Gross motor development includes skills that involve the large muscles of the body. Babies first learn to hold themselves up against gravity, then to move into and out of positions to get what they want. As they become toddlers, children learn to walk, run, kick, jump, and throw a ball. They develop the ability to balance and to perform actions that coordinate different parts of their body. A child’s muscle tone and strength can significantly influence how their gross motor skills develop.

Gross Motor Skills at 2 months

  • Can hold head up briefly
  • Begins to push up when lying on tummy
  • Makes smoother movements with arms and legs

Gross Motor Skills at 4 months

  • Holds head steady, unsupported
  • Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface
  • May be able to roll over from tummy to back
  • When lying on stomach, pushes up to elbows

Gross Motor Skills at 6 months

  • Rolls over in both directions (front to back, back to front)
  • Begins to sit without support
  • When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce
  • Rocks back and forth, sometimes crawling backward before moving forward
  • Brings hands to feet when lying on back

Gross Motor Skills at 9 months

  • Stands, holding on
  • Can get into sitting position
  • Sits without support
  • Pulls to stand
  • Crawls
  • Gets to a sitting position without help

Gross Motor Skills at 12 months

  • Pulls up to stand, walks holding on to furniture ("cruising")
  • May take a few steps without holding on
  • May stand alone

Gross Motor Skills at 18 months

  • Walks alone
  • May walk up steps and run
  • Pulls toys while walking
  • Can help undress herself
  • Drinks from a cup

Gross Motor Skills at 2 years

  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks and catches a ball
  • Begins to run and jump
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture without help
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on
  • Throws ball overhand

Gross Motor Skills at 3 years

  • Climbs well
  • Runs easily
  • Pedals a tricycle (3-wheel bike)
  • Walks up and down stairs, one foot on each step
  • Begins to hop on 1 foot

Gross Motor Skills at 4 years

  • Jumps over obstacles 12 inches tall
  • Runs fast and avoids obstacles
  • Stands on 1 foot for 5 seconds
  • Goes up and down stairs without support
  • Throws a ball overhand
  • Kicks ball at a target
  • Catches bounced ball most of the time
  • Moves forward and backward with agility

Gross Motor Skills at 5 years

  • Begins to skip and gallop
  • Throws and catches a small ball
  • Stands on 1 foot for 10 seconds
  • Able to swing and climb easily
  • Somersaults