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 your 3-6 year old.
If you would like more information on each stage, 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!
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3 Years Old
Single leg balance: your child should balance for about 3 seconds on each foot. You can practice this by kicking a ball, popping bubbles with your feet, and stepping over obstacles.
This is a good time to work on pedaling the tricycle! I do have some favorite tricycles that I will share below!
You child may catch a large ball with stiff arms. They also will use their belly to help trap the ball.
At this point your child should be alternating their feet while going up the stairs, but they may still use that “step to” pattern to go down.
4 Years Old
Balancing on one foot: your child should continue working on balancing on one foot for about 4-8 seconds, and they may show a preference with kicking a ball with a certain foot! Did you know... the foot that they STAND on (not the foot that they kick with) is most likely their dominant leg?
Hopping: your child should attempt hopping on one foot. They may try on their dominant side, but encourage them to practice the non dominant side as well! They may benefit from holding onto something at first, like the couch or kitchen counter.
Throwing overhand: if you give your child a tennis ball, they will throw it overhand and it should travel forward about 10 feet!
Catching: if you bounce a playground sized ball to your child, they should start to be able to catch it.
5 Years Old
Single leg balance: your child should balance on one foot for about 8 seconds.
Hopping: your child should hop on one foot multiple times (15 to be exact)!
Stairs: they should now walk down the stairs with a railing and alternating their feet.
Skips: you may see skipping around 5-6 years old!
Jumping: your child should continue lots of jumping, and they will jump backwards now!
Swings: your child should start working on swinging independently.
6 Years Old
Your 6 year old will tandem walk. This means one foot in front of the other, like walking on a line heel to toe.
Your child will be proficient in skipping! Do you want to know how I teach children to skip? Comment if you want to see, I will share on my Instagram🙂
Favorite Toys at this Stage
Stomp rocket is an amazing toy to work on single leg balance, jumping, and running. Your child has to stand on one foot to stomp with the other, or you could have them jump on it with both feet. Then, after the rocket shoots off towards the ceiling, have your child run after it to get some running practice!
Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! You can use bubbles to encourage SO many things, but one of my favorites is single leg balance. You can blow a bubble, catch it on the end of your stick, and hold it close to your child's feet to encourage them to pop it with one foot.
I love a great agility ladder for 3-5 year old stages, as your child is learning a lot more about coordination. You can use an agility ladder to play hopscotch and even make up your own "patterns" for your child to copy. You can use this as a great visual cue for jumping forward, backward, sideways, hopping, running, and stepping. They fold up nice and small, too, so if you're a minimalist, this is a GREAT item because this little thing can work on so many things!
target and ball
I am all about toys that you can use for YEARS. This target and ball set is awesome because you can initially use it just to practice overhand throwing. As your child gets older, you can use to practice underhand throwing, and you can even practice throwing accuracy and length of throws! This is a good one because it is inflatable and just hangs on a hook on the back of a door!
Jump ropes are also great to work on coordination as early as 4 years old. I like this jump rope specifically because it is adjustable. Head over to this post on Instagram to see how to adjust the straps to the perfect length for your little one. I also teach you how to show your child how to jump rope!
I hope you all have found these milestone blogs helpful throughout the weeks. Do not hesitate to reach out to me for more information or help with specific milestones!