Fine and Gross Motor Development Checklist

Tegan Court, Occupational Therapist

The following table shows the key developmental indicators for fine and gross motor skills at different ages:

AgeKey Developmental Indicators
Birth – 3 MonthsBaby is beginning to smile at people
Looks at faces and makes eye contact
Baby responds to sights and sounds
Baby can hold their head up and begin to push when lying on their tummy
Baby is sucking
Baby brings their hands to their mouth
6 MonthsBaby uses their hands and mouth to explore objects
Baby picks up objects within their reach
Back will roll from back to front
Baby will begin to sit without support
Baby will recognise breasts or bottles
12 MonthsWill bang objects together
Will point to objects/pictures
Walks whilst holding onto furniture
May take a few steps without holding on
Plays with toys of interest
Likes to hold a spoon at mealtimes
Will extend limbs to assist with dressing
2 – 3yearsChild will begin to separate themselves from the parent
Child engages in predominately parallel play (i.e they play alongside other children)
Can imitate familiar actions (i.e feeding a doll)
Can unscrew lids/turn knobs
Can use a spoon to feed themselves
Can gesture or use words to indicate toileting needs or hunger
Builds a tower of 3-5blocks
Picking up small objects with thumb and one finger
Walking smoothly
Changing direction whilst walking
Rolling a ball
3-4 yearsCopying blocks deigns
Tracing on thick lines
Using a non-dominant hand to assist and stabilise objects
Dressing independently (excluding amll buttons, zips and shoelaces)
Threading small beads onto string
Snipping at paper with scissors
Pedalling a tricycle
Jumping with two feet together
Running with control
4-5yearsCutting along a line continuously
Holding a pencil with a static tripod grasps
Making a good effort to colour in between the lines
Using a preferred hand for most activities
Copy a circle, cross and square
Opening zip lock bags, containers and lunch boxes
Catching a ball with hands instead of using body to assist
5-6yearsCoordinating hands to brush teeth/hair
Dressing and undressing independently (excluding shoelaces)
Cutting out simple shapes
Dynamic tripod grasp of pencil
Using a knife for soft foods
Drawing basic pictures
Kicking a ball
Hopping on one foot
6-7 yearsForms letters and numbers correctly
Dressing and toileting independently
Endurance with writing tasks
Using a knife and fork
Tying shoelaces
Writing on lines
Drawing details pictures
Riding a bike without training wheels
7-8 yearsWriting neatly
Cutting neatly around shapes
Independent with toileting and dressing
Completing complex puzzles
Maintaining legibility of handwriting for a paragraph/page of work
Stepping forward with leg when throwing a ball

Strategies to assist with development at home

Hand strengtheningPlaydough activities
Arts and crafts
Ripping and tearing paper/newspaper
Pegging activities
Tweezer activities
In hand manipulation
HandwritingCorrect pencil grasp
Dotted thirds
Dirt, sky, grass paper
Highlight the starting point of the letter as a reference
Motivational games – writing of interests, writing with a stylus on an iPad etc
Self care
– Dressing
– Toileting
– Mealtimes
Grade the complexity of the clothing – (i.e bigger buttons, Velcro shoes, bagging clothes that require less precision)
Identify when the child needs to go to the toilet
Always offered a preferred food on the child’s plate
Begin to get the child involved in the toileting process (i.e flushing the contents of a soiled nappy down the toilet together)

How can Umbo help?

Our occupational therapists can assess if your child is meeting the key developmental indicators, and can provide strategies you can use within the home to help develop their skills.