Developmental Milestones

Fine Motor

How we use the small muscles in our hands to manipulate and grasp items.

Visual Motor

How we use our eyes and our hands in a coordinated and efficient way.

Gross Motor

How we use the large muscles of our body to navigate the environment and perform whole body tasks in a coordinated way.

Self-Care

How we care for ourselves, and complete daily activities, including feeding, dressing, grooming, and toileting.
3 Months

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Involuntarily grasps objects with all fingers (2-3 mos.)

Gross Motor

  • Lifts head momentarily while on belly and turns side to side (0-2 mos.)
  • Able to bear weight on forearms (0-2 mos.)
  • Holds head in line with middle of body in all play positions (3-4 mos.)
  • Rolls from back to side (3-4 mos.)
  • No head lag when adult pulls from lie to sit (apparent at 4-5 mos.)
6 Months

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Accurately reaches towards object
  • Grasps toy at middle of body, transfers toy between hands, and brings to mouth
  • Plays with toys while sitting (5-10 mos.)
  • Uses a radial digital grasp on blocks (8 mos.)

Gross Motor

  • Rolls from belly to back and back to belly (4-6 mos.)
  • Brings feet to mouth and hands to feet (5-6 mos.)
  • Able to weight bear on forearms and reach forward while on belly (5-6 mos.)
  • Sits independently for several minutes (6-7 mos.)
  • Crawls forward on belly (6-8 mos.)
  • Transitions from belly or back to sitting (7-9 mos.)
  • Pushes up onto hands when on belly (7-9 mos.)

Self-Care

  • Feeding: Holds own bottle during feeding; bangs spoon; drinks from open cup with assistance (6 – 12 mos.); finger feeds self with pincer grasp (8 – 11 mos.)
9 Months

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Attempts to imitate scribble
  • Uses an inferior pincer grasp to pick up small items
  • Visually tracks with eyes horizontally, vertically, and in a circular motion (9-10 mos.)

Gross Motor

  • Crawls on hands and knees (8-10 mos.)
  • Pulls to stand at furniture (9-11 mos.) and walks around while holding on (10-12 mos.)
  • Stands alone momentarily (10-12 mos.)
  • Walks with hands held (10-14 mos.)

Self-Care

  • Feeding: Drinks from a straw (9 – 18 mos.)
12 Months

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Plays with toys at middle of body
  • Points with index finger
  • Uses a refined pincer grasp to pick up small items
  • Scribbles on paper
  • Holds writing utensil with a fisted (palmar supinate) grasp (1-1.5 yrs.)

Gross Motor

  • Climbs up stairs on hands and knees (10-15 mos.)
  • Walks independently (12-15 mos.)
  • Climbs down stairs backwards (12-15 mos.)
  • Squats to pick up toys (12-18 mos.)
  • Flings a ball (14-18 mos.)

Self-Care

  • Feeding: Uses spoon appropriately though messy; holds and drinks from open cup (12-18 mos.)
  • Dressing: Cooperates with dressing; takes off shoes and socks (1-2 yrs.)
  • Grooming: Tolerates bathing, diaper changes, and grooming activities (1-2 yrs.)
  • Toileting: Expresses discomfort when diaper is soiled
1.5 Years

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Uses two hands during play
  • Turns cardboard pages of book

Gross Motor

  • Runs stiffly
  • Walks up and down stairs while holding on (18-24 mos.)
  • Climbs on jungle gym, slides, and furniture (18-24 mos.)
  • Kicks ball forward (18-24 mos.)

Self-Care

  • Feeding: Uses a spoon with spillage
  • Dressing: Puts on socks; pushes arms and legs through holes of clothing
2 Years

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Imitates vertical, horizontal and circular marks
  • Completes 3-piece insert puzzle
  • Holds and snips with scissors
  • Uses a digital pronate grasp on a writing utensil (2-3 yrs.)

Gross Motor

  • Begins to throw and kick ball with little accuracy
  • Jumps down from step
  • Walks up and down stairs without support (2-2.5 yrs.)
  • Catches large ball against chest (2-3 yrs.)
  • Rides tricycle (2-4 yrs.)

Self-Care

  • Feeding: Good use of spoon; beginning to use fork
  • Dressing: Able to remove coat when unfastened; helps pull down pants; locates armholes in shirt
  • Grooming: Participates in bathing self; assists in brushing teeth; may see some resistance to grooming (i.e. face/hair washing, toothbrushing, nail cutting) (2-3 yrs.)
  • Toileting: Begins to show interest in toileting
2.5 Years

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Strings beads
  • Cuts across a 6 inch piece of paper

Self-Care

  • Feeding: Proficiently uses a fork
  • Dressing: Pulls down pants with an elastic waistband; helps with putting on socks, coat, and shirt; unbuttons large buttons
  • Grooming: Washes hands independently
  • Toileting: Indicates need to go to bathroom; can wipe after urinating
3 Years

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Cuts on a straight line 6 inches long (3-3.5 yrs.)
  • Copies a vertical line, horizontal line and circle

Gross Motor

  • Walks up stairs alternating feet (3- 3.5 yrs.)
  • Jumps, climbs, runs (3-4 yrs.)
  • Jumps with two feet off floor
  • Jumps over objects (3-5 yrs.)

Self-Care

  • Dressing: Puts on front open shirt or jacket; puts on shirt, shoes, socks with little assistance; buttons large buttons; zips/unzips after engaged
  • Toileting: Goes to the bathroom independently; may need assistance wiping after a bowel movement
3.5 Years

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Cuts out a circle (3.5-4 yrs.)
  • Uses a static tripod grasp on a writing utensil (3.5-4 yrs.)

Gross Motor

  • Stands on one leg for 5 seconds
  • Walks down stairs with alternating feet (3.5-4 yrs.)
  • Throws ball and hits target (3.5-4.5 yrs.)
  • Hops on one foot (3.5-5 yrs.)

Self-Care

  • Dressing: Can find front of clothing items; manage snaps and hooks; unzips zipper completely; can button buttons; unbuckles shoe or belt; puts on mittens; dresses with supervision
4 Years

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Colors within the lines
  • Cuts out a square (4-5 yrs.)
  • Copies a cross, diagonal lines, a square, some numbers/letters and may copy name (4-5 yrs.)
  • Completes puzzles up to 10 pieces (4-5 yrs.)

Gross Motor

  • Jumps forward
  • Gallops proficiently (4-4.5 yrs.)
  • Catches ball with two hands without trapping against body (4-6 yrs.)

Self-Care

  • Dressing: Removes pullover garment; buckles shoes and belt; engages and zip zipper; puts on shoes and socks with correct orientation
  • Grooming: Requires supervision for brushing teeth and grooming; requires assistance for bathing to manage water, and wash hair and body thoroughly (4-5 yrs.)
  • Toileting: Independent with toileting, washing hands, and clothing management (4-5 yrs.)
4.5 Years

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Uses a dynamic tripod grasp on a writing utensil (4.5-5 yrs.)

Self-Care

  • Dressing: Able to weave belt through belt loops
5 Years

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Draws a stick figure
  • Completes puzzles up to 20 pieces (5-6 yrs.)
  • Copies a triangle, prints own name, and copies most lowercase and uppercase letters (5-6 yrs.)

Gross Motor

  • Stands on each foot for 10 seconds
  • Skips proficiently (5-6 yrs.)
  • Kicks with accuracy (5-6 yrs.)

Self-Care

  • Dressing: Ties and unties knots; dresses without supervision
  • Grooming: Brushes teeth and grooms with supervision; bathes with assistance to set up water, wash hair, and supervision for safety; may need cues for thoroughness (5-6 yrs.)
6 Years

Fine & Visual Motor

  • Cuts a variety of shapes (6-7 yrs.)

Gross Motor

  • Runs with speed and endurance (6-10 yrs.)
  • Jumps, hops, and skips with endurance and for long distances (6-10 yrs.)
  • Throws ball well at long distances (6-10 yrs.)
  • Catches ball with accuracy (6-10 yrs.)

Self-Care

  • Feeding: Proficient use of knife
  • Dressing: Manages fasteners on the back of garments; ties bows; ties shoes

Note: These milestones are meant to be interpreted as fluid, with early developing skills listed toward the beginning of each age group and later developing skills listed toward the end of each age group.

Sources:

Occupational Therapy for Children and Adolescents. 7th Ed. 2015. | TherapyEd’s National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam Review & Study Guide. 8th Ed. 2017. | Occupational Therapy Evaluation for Children: A Pocket Guide. 2nd Ed. 2013. | Pathways.org. | Peabody Developmental Motor Scales (PDMS-2). 2nd Ed. | Physical Therapy for Children. 4th Ed. 2011. | YourKidsTable.com (https:// yourkidstable.com/eatingfeeding-milestones-for-babies-and/)

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