Gross Motor Milestones

Gross Motor Milestones
Are you tracking your child’s gross motor milestones so you know what the next activity should be? Gross motor skills involve the larger muscles of the legs, arms and torso for movement. There are many ways to track these activities on-line but here is a quick list to use.
0-3 months – will begin to lift head when on tummy and try to roll from back or tummy
• Arms and legs will start out uncoordinated and jerky but as baby gets older both arms or both legs will begin to move in symmetrical patterns up or down at same time
• While on tummy, lifts and holds head up and is able to turn head from one side to the other
• When on back can be pulled slowly into sitting by hands. Head will remain extended back until in sitting.
• Will roll on back from side-lying
3-6 Months – able to roll, bring feet to mouth
• While on tummy, will bend elbows and push up onto forearms, lifting head and chest off surface
• Can raise chest and upper part of abdomen when on tummy by straightening elbows, keeping hands on floor
• With support at hips or trunk, can sit for 5-10 seconds with hands for support in front
• When pulled into sitting when lying on back, will keep head facing forward in line with shoulders and begin to display a chin tuck
• When held in sitting or standing position can display good head control when turning head left, right, up, or down
• When baby is on his/her back, will bring feet to hands or place in mouth
• Can roll from back to tummy in either direction 
• Can roll tummy to back in either direction
• When on back will begin to kick legs reciprocally as if riding a bicycle
• Creeping: Will begin to move around on floor using arms, hands, legs, and feet to push or pull keeping tummy on the ground. May move forward or backward. May also begin to roll around the room, rocking when on forearms and pushing feet against hard surfaces to move forward.
• When held in standing will bear moderate amount of weight on feet
6-9 Months – sits alone for short amount of time, will stand when held around the chest, will crawl or begin creeping
• Can bear weight on one forearm or hand (with arm extended) while exploring the environment with the other hand reaching for objects when on tummy
• Begins bridging by lifting bottom up when on back and both feet on floor.  
• While on tummy will move to face a different direction
• When supported at hands, trunk, or hips, will move from sitting into standing
• When holding infant t chest or hips and standing him/her up, will bear weight through legs
• Sits alone for up to one minute initially leaning forward onto hands in front. Eventually will begin to straighten back to sit independently without support
• Can transition from being on tummy or back (combined from another item) to sitting independently
• Will move into hands and knees with tummy off surface and beginning to move alternating arms and legs. Will move backward first.
9-12 months – pulls to stand and cruises, crawl up and down stairs
• When sitting on floor will turn to either side to actively reach for toy
• Will easily move from sitting to hands and knees, and then back into sitting
• Using a sturdy object, pulls to a standing position from hands and knees and plays with toys
• Cruises around furniture
• Will begin to stand independently without holding onto something for support
• In standing and holding onto a sturdy object, will lower self to floor
• Will take steps forward holding onto another person or furniture
• Will begin climbing onto or off of a chair of sofa by him/herself
• Will crawl up and down stairs
12-15 months – can walk with push toys, can move stand to squat or hands and knees to stand
• Can push toys around the room while walking
• Walks alone well on level surfaces taking quick, short steps
• Can move from hands and knees into standing without support
• When playing can move from standing to squatting to standing again.
• Plays in kneeling
• Walks backwards on level surfaces without holding on for support
• Can approach a small chair, turn, and sit down
• Can catch a playground sized ball when rolled to him/her. Able to roll it back with jerky, pushing movement
15 -18 months – walks by self, starting to run
• Walks by self with legs close together with head and trunk straight
• Can walk and pull a toy behind
• Can ride on a toy without pedals, propelling forward or backward with feet using alternate leg movement
• Can run on level surfaces with stiff posture
• Can stand on one foot for a few seconds while holding on to a sturdy object
18 - 24 months - can walk and carry a large ball, beginning to jump and kick a ball
• When walking on a level surface can carry a large ball or toy without loss of balance
• Will jump up with both feet off floor
• Can jump forward 3 feet with both feet at once
• Can kick a stationary ball with either foot
• Can ascend and descend stairs placing both feet on each step and holding on to handrail or hand for support
24-30 months – can jump from a step, beginning to ride a pedal toy, and throw a ball
• Can jump down from low chair or step (8 – 18”) with both feet landing at the same time
• Can bend both knees and jump backward a few inches
• Can ride a toy with pedals, keeping hands on handlebars and feet on pedals. Legs should move in a smooth reciprocal motion as with a tricycle.
• Can stand on toes of both feet and walk several inches
• Can catch a gently tossed large playground ball using 2 hands and chest to trap it
• Throws a ball overhand 3-5’, with good force and accuracy
30-36 months – can climb steps (step over step) with rail, and begin to stand on one foot
• Can climb steps, with on foot on each step while holding onto rail or hand for support
• From standing, will jump over a narrow, stationary object such as a jump rope or sidewalk crack
• Can walk a 10 foot line using heel-toe pattern
• Can balance on one foot for up to 5 seconds without holding on to anything. Should be able to do either foot
• Can move from lying on back to standing, moving through sitting without using hands for support
• Can catch a medium-sized ball with hands and arms extended ball
3 years – climbs jungle gym or slide, climbs steps without support, throws ball overhand and underhand
• Climbs jungle gym and ladders
• Can walk on tiptoes
• Pedals a tricycle
• Can walk up steps, step over step, without support
• Can run 45 feet in 6 seconds or less
• Can jump forward using a two-foot take-off and landing
• Throws ball overhand 10 feet moving arm up and back with upper trunk rotation, arms and legs moving in opposite direction
• Throws ball underhand, hitting a two-foot target (2 feet above floor) from 5 feet away
• Stands on one foot for 5 seconds
4 years – Can kick a ball and runs around obstacles
• Kicks a ball forward
• Bounces ball to wall so it hits floor once, and then hits wall
• Catches ball that has been bounced
• Runs around obstacles
• Jumps over an object landing with both feet together
• Able to walk on a line
5 years – skips, jumps rope, beginning to skate and swim
• Able to walk up stairs while holding an object
• Jumps forward 10 times without falling
• Walks backward toe-heel
• Stand on one foot and then the other for 6 seconds each with hands on hips, without swaying
• Skips forward after demonstration
• Completes 3 sit-ups in 30 seconds
• Hangs from a bar for at least 5 seconds
• Catches a small ball consistently using hands only
• Can jump rope
• Beginning to skate and swim
6 years – runs on toes, and displays greater accuracy with throwing and catching a ball
• Runs lightly on toes
• Able to walk on a balance beam
• Able to skip using a skipping rope
• Demonstrates mature throwing and catching patterns
If your child has difficulties reaching any of these milestones contact your pediatrician for a referral for Pediatric Physical Therapy. Delays may be due to muscles weakness, joint misalignment, or balance deficits.