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 3 – 4 years, your toddler should:

  • Run around obstacles

  • Walk on a line

  • Balance on one foot for 5 – 10 seconds

  • Hop on her preferred foot

  • Ride a tricycle

  • Walk up and down stairs with alternating feet, without support

  • Jump from 12 inches with feet together

  • Use a slide independently

  • Climb well (not including ladders)

  • Skip, leading with 1 leg

Between the ages of 4 – 5 years, your preschooler should:

  • Walk a balance beam forwards & backwards

  • Perform somersaults

  • Balance on 1 foot for 8 – 10 seconds

  • Skip, alternating feet

  • Begin to jump rope

  • Throw a ball to hit a target

  • Jump back

  • Pump and maintain momentum while on a swing (may be started with a forward push)

  • Hop 5 times on 1 foot

  • Climb the rungs of a playground slide ladder

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.

  • Child is not meeting developmental milestones                                                    

  • Child walks funny

  • 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