How would you know if the motor development of your baby is normal? Will you just wait for other people to tell you or perhaps let your pediatrician do the checking for you? Isn’t it better if you, on your own, can easily monitor the skills development of your kid?
By the way, the chart below is not exclusive for infants only but for kids ages 0-8 years of age.
First, let’s define what is motor skills development, so we know we’re talking the same subject.
What is motor development?
Growth and movement are two of the most notable features of young children and basic motor skills develop in the early childhood years and lays the foundation for movement and motor proficiency and if they are not developed during their early years, these motor skills will often remain unlearned.
Motor development is a sequential stages of change in motor behavior based on the interaction of the following:
new motor activities
The following chart shows the sequential order of motor development during the early years. The ages shown are averages and it is normal for these to vary by a month or two in either direction.
able to lift head up on his own
can roll over
can sit propped up without falling over
is able to sit up without support
begins to stand while holding on to things for support
can begin to walk and still using support
is able to momentarily stand on her own without support
can stand alone with more confidence
begin walking alone without support
can walk backward without support
can walk up steps with little or no support
able to manipulate objects with feet while walking such as kicking a ball
can walk up/downstairs independently and running
jumping on two feet and hopping on one foot
walk up/downstairs with continuous movement
5 years and up
running much faster
Motor development follows a directional pattern as large muscles develop before the smaller muscles which explains why most preschoolers are more apt at running than using scissors for cutting.
Parents can better foster children’s motor development when they understand their temperament and know what skills are suitable for their age. Temperament plays an important role in motivating and stimulating interest in children to learn and practice motor skills. Some children are “motor driven” and want to try everything while others are “motor cautious” and need time to watch others before trying things themselves.