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Motor Skill Development in Children

Motor Skills in Your Child

Motor skills are important for everyday function.  Motor skills impact self-care, play, school and almost everything between!  Here are developmental milestones to look for in your kids.

Birth to 3 months

Emerging Skills

·         Pushes up on arms and lifts head when position on tummy

·         Brings both hands to mouth

·         Moves legs and arms off of surface when positioned on tummy

·         Grasps objects without purposeful control over release

Red Flags

·         Flattening of the back or side of head

·         Preferring to turn head to one side only

3-6 months

Emerging Skills

·         Pushes up on arms when on tummy

·         Plays with feet and brings feet to mouth when positioned on back

·         Begins to roll

·         Begins to sit with support

·         Begins to rock on hands and knees

·         Reaches for and holds toy or object briefly

Red Flags

·         Arching when on back

·         Using only one hand to reach or using only one side of body

·         Keeping one or both hands tightly clenched all the time

6-12 months

Emerging Skills

·         Rolls independently

·         Sits independently

·         Begins to crawl

·         Begins to pull up to stand

·         Pivots in sitting to reach for objects

·         Cruises or walks sideways along furniture

·         Crawls up steps with supervision

·         Begins to take steps without support

·         Transfers objects from one hand to the other

·         Releases an object from hand with control

·         Bangs objects together

·         Holds out arm or leg to help with dressing

Red Flags

·         Scooting instead of crawling

·         Not bearing any weight on feet

·         Frequent standing on tip toes

·         Not bringing hands together at midline

·         Difficulty grasping and releasing toys in a controlled way

12-18 months

Emerging Skills

·         Sits in a variety of positions on the floor

·         Stands without support

·         Walks independently

·         Puts objects into containers

·         Uses both hands in play

·         Points at objects

·         Scribbles with crayon

Red Flags

·         Falls frequently

·         Little interest in motor exploration

·         Frequent toe walking

18-24 months

Emerging Skills

·         Builds tower of a few blocks

·         Picks up and releases objects

·         Begins to complete shape sorter

·         Grasps crayon with whole hand

·         Begins to imitate strokes with crayon

·         Kicks and throws a ball

Red Flags

·         Fearful of swings

·         Falls frequently

·         Little interest in motor exploration





2-3 years

Emerging Skills

·         Makes a tower of several blocks

·         Snips with scissors

·         Imitates simple lines with crayon

·         Strings beads

·         Begins to balance on one foot

·         Throws a ball toward a target

Red Flags

·         Difficulty using two hands together for play or functional tasks

·         Unable to jump


3-5 years

Emerging Skills

·         Stands on one foot

·         Uses a tripod grasp on crayons

·         Begins to imitate and write name

·         Cuts on a line with scissors

·         Dresses and undresses independently

Red Flags

·         Little interest in motor exploration

·         Difficulty grasping crayons or scissors

·         Difficulty imitating lines and shapes with crayon

Information taken from


If you have concerns regarding your child’s motor skills, we can help!

Call us at 651-636-4155







1935 County Road B2 West Suite 100 Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 636-4155