Hi everyone! I have been doing a series on my Instagram page on gross motor milestones. It is broken up by month, and I have shared ways to play at each month as well to promote motor milestones. These are only guidelines for typically developing children, meant for educational purposes, and there are ranges for every major milestone. If there is a month that your child isn't doing EXACTLY what it says they should, don't worry! Every child is different and unique, and as some children start walking at 12 months, others don't start until 17 months! Here are motor milestones for 10-12 month olds.
If you would like more information on each month, head on over to my Instagram page and check out my story highlights, where I provide even more info by video and ways to play at each month!
**This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy from them, the price will be the same for you, but I gain a small commission from you purchasing through my link! Thanks in advance for that :)
Tummy: your baby will be crawling in hands and knees now. Time to put up all the baby gates!!
Standing: your baby will start to cruise, which means taking steps sideways at a couch or coffee table. They also may stand at the coffee table with just one hand instead of holding on with two!
Sitting: they should be transitioning in and out of sitting now. You also may see them explore some more sitting positions, such as long sitting with both legs out straight in front!
Tummy: your baby will be crawling in hands and knees now. Continue working on some of those crawling activities to get them nice and strong! (See my Instagram highlights for more info)
Standing: your baby might start to let go of whatever they are holding onto while standing and maintain independent standing for a couple seconds! They also will demonstrate taking steps forward with one hand held. They will be pretty good at squatting and then coming back up while at the coffee table.
Sitting: you might see your baby pivot in sitting, meaning they can move themselves in a circle while sitting.
Tummy: crawling is usually still faster than walking at this point.
Standing: your baby will stand without support with arms in that “high guard” position to help with balance. They will also lower themselves down from a standing position, attempt to climb (on and off furniture, up stairs, etc). You may see some independent steps, too!
Sitting: these are more OT milestones rather than PT, but they are good to know about because it changes the way we play! They will be able to use both hands during activities, and they will also demonstrate a fine pincer grasp, which is when the tip of the thumb touches the tip of the index finger. This opens our options up for playing! I love to use shape sorters and the piggy bank toy at this age- I will put these below in the toy section!
Popular Toys at This Stage
Shape Sorters/Organizational Toys
I love toys that have pieces that you can put in and take out for this age. You can use these toys to work on squats, cruising, independent standing, and so much more! Often times kids learn how to take out first and then they will learn to put in. There are lots of shape sorters out there, but the VTech is my favorite because you can begin to put the shape in. There is a little lip that holds it halfway in the slot- and your child can then finish pushing it in the slot. This gives them success and independence! And the piggy bank does the same- often times I will put it in halfway for the child then have them finish. These do have batteries and make noise, so if you are into more Montessori style toys, Melissa and Doug has a nice one:
This one is the same concept, the only difference is that there is no "lip" to hold the shape in the slot. In this case, I recommend a "hand-over-hand" approach to learning putting in/taking out. You have your child hold the shape, you put your hand over theirs, and help put it in the correct slot.
I do not get any commission for this, but I use the Nugget Comfort for SO MANY activities at this age.
Image from Nugget Comfort Website.
I cannot tell you enough how much I love this piece of equipment. You can fold and stack it into so many configurations to work on gross motor skills. For example, I have used it to practice rolling, crawling, standing, cruising, squatting, lowering from a standing position, climbing, learning stairs safely, sit to stand, and core strength. I could name LOTS more, but these are just to give you an idea of how useful this is! The best part- the covers come off and are machine washable! It comes in many colors and it is a great feature of your toddlers future play room as well.
Little Balance Box
This balance box is a great alternative to any push toy, as push toys sometimes cause forward leaning. Push toys are still useful, though! Often times I use push toys more for squatting, knee walking, and kneeling. When it comes to learning to walk, this is a good one because it promotes upright posture. It also has a clear top, so children can see what their feet are doing. It also has little rubber inserts that you can put on the feet of the table that help keep it still to work on standing and squatting activities. It's a great item to put next to couch and start working on transitions from the couch to the Balance Box and vice versa.
No Toys? No Problem!
I have not yet addressed this topic, but I think it is time. I know that everyone has a different situation. Some families are able to buy toys, some families are not. Some families get gifts from family members, some do not. I understand that you may not be in a situation to buy all, or even any, of these toys for your child. I want you to know that it is okay. Yes, these toys that I share are useful in encouraging certain motor skills, but are they necessary? No. I often find many alternatives for families who do not have these things in their home. For example, instead of using a push toy to kneel at, find a box around the house- or even a couch cushion! There are many options, so please let me know if you are working on a specific motor skills but do not want/are not able to buy a new toy and I can let you know what else you can use!
Please also know that I get donations of old toys, books, and baby items from families that I work with. I also get excited at thrift/consignment shops sometimes and pick up some toys. I clean them well before donating them to other families! If you are in the Raleigh/Durham NC area, do not hesitate to reach out to me and see what I have in my inventory (aka my garage!).
Thank you for reading my post! If you'd like to learn some purposeful play ideas at these ages, please check out my Instagram. I have shared in my highlighted stories ways to play at each month! So enjoy your playtime, and remember you are the best caregiver for your child!