OT Milestones

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Birth-6 months

Gross motor skills

  • 1 month: head bobs when held upright, kicks feet when on back 
  • 2 months: lifts head briefly when placed on tummy 
  • 3 months: lifts head 2 to 3 inches off surface and pushes up with forearms when placed on tummy 
  • 4 months: straightens legs when feet touch a flat surface; when on tummy, lifts head and chest off surface while looking forward 
  • 5 months: rolls from tummy to back (always supervise to avoid falls); pulls self forward to sitting position when you hold baby’s hands 
  • 6 months: sits briefly without support; rolls from back to tummy 

Fine motor skills 

  • 1 month: hands are in fists most of the time 
  • 2 months: holds a rattle when placed in their hand 
  • 3 months: reaches toward dangling objects and people’s faces 
  • 4 months: holds and shakes rattle, plays with and watches their own fingers 
  • 5 months: reaches for a toy with two hands; uses whole hand to grasp a toy 
  • 6 months: passes a toy from one hand to another: bangs toy on table 

Self-help skills 

  • 1 month: coordinated suck from breast or bottle nipple 
  • 2 months: opens mouth when seeing breast or bottle nipple 
  • 3 months: anticipates feedings, shows interest or excitement when seeing breast or bottle nipple 
  • 4 months: brings toy to mouth 
  • 5 months: places both hands on breast or bottle when nursing 
  • 6 months: holds own bottle or cup during feedings

6-12 months

Gross motor skills

  • reaches for feet 
  • sits alone 
  • stands with support 
  • creeps and crawls on hands and knees 
  • moves from tummy to sitting position 
  • pulls on furniture to stand up 
  • walks sideways while holding onto furniture 
  • briefly stands without support 
  • lowers self to floor with control 
  • takes steps with hands held 

Fine motor skills

  • uses hand and fingers to pick up small objects 
  • bangs two objects together 
  • transfers objects from one hand to the other 
  • pokes and points at things, using index finger 
  • handles toys in new ways: pulling, turning, poking, tearing 
  • drops objects into containers 

Self-help skills

  • feeds self finger foods using thumb and finger tips
  • begins to hold a spoon and attempts to feed self 
  • drinks from a cup with a lid or small sips from open cup 

12-18 months

Gross motor skills 

  • walk independently 
  • throw a ball forward 
  • walk sideways and backwards 
  • crawl up stairs 
  • walk up and down stairs with help 
  • play with pull and push toys, such as a toddler grocery cart 
  • seat self in a child-sized chair, starts to crawl into car seat 

Fine motor skills 

  • build a two-block tower 
  • turn pages, 2 to 3 at a time 
  • drop small objects, such as a raisin, into a bottle 
  • explores holes of pegboard 
  • scribble, spontaneously 
  • places larger coin shape objects into slot openings 

Self-help skills 

  • begin to use spoon and fork 
  • drink from cup independently 
  • take off socks and shoes (when laces are undone) 
  • put arms through sleeve and legs through pants legs 
  • try to wash face and hands 
  • help put toys away 

18-24 months
Gross motor skills

  • squat during play 
  • throw ball forward 
  • try to catch a ball with arms and body 
  • jumps with galloping motion 
  • use legs to propel non-motorized, ride-on toys 
  • walk up and down stairs when one hand being held by an adult 

Fine motor skills 

  • turn pages in a book one at a time 
  • place pegs in a pegboard 
  • string larger-sized beads 
  • build towers of four or more blocks 
  • scribble, try to draw lines up, down, and across a page, as well as circles

Self-help skills 

  • feed self with a spoon and fork 
  • suck through a straw 
  • eat a combination of textures and chopped table foods 
  • push arm through armholes in T-shirt to help with dressing 
  • undress completely except for fasteners 
  • understand and stay away from common dangers: sharp or hot objects 

24-36 months
Gross motor skills

  • jump in place with both feet 
  • climb up and go down a toddler slide 
  • catch large ball thrown from 2 feet away 
  • pedal tricycle 
  • walk up and down stairs when one hand being held by an adult 
  • stand briefly on one foot when one hand being held by an adult 
  • walk backwards 

Fine motor skills 

  • stack 1-inch blocks, six high 
  • hold crayon with thumb and fingers 
  • string large beads on a stiff string 
  • snip and cut with a scissors 
  • imitate vertical and horizontal lines, and circle 
  • copy vertical and horizontal lines and circle 

3-5 years
Gross motor skills

  • pedal a tricycle 
  • catch an 8-inch ball thrown from 5 feet 
  • alternate feet going up and down stairs 
  • jump forward 8 to 12 inches 
  • balance on each foot for 3 seconds 
  • walk across a 4-inch balance beam 
  • kick a ball rolling toward him or her 

Fine motor skills 

  • draw a face 
  • cut along straight and curved lines 
  • copy and trace basic shapes 
  • stack ten cubes 
  • string 1-inch beads onto a string 
  • hold a large crayon with thumb and 2 fingers 
  • use preferred 

Self-help skills 

  • skills that help children become more independent 
  • feed self using utensils without spilling 
  • put on and take off shoes without ties 
  • dress and undress with some help 
  • manipulate large buttons and snaps 
  • wash hands with help 
  • pour liquid from a small container 
  • unscrew the cap of a toothpaste tube 
  • use hair brush, toothbrush, and tissues with some help 
  • climb in and out of the car, bathtub, and bed on own