

  • Balances on one foot for at least 3 seconds

  • Catches large ball

  • Jumps backward and sideways

  • Jumps a distance of at least 1 foot

  • Imitates drawing a cross and a circle

  • Holds crayon with thumb and fingers

  • Snips on a line using scissors

  • Able to participate in small groups with other children

  • Walks and maintains balance on uneven surfaces

  • Does not lean on furniture or people, unless tired

Age 3 – 3.5 years

  • Jumps forward at least 2 feet

  • Balances on one foot for 5 seconds

  • Throws small ball 10 feet forward with coordinated overhand throw

  • Catches 8-inch ball with hands

  • Cuts paper into two pieces, within 1/2 inch of a line

  • Unbuttons 3 1″ buttons

Age 3.5 – 4 years

  • Walks backward along a line

  • Using overhand throw, hits target from 5 feet

  • Opens and closes 1″ button

  • Uses appropriate tripod grasp on crayon

  • Gallops

  • Cuts out simple shapes

Age 4 – 5 years

  • Stands on one foot for 5-10 seconds

  • Jumps and turns landing in opposite direction (180 degrees)

  • Hops on one foot at least 8 times

  • Catches tennis ball with hands from distance of 5 feet

  • Prints name

  • Copies a square and a triangle (5 years)

Age 5-6 years

  • Balances on one foot 10 seconds

  • Bounce and catch tennis ball, catch with 1 hand

  • Walks on tiptoes 15 feet

  • Ties shoes

  • Completes 5 sit-ups

  • Able to jump rope

  • Skips with alternating feet

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