Gross Motor Milestones: Laying the Foundations for Development

Gross Motor Milestones Banner (hopscotch photo)

Rachel Morris, OTR/L, Director of Therapy

Gross motor skills are the building blocks that set the foundation for all development. These skills tend to be sequential, developing in a particular order that build on each other. This sequence of development is known as milestones.

What are Developmental Milestones?

As the child learns to control and refine their movements, they expand their ability to interact with the world around them. From learning to hold their head up to look around, to sitting and reaching for toys, to running through the park, the child builds the stability and agility in their larger core muscles that support them in their everyday activities.

Typically, children develop milestones around the same ages. Monitoring milestones can give insight into your child’s skill level and may help to identify any potential concerns. However, please note, each child is unique and may progress at a different rate or even skip a milestone all together.

If you have concerns about your child’s development, visit our therapy services page or contact us to determine if your child might benefit from therapy. 

Typical Milestones by Age

3 Months

  • Holds head steady without support

  • Lifts head and chest while lying on stomach, supported through arms

  • Pushes down on legs when feet are on a firm surface

  • Opens and closes hand; holds and shakes an object

6 Months

  • Rolls over in both directions

  • Begin to sit without support

  • Bears body weight on legs when standing with support

  • Reaches for toy with one arm/hand

9 Months

  • Crawls

  • Pulls into stand and stands while holding on

  • Gets into a sitting position

  • Maintains balance in sitting when moving arms/hands to reach a toy

12 Months

  • Cruises, walks while holding on to furniture

  • Starts to stand alone

  • Walks with support, may start to take a few steps without holding on

18 Months

  • Walks independently

  • Pulls toys when walking

  • Walks up and down steps with support, may place both feet on a step

2 Years

  • Walks up stairs, holding on rail

  • Runs

  • Throws and kicks a ball forward

3 Years

  • Walks up and down stairs without support, placing only one foot on each step

  • Jumps forward 24 inches

  • Climbs well on playground equipment

4 Years

  • Catches a 8”ball with arms bent at elbow and throws a ball underhand for 10 feet

  • Runs and stops smoothly without falling

  • Hops forward on one foot

5 Years

  • Skips

  • Stands on one foot with minimal sway for at least 10 seconds

  • Swings

Enablr Therapy providers are knowledgeable and gifted at working with kids of all ages and abilities. We provide in-person therapy services in the Nashville Metro area and live video therapy sessions for clients throughout the states of Tennessee. To learn more how Enablr Therapy works with kids, visit our therapy services page.

These milestones were developed with use of the references below and also based on the clinical knowledge.


American Academy of Pediatrics (n.d.) Ages and Stages. Retrieved from

Center for Disease Control (n.d.). Milestone Checklist.  Retrieved from

Peabody Motor Developmental Chart (2002). Published by Pro-Ed.

Contact us to learn more or browse our roster of therapists to book directly!

About Enablr Therapy
Enablr Therapy offers speech, occupational, and physical therapy to people of all ages and abilities through our school-based therapy services as well as cash-based services for individual clients. Individual clients can be seen through convenient online sessions in many states across the country.