Motor milestones – ages 1-6

The development of a baby and child’s movements is referred to as Gross motor development. These movements occur in predictable and sequential patterns, which we refer to ask gross motor milestones.

Development occurs in a top to bottom fashion with initial primitive reflexes progressing to postural reflexes, then finally full goal orientated and purposeful movements.

From 1-3 years development consists of refinements in in movements including balance, co-ordination and speed. By the time school begins a child is able to perform more complex tasks. 

Below is a summary of the gross motor milestones from ages 3-6 years.

3 years:           

·      Balances on one foot for 3 seconds

·      Goes up stairs, alternating feet, no rail

·      Pedals tricycle

·      Walks heel to toe

·      Catches ball with stiff arms


4 years:

·      Balances on one foot 4-8 seconds

·      Hops on one foot two to three times

·      Standing broad jump: 1 to 2 feet

·      Gallops

·      Throws ball overhand10 feet

·      Catches bounced ball (41⁄2 years)


5 years:

·      Walks downs stairs with rail, alternating feet

·      Balance son one foot for greater than 8 seconds.

·      Hops on one foot 15 times

·      Skips

·      Running broad jump 2-3 feet

·      Walks backward heel-toe

·      Jumps backward


6 years

·      tandem gait.

(References available on request)