Developmental Milestones for Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills are important markers for your child’s development. While every child develops differently, these general gross motor milestones can provide a helpful benchmark for you to determine how your child is progressing as they grow.

What Are Gross Motor Skills?

Gross motor skills require whole-body movement and involve the body’s large, core-stabilizing muscles to perform everyday functions. The most common gross motor skills include standing, walking, running, jumping, and sitting upright. They also include hand-eye coordination skills, such as throwing and catching a ball, riding a bike, or swimming.

Gross Motor Milestones By Age

Every baby is unique and grows at its own pace. However, there are standard developmental milestones for gross motor skills. These milestones aim to provide a reference point for you so you can assess if your child is progressing at certain stages.
Below is a set of gross motor milestones broken down by age for your reference.

Birth - 2 Months

  • Hold head up momentarily when supported
  • Alternate kicking legs when on back
  • Arm thrusts during play
  • Raise head slightly off the floor when lying on the stomach

3 - 5 Months

  • Lift head and chest when on stomach
  • Improved head control
  • Roll from stomach to back
  • Random batting at objects
  • Some head-bobbing during supported sitting
  • Roll from side to side
  • Sit briefly with arm support

6 -8 Months

  • Pivot around when on the stomach
  • Pull self forward when on the stomach
  • Rolls from back to stomach
  • Sits on their own for a brief period
  • Move from sitting to lying on the stomach
  • Stand up with support

9 - 11 Months

  • Sits alone with trunk rotation
  • Pivot and scoot when sitting
  • Crawl (*very important skill)
  • Pulls body up to stand
  • Stand alone momentarily

12 - 15 Months

  • Walk on knees
  • Walk independently without support
  • Stand without support
  • Crawl up stairs
  • Ability to start, stop, and turn without falling when walking 
  • Run

16 - 18 Months

  • Walk up one step at a time while holding onto a railing
  • Walk sideways or backward
  • Run stiffly
  • Stand on one foot with assistance
  • Manage riding toys
  • Good balance and coordination

19 - 24 Months

  • Squats 
  • Jump in place
  • Kick a stationary ball
  • Walk up and down stairs alone

24 - 29 Months

  • Walk on a balance beam with one hand held
  • Stand on a balance beam alone
  • Walk up stairs one step at a time with no railing
  • Run well
  • Briefly stand on one foot
  • Jump off a step with feet together
  • Throw ball overhead
  • Climb on play equipment (ladders, slides, etc.)

2 - 3 Years

  • Walk down stairs step by step without holding onto a railing
  • Balance on one foot for 2-3 seconds
  • Jump forward at least one foot
  • Walk on a balance beam alone
  • Walk on tiptoe

3 - 4 Years

  • Walk on a balance beam sideways
  • Catch a bounced ball
  • Ride a tricycle
  • Hop on one foot 2-5 times
  • Balance on one foot for 2-5 seconds
  • Consecutive jumping
  • Walk up stairs, step-over-step alone

4 - 5 Years

  • Balance on one foot for 4-8 seconds
  • Walk on a balance beam in all directions
  • Walk down stairs step over step alone
  • Kick a rolling ball
  • Throw a ball overhand

5 - 6 Years

  • Balance on one foot for 10 seconds
  • Skip
  • Ride a bike with or without training wheels
  • Hop on one foot 10 times
  • Catch bounced or thrown ball with hands
  • Walk on heels
  • Swing on a swing independently

About Play Is Here To Help

If you’re worried that your child has missed more than one of these developmental milestones for gross motor skills, it’s worth talking to an early intervention specialist. The team at About Play is here to help. Get in touch with us today and find the support your family needs.

If you live in South Carolina and think your infant or child is experiencing developmental delays, we can help.

where do we offer early intervention services?

Our services are available for babies, toddlers, and their families in almost every county in South Carolina.

Click on your county to see the early interventionists available.