Fine Motor Milestones

Birth to 3 months

  • Hands are in a fist, thumbs are tucked in
  • Baby’s arms move randomly in asymmetric patterns
  • Watches movements of her hands and can bring the hand to her mouth
  • Swings at a target using her entire arm
  • Follows a moving person with her eyes
  • Holds objects in hands

3-6 months

  • Picks up objects with one hand
  • Transfers objects from one hand to another
  • Looks at objects a few feet away
  • Holds hands together
  • Reaches for a toy using both arms and holds it briefly

6-9 months

  • Rakes tiny objects with fingers
  • Uses thumb and fingertips to grasp objects
  • Uses thumb and side of index finger to grip objects
  • Holds 2 objects, one in each hand, at the same time
  • Uses 2 hands to pick up large objects

9-12 month

  • Puts small objects in cup or other container
  • Turns book pages a few at a time
  • Attempts to imitate new gestures
  • Pokes and points at things using index finger
  • Grabs crayons in fist
  • Uses both hands and begins to show preference for one

12-18 months

  • Builds tower of 2 or more blocks
  • Marks with crayon or pencil
  • Marks a piece of paper with a crayon and scribbles imitatively
  • Stacks 2-3 cubes
  • Can hold an object with one hand and manipulate it with the other hand

18-24 months

  • Starts using fingers and thumb to grasp crayons
  • Imitates vertical and circular scribbles
  • Turns pages of a book one at a time
  • Strings 1-3 inch beads
  • Cuts paper using scissors
  • Builds tower with 3-5 blocks

3-4 years

  • Cuts across paper with small scissors
  • Draws or copies a complete circle

4-5 years

  • Prints first name (four letters)
  • Draws a person that has at least 3 parts- head, eyes, nose, etc.
  • Draws recognizable pictures


Birth-2 months

  • On the stomach, raises head slightly off floor or bed
  • Holds head up momentarily when supported
  • On back, alternates kicking legs when
  • Arm thrusts in play

3-5 months

  • Lifts head and chest when on stomach (props on forearm)
  • Head control improving
  • Some head bobbing in supported sitting
  • Rolls from side to side, stomach to back
  • Sits briefly with arm support
  • Random batting at objects
  • Hands to midline
  • Makes crawling movements

6-8 months

  • Reaches to objects on stomach
  • Pivots around when on stomach
  • Pulls self forward on stomach
  • Rolls from back to stomach
  • Sits alone briefly
  • Moves from sitting to lying on stomach
  • Stands with support

9-11 months

  • Sits alone with trunk rotation
  • Pivots and scoots in sitting
  • Creeps or crawls
  • Pulls to stand
  • Cruises
  • Stands alone momentarily

12-15 months

  • Crawls
  • Walks independently without support
  • Able to stand without support
  • Creeps up stairs
  • Able to start, stop and turn without falling while walking
  • Crawls up on chairs or other furniture
  • Runs

16-18 months

  • Walks up one step at a time with hand held or railing
  • Creeps down stairs
  • Walks with heel-toe pattern, seldom falls
  • Walks sideways and backwards
  • Runs stiffly
  • Stands on one foot with help
  • Kicks large ball forward after demonstration
  • Manages riding toys
  • Good balance and coordination

19-24 months

  • Walks down one step at a time with rail or hand holding
  • Squats in play and stands back up
  • Jumps in place
  • Kicks a stationary ball
  • Jumps off 12 inch box with 1 foot leading
  • Walks on balance beam with 1 foot on/ 1 foot off
  • Walks up and down stairs alone

24-29 months

  • Walks on balance beam with one hand held
  • Stands on balance beam alone
  • Walks up stairs one step at a time with no railing
  • Runs well
  • Stands on one foot, briefly
  • Jumps from one step with feet together
  • Throws ball overhead
  • Climbs on play equipment-ladders, slides, etc.

2-3 years

  • Walks down stairs step by step without railing
  • Balances on one foot 2-3 seconds
  • Jumps forward at least one foot
  • Walks on balance beam alone
  • Walks on tip toe when asked

3-4 years

  • Walks on balance beam sideways
  • Catches a bounced ball
  • Rides a tricycle
  • Hops on one foot 2-5 times
  • Balances on one foot 2-5 seconds
  • Consecutive jumping
  • Walks up stairs step over step alone

4-5 years

  • Balances on one foot 4-8 seconds
  • Walks on balance beam in all directions
  • Walks down stairs step over step alone
  • Kicks a rolling ball
  • Catches large and small ball with outstretched arm
  • Throws a small ball overhand

5-6 years

  • Balances on one foot 10 seconds
  • Skips
  • Rides a bike with or without training wheels
  • Begins to jump rope
  • Hops on one foot ten times
  • Catches bounced or thrown ball with hands
  • Walks on heals when asked
  • Swings on swing, pumping by self