Developmental Milestones

By 12 Months

Social Emotional

Shy with strangers

Shows preference for certain people and toys

Tests parent response to behaviors

Gross motor

Crawls on hands and knees

Pulls to stand

Walks holding onto furniture

Takes 2-3 steps without support


fine motor

Uses pincer grasp

Brings 2 objects together

Puts objects into container

Releases objects voluntarily


Explores objects in many ways (shaking banging, dropping)

Finds hidden objects easily

Begins to use objects correctly

by 24 months

social emotional

Imitates behaviors of others (adults & older children)

Excited about company of other children

Separation anxiety fades

gross motor

Carries large toy or several toys while walking

Begins to run

Kicks a ball

Walks up/down stairs with support


fine   motor


Builds tower of 4 or more blocks

Demonstrates handedness


Helps with undressing

Finds objects hidden under multiple covers

Begins to sort shapes and colors

Begins to engage in parallel play

by 36 months / 3 years

social emotional

Imitates adults and playmates

shows affection for playmates

Can take turns in games

Expresses a wide range of emotions

gross motor

Climbs well

Walks up and down stairs alternating feet

Runs easily

Pedals a tricycle

Bends over without falling


fine motor

Makes lines vertically, horizontally, and scribbles circles

Turns pages of a book one at a time

Builds a 6 block tower

Holds crayon or pencil in writing position



Makes mechanical toys work

Plays make believe with dolls and animals

Cooperative play

3-4 piece inset puzzles

Undresses self

48 Months / 4 years

social emotional

Interested in new experiences

Plays "mom" or "dad"

Dresses and undresses

often cannot tell the difference btwn fantasy and reality

gross motor

Hops & stands on one foot

Goes up and down stairs without support

Throws ball overhead

Catches a bounced ball most of the time

fine motor

Copies squares

Draws a person with 2-4 body parts

Uses scissors

Draws circles & squares

Begins to copy capital letters


Correctly names colors

Understands concept of counting

Beings to understand time

Understands concept "same" and "different"

60 months / 5 years

social emotional

Wants to please friends

More likely to agree to rules

Likes to sing, dance, act

Aware of gender

Able to distinguish fantasy from reality


gross motor

Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer




Begin to skip


fine motor

Copies triangle and other shapes

Draws a person with a body

Prints uppercase letters

Cuts on a line consistently

Use fork and spoon

Cares for own toileting needs



Can count 10 or more objects

Knows about use of everyday items (food, money)