By age one year:

kid playing hopscotch on playground outdoors, children outdoor activities


Motor Skills
  • drink  from a cup with help
  • feed herself finger food like raisins or bread crumbs
  • grasp small objects by using her thumb and index or forefinger
  • use his first finger to poke or point
  • put  small blocks in and take them out of a container
  • knock two blocks together
  • sit well without support
  • crawl on hands and knees
  • pull himself to stand or take steps holding onto furniture
  • stand alone momentarily
  • walk with one hand held
  • cooperate with dressing by offering a foot or an arm
Sensory and Thinking Skills
  • copy sounds and actions you make
  • respond to music with body motion
  • try to accomplish simple goals (seeing and then crawling to a toy)
  • look for an object she watched fall out of sight (such as a spoon that falls      under the table)


By age two years:
Motor Skills
    • drink from a straw
    • feed himself with a spoon
    • help in washing hands
    • put arms in sleeves with helpbuild a tower of 3-4 blocks
    • toss or roll a large ball
    • open cabinets, drawers, boxes
    • operate a mechanical toy
    • bend over to pick up a toy and not fall
    • walk up steps with help
    • take steps backward
Sensory and Thinking Skills
  • explore surroundings
  • point to 5-6 parts of a doll when asked
By age three years:

Funny preschool kid boy having fun his first bike on sunny summer day, outdoors. Happy child making sports. Active leisure for children.

Motor Skills
  • feed himself (with some spilling)
  • open doors
  • hold a glass in one hand
  • hold a crayon well
  • wash and dry hands by himself
  • fold paper, if shown how
  • build a tower of 4-5 blocks
  • throw a ball overhead
  • try to catch a large ball
  • dress herself with help
  • use the toilet with some help
  • walk up steps, alternating feet
  • walk in a straight line
  • kick a ball forward
  • jump with both feet
  • pedal a tricycle
Sensory and Thinking Skills
  • recognize sounds in the environment
  • pay attention for about 3 minutes
  • know what is food and what is not food
  • know where things usually belong
  • substitute one object for another in pretend play (as in pretending a block is a “car”)
  • laugh at silly ideas (like “milking” a dog)
  • look through a book alone
  • match circles and squares
  • match an object to a picture of that object
  • avoid some dangers, like a hot stove or a moving car
  • follow simple one-step commands
By age four years:
Motor Skills
  • feed herself and try to use a fork
  • try to use a fork
  • hold a pencil and try to write name
  • draw a circle and face
  • draws with the arm and not small hand movements
  • put together a puzzle of 4-12 pieces
  • use the toilet alone
  • catch a bouncing ball
  • brush teeth with help, beginning to unbutton buttons
  • beginning to cut paper
  • walk downstairs using a handrail and alternating feet
  • swing, starting by himself and keeping himself going
Sensory and Thinking Skills
  • understand taking turns and can do so without always being reminded
  • want to know what will happen next
  • sort by shape or color
  • follow three instructions given at one time(“Put the toys away, wash your hands, and come eat.”)
  • distinguish between the real world and the imaginary or pretend world
  • identify situations that would lead to happiness, sadness, or anger

Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Powell, J. and Smith, C.A. (1994). The 1st year. In *Developmental milestones: A guide for parents*. Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service.