Gross Motor Skills: Milestones By Age & 42 Super Activities

Gross motor skills are one of the key parts of early childhood physical development. They allow children to participate in physical activities and achieve age-appropriate developmental milestones.

What Are Gross Motor Skills?

What Are The Main Gross Motor Skills Children Learn?

The main gross motor skills that babies and young children learn are: 

Gross Motor Skills Learnt By Age 5
  1. Rolling
  2. Crawling
  3. Walking
  4. Jumping
  5. Running
  6. Climbing
  7. Balancing
  8. Skipping
  9. Hopping
  10. Throwing
  11. Catching
  12. Kicking

Why Are Gross Motor Skills Important?

Gross motor skills provide the foundation on which your child’s body movement and physical development are built. 

They need these skills in order to learn to perform everyday tasks, move around their world, navigate different terrains, play sports, lift, carry, throw and catch objects, maintain good body posture and develop physical endurance.

In addition, gross motor skills are necessary for the successful development of your little one’s fine motor skills (smaller physical movements such as holding a pencil and writing their name).

Looking to get your little one to sleep quickly and effortlessly to ensure they are well-rested to develop and learn properly tomorrow? Check out my Bedtime and Nap Cheat Sheet and master the art of making daytime naps and bedtimes as seamless as possible.

Gross Motor Milestones By Age

Your baby won’t suddenly know how to climb the stairs… There are steps to learn before we can progress through any developmental journey. 

Here’s what to expect from your little one throughout their gross motor skill development.

Newborn To 2 Months Gross Motor Milestones

3-4 Months Gross Motor Milestones

5 Months Gross Motor Milestones

6-8 Months Gross Motor Milestones

9-11 Months Gross Motor Milestones

1 Year Gross Motor Milestones

12-14 Months Gross Motor Milestones

15-18 Months Gross Motor Milestones

By 2 Years Gross Motor Milestones

By 3 Years Gross Motor Milestones

By 4 Years Gross Motor Milestones

By 5 Years Gross Motor Milestones

Gross Motor Skills Featured

Gross Motor Activities For Infants

Providing opportunities for children to practise new skills is an incredibly important part of parenting. 

So here are some ideas for infant activities that will boost their gross motor skills in the first 12 months of life:

Hape Wooden Award Winning Pull Along Toy
Sparking your little one’s imagination and creativity, this award winning pull-along toy promotes dexterity, hand eye coordination and manipulation as it sits, stands, rolls and goes for walks!
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Gross Motor Activities For Toddlers

Once the basics have been learnt, you can now provide your toddler with the opportunities to explore these amazing gross motor activities more and more:

Radio Flyer Busy Buggy, Sit-to-Stand Toddler Ride On Toy

Perfect for any new walker, this 3-in-1 ride-on toy from Radio Flyer will help your little one learn to walk, ride and develop their senses with the security of anti-tip technology and a handy storage compartment for their travel essentials! It truly is a value for money ride-on-toy!

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Gross Motor Activities For Preschoolers

With coordination and balance developing at a rapid rate, here are some activities for preschoolers you can try to develop their gross motor skills even further.

BanaSuper Wooden Stepping Stone Balance Beam For Children

Designed with endless possibilities in mind, the boards of this beautiful balance beam can be flipped to create a route of varying textures and obstacles. Helping to promote muscular strength, unleash energy and improve concentration... This set will improve gross motor skills and confidence with every use!

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Here’s a lovely video from the Department of Education to help your children develop their gross motor skills and find the balance between exploring new skills and being safe in a responsible way.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gross Motor Skills

Looking for more information about gross motor skills? Find answers to the most common questions here.

What Is The Difference Between Fine And Gross Motor Skills?

Gross motor skills involve using muscles to complete large motions such as crawling, walking, running and kicking.

On the other hand, fine motor skills involve ‘fine’ movements such as grasping or picking objects up between the finger and thumb.

NOTE: Gross and fine motor skills often work hand in hand and frequently need each other to work successfully.

What Is The Best Example Of A Gross Motor Skill?

The most obvious examples of gross motor skills in young children are sitting, crawling and walking.

What If Your Child Has Gross Motor Skill Delays Or Difficulties?

If your little one has gross motor skill delay or difficulties you should always seek expert advice to ensure there is no underlying cause.

Some children need a little extra help to get going with developing their gross motor skills and as parents, we need to ensure that we are offering the right opportunities for our little ones to develop as they should.

TOP TIP: Physical and occupational therapy can help if your child is showing signs of gross motor skill delay. These therapies will concentrate on the areas your little one is struggling with by showing you age-appropriate gross motor exercises and activities that will help with building strength and balance.

When To See A Doctor About Gross Motor Skill Concerns?

While your doctor will always check that your little one is reaching their developmental milestones during your regular visits…

If you notice your child’s ability to perform certain movements has changed or they can no longer do certain skills, then you should seek medical advice.

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Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and a highly qualified childcare expert with over 40 years of experience as a Norland Nanny. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) and the prestigious Norland Diploma. Paula has worked as a night nanny, run a successful daycare center in London, and helped raise countless children using her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

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