Find Out What Motor Skills Your Babies and Kids Should Have at Each Age

Let’s be honest. How many of us have worried that our kids aren’t developing normally? What if they don’t start crawling when other babies are crawling around so fast their moms can hardly keep up with them? What about walking? What age do they start walking? When can they start putting on their clothes? If you’re looking for a baseline–just to make sure your kid is doing alright–then we’ve got you! Just remember though, that not all babies and kids develop motor skills at the same rate, and this is not a predictor of your kids’ future skills either.

Baby and Breakfast: Parenthood Find Out What Motor Skills Your Babies and Kids Should Have at Each Age

 

If you need a quick recap, here’s a brief description of some of the different kinds of motor skills:

1. Gross motor skills – The ability required to control the large movements of the arms, legs, and feet, or the whole body (e.g. running, jumping, climbing, throwing, etc.)

2. Fine motor skills – The ability required to control the smaller movements of the hands and fingers (e.g. picking up small objects, tying one’s shoes, etc.)

3. Non-locomotor skills – The ability required to move parts of the body without traveling from one place to another (e.g. bending, stretching, twisting, turning, etc.)

 

INFANCY (1 MONTH TO 1 YEAR) AGE GROSS MOTOR SKILLS NON-LOCOMOTOR SKILLS FINE MOTOR SKILLS 1-2 months Supports head. Can lift head from prone lying Will hold on to object placed in hand 3-4 months Stepping reflex pattern Plays with hands as a first toy 5 months Rolls over from front to back Holds head and shoulders erect when sitting Stretches out to grasp with increased accuracy 6-8 months May begin to crawl Sits unsupported Begins to be able to let go 9 months Can stand with support Pulls up to stand holding furniture Transfers objects from one hand to the other 10 months Crawling established Can bend to pick up objects when one hand is held Can use two hands doing different actions at the midline of the body 1 year Can crawl and stand alone, and may walk unaided Uses step-together pattern to climb stairs
 Early walking. Starts games such as peekaboo Can build with bricks, pour water, eat finger food independently

EARLY CHILDHOOD (2 TO 5 YEARS) AGE GROSS MOTOR SKILLS FINE MOTOR SKILLS 2 years Can walk up and down stairs, two feet at a time

Can kick a ball
 Pulls on clothes. Can put on roomy garments. Increasing independence Builds a tower with six or seven blocks Turns the pages of a book one at a time Turns door knobs and untwists jar lids Washes and dries hands Uses spoon and fork well 2.5 years Jumps with both feet, including off stairs Can walk on tiptoe Builds tower with eight blocks Holds pencil or crayon between fingers (instead of fist) 3 years Climbs stairs using alternate feet Can stand on one foot (briefly) Can ride a tricycle (bike with training wheels for kids) Runs well Builds tower with nine or ten blocks Puts on shoes and socks and can button and unbutton Carries a container without spilling or dripping (most of the time) 4 years Skips on one foot Throws ball overhand Jumps well from standing position Except for tying, can dress him or herself Cuts with scissors (but not well) Washes and dries face 5 years Hops and skips Has good balance Can skate or ride a scooter Dresses without help and ties shoes Prints simple letters

MIDDLE CHILDHOOD (6-10 YEARS) AGE GROSS MOTOR SKILLS FINE MOTOR SKILLS 6-10 years Jumps, hops, and skips with ease Throws ball well at long distances and catches ball with accuracy Precision and motor planning evident in drawing Motor planning evident in completion of complex puzzles Good dexterity for crafts and construction with small objects

Sources:

  • Case-Smith, J. (2005). Occupational therapy for children (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
  • Macintyre, C., & McVitty, K. (Eds.). (2004). Movement and learning in the early years: Supporting dyspraxia (DCD) and other difficulties. London: Paul Chapman.
  • Steinberg, L., Bornstein, M. H., Vandell, D. L., & Rock, K. S. (2011). Lifespan Development: Infancy Through Adulthood. (International ed., pp. 107-110, 192-195, 264-269). USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
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