Gross Motor Skill Development By Age

Children typically aquire certain motor skills by particular ages. The lists below outline these skills and timelines.

Tummy (Prone)

  • By 3 months
    • Can lift head off the surface 90 degrees from the surface
    • Can place weight through forearms
    • May begin rolling from tummy to back
  • By 6 months
    • Will play up on extended arms
    • Can turn or pivot on their belly inboth directions
    • Will shift their weight onto one hand to reach for a toy
  • By 9 months
    • Gets into hand and knees position
    • Moves from sitting to belly
    • Will crawl backward and/or creep on hands and knees
  • By 12 months
    • Creeps reciprocally on hands and knees
  • By 15 months
    • N/A

Back (Supine)

  • By 3 months
    • Kicks legs off of the surface
    • Brings hands to the middle
  • By 6 months
    • Rolls from back to tummy
  • By 9 months
    • N/A
  • By 12 months
    • N/A
  • By 15 months
    • N/A

Sitting

  • By 3 months
    • Will still need full support to sit and head will bob occasionally
  • By 6 months
    • Will sit independently when placed
  • By 9 months
    • Sits independently and reaches for toys without falling
    • Will start to turn while sitting
  • By 12 months
    • N/A
  • By 15 months
    • N/A

Standing

  • By 3 months
    • N/A
  • By 6 months
    • Will stand with support, takes full weight through legs
    • Will begin to bounce in place with support
  • By 9 months
    • Will stand along a supportive surface
    • Will pull to stand against a supportive surface
    • May start walking (cruising) along furniture
  • By 12 months
    • Stand without support briefly
    • May start to take a few steps independently
    • Pulls to stand using half kneel position
  • By 15 months
    • Walks independently with fewer falls and increased speed
    • Squats without support to pick up a toy
    • Will walk up and down stairs with hands held, places both feet on each step

Signs to Watch for in Your Child's Physical Development

  • By 3 months
    • Child can not lift their head off the surface
    • Arches or pushes back with head
    • Stiff legs that do not move or move very little off the surface
    • Fisted hands with little to no arm movement away from the surface
  • By 6 months
    • Not able to lift or hold head up in the middle. Poor head control
    • Arches back and stiffens legs
    • Rounded back in supported sitting
    • Stiff legs in supported standing
    • Pull to sit with head lag and no attempt to reach out to caregiver
  • By 9 months
    • Rounded back still present in sitting
    • Poor use of arms or only uses one hand
    • Difficulty crawling or does not perform
    • Will only use one side of their body
    • Won't take weight through legs in supported standing
  • By 12 months
    • Will pull to stand using arms only
    • Can't stand because of stiff legs or pointed toes
    • Arms very bent or very straight
    • Still needs to use a hand for support of to maintain sitting
  • By 15 months
    • Can't take independent steps
    • Stands with poor balance
    • Falls frequently
    • Walks on toes or with legs very stiff or straight (does not bend their knees)