Sitting, crawling, walking, grabbing etc. are the groundwork to physically play with friends and show independence in areas of living.

As with the other domains of the developmental milestones, Physical & Movement Skills do as well.  The child demonstrates the ability to engage in gross motor activities (i.e. sit, crawl, walk) and fine motor activities (i.e. holding a marker or spoon). Physical skills are probably one of the first milestone domains parents notice a child meeting like when your baby took his/her first steps. A child with strong movement/physical skills sets the groundwork for him/her having the ability to physically play with friends on the playground and independence in areas of living and job market opportunities as an adult.

The chart below identifies several skills your child should demonstrate by age 12 months, 24 months, 36 months, 4 years old, and 5 years old for Physical & Movement Growth:

AgePhysical & Movement Skills
12 months (1 year)Stands alone and walks at least 1 to 2 steps independently
Uses their thumb and pointer finger (pincer grasp) to pick up small objects
Scribbles on paper with full hand grasp
Points with pointer finger (index finger isolation)
Removes socks and shoes and is tries to help with undressing


AgePhysical & Movement Skills
24 months (2 years)Kicks a ball, running, stands on tiptoe
Climbs onto furniture (chairs) and playground equipment independently
Walks up and down stairs while holding onto railing, wall etc.
Pulls down or off elastic waist band pants, shorts, skirts
Can walk while carrying, pushing, or pulling toys and objects
Uses scissors to cut paper


AgePhysical & Movement Skills
36 months (3 years)Cuts straight lines with scissors
Throws balls (tennis or baseball) overhand with one hand
Catches large balls thrown from 5 feet (1.5 meters) away
Pedals a tricycle or bicycle (don’t forget protective gear)
Can button large buttons
Copies/traces straight lines and circles
Drinks from an open cup


AgePhysical & Movement Skills
4 YearsStands and hops one foot for 10 seconds or longer
Cuts out circles with scissors
Zips jackets
Copies “writing” of simple shapes, some letters, and numbers
Discriminates between same vs different


AgePhysical & Movement Skills
5 YearsWrites their name from memory
Colors within the lines
Hops, skips, swings, and climbs
Uses fork, spoon and knife (most times)