Gross Motor development involves the larger, stronger muscle groups of the body. In early childhood, it is the development of these muscles that enable the baby to hold his/her head up, sit, crawl and eventually walk, run and skip.

Between the ages of 12–18 months, your preschooler should:

  • Start walking independently

  • Attempt to run, or runs with stiff posture

  • Squat down to pick something up

  • Crawl up stairs and creep back down

  • Step on stationary ball when trying to kick the ball

  • Seat self on small chair

  • Pull a toy behind themselves while walking

  • Throw underhand when sitting

Between the ages of 18 months – 2 years, your toddler should:

  • Walk up and down the stairs while holding your hand

  • Run fairly well

  • Jump with feet together, clearing the floor

  • Jump down and forwards

  • Squat to play

  • Stand on tiptoe with support

  • Start to use ride-on toys

  • Throw a ball into a box

  • Kick a ball forwards

Red Flags for Gross Motor Development (1–5 years)

If you notice or are concerned about some of the following things about your child, you may want to talk to your physician or another health professional. You may also want to make a referral for your child.

  • Child is not meeting developmental milestones 

  • Child walks on his/her toes all the time

  • Child is excessively clumsy

  • Something appears wrong with child’s legs and/or feet

  • Child complains of persistent pain or fatigue

  • Child’s skills are regressing