Childhood Development - Motor Milestones

Children are individuals, of course, but there are some common motor milestones for parents to look for.

The Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center has provided the following list as a reference. If your child isn't doing these things by the age suggested, talk to your pediatrician. The doctor can make a referral for an evaluation by the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center or other qualified experts in your area. For more information, you can contact us online or call 812-479-1411.


Your child should...

  • Say "mama" and "dada" by age 1
  • Say the names of a few objects and people by age 1
  • Attempt nursery rhymes or short TV jingles by age 2
  • Talk in short sentences by age 3
  • Be understood by people outside the family by age 3

Young boy painting in preschool

Your child should...

  • Try to put toys in his mouth by age 7 months
  • Play games such as peek-a-boo, patty cake and wave good-bye by age 1
  • Play group games such as hide-and-seek or tag with other children by age 4
  • Share and take turns by age 5

Closeup of little girl in preschool

Your child should...

  • Respond to his name when called by age 1
  • Identify hair, eyes, ears, nose and mouth by pointing to them by age 2
  • Understand simple stories told or read by age 3
  • Give reasonable answers to simple questions such as, "What do you do when you are sleepy?" or "What do you do when you are hungry?" by age 4
  • Understand the meaning of the words "today," "tomorrow" and "yesterday" by age 5

Closeup of young girl in day care

Your child should...

  • Hold his head up when lying on tummy by age 3 months
  • Roll over by age 8 months
  • Sit up without help or support by age 9 months
  • Crawl on hands and knees by age 1
  • Walk by age 2
  • Walk down steps by age 3
  • Balance on one foot for a short time by age 4
  • Throw and catch a large ball bounced to him by age 5

Using his/her hands
Your child should...

  • Bat and swipe at toys by age 4 months
  • Open hands by age 3 months
  • Pass toys from one hand to the other by age 9 months
  • Pick up little objects like cheerios by age 10 months
  • Bang toys together by age 11 months

Living skills
Your child should...

  • Drink from a cup and use a spoon by age 2
  • Help with getting dressed by age 3
  • Dress without supervision by age 5