Developmental Red Flags
Close to 3 Years
- Difficulty using stairs
- Excessively clumsy
- Not able to jump
Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with delays in child
development and behaviors.
These include in-home services, outpatient (you take your child
to a clinic), inpatient (following injury or surgery) and school
based services. Which type of therapy should you choose?
Visit our Therapy
Options area to learn more.
Ask a Therapist
We understand developmental milestones and the challenges of
Special Needs children. We spend a great deal of time with
families understanding the inner workings of childhood routines
and interactions. Ask us about your child today!
Ask a Therapist
Gross Motor Skills for Toddlers:
In the stages of child development,
most two-and-a-half-year olds can:
- Jump from the bottom step
- Jump a distance of about 8 inches
- Jump on a trampoline with 2 hands held
- Begin to stand on one foot
- Begin to ride a tricycle
- Catch a large ball
Most three-year-olds can:
- Run forward well
- Jump in place with two feet together
- Stand on one foot (with some support)
- Walk on tiptoe
- Kick a ball forward
- Walk on tiptoes and stand on one foot for up to 5 seconds
- Avoid obstacles in path
- Catch an 8 inch ball
- Climb and walk up stairs alternating feet
Parenting Tips for Gross Motor Skills:
You can help with early child development. Suggested play to help a
toddler between two and three develop gross motor skills:
- Visit playgrounds often. When children see the slides and climbing
structures, they naturally want to run, swing, and climb everything in
sight. If you can't make it to the playground, chasing each other in the
backyard or taking a walk can help your child's little muscles grow
- Imitate each other. Stick your arms out wide and pretend to fly
around the room. Tell your child it's his/her turn to be the bird. Then,
let your child be the leader and you copy whatever he/she does.
- Become a horse. If you cross your legs and place your child on your
knee, it's easy to take it for a horse ride. A variation would be to
hold your child's hands while it straddles your foot. Then bounce,
bounce, and bounce some more.
- Play catch. Show your child how to hold out its hands and throw a
ball directly, and gently, into them. Start out standing close together.
As your child gets better, move farther away.
- It's soccer time! Turn a large box on it's side to become your goal.
Then take turns trying to kick the ball into the goal, cheering when
your little athlete makes a goal.
- Let's be kangaroos. Make a chalk line on the sidewalk or place a
washcloth on the floor. Show your child how to jump with both feet
together and see how far each kangaroo can jump.
- Have fun with balloons. Here's a fun game for a rainy day. Kick a
balloon from one side of the room to another. Put a laundry basket on
its side and your child can kick it into the basket.
- Act like animals. Can your child stand like a flamingo, squat like a
duck, run on all fours like a lion? It's fun to try. Don't forget to
make the appropriate animal sounds!
- Make a river. Put a folded towel on the grass. Tell your child the
towel is really a river and ask if he/she can jump over the river
without getting his/her feet wet. As your child gets better, unfold the
towel for more of a challenge.
- Go nuts with bubbles. Blow bubbles up high and watch your child jump
and try to pop the bubbles by clapping its hands. Switch and blow the
bubbles towards the ground so it can stomp on them.
Gross Motor Skills by Age Group
Gross motor development involves the larger, stronger muscle groups. In
early child development, it's the development of these muscles that enable
it to hold its head up, sit, crawl and eventually walk, run, jump and skip.
Find Early Intervention
Support contacts in your State. If you have a question or comment for
us, please visit our Contact page.
Early Intervention Helps with Developmental Delay
For children with Special Needs, intervention in early childhood
development means finding specific ways to help a child become as functional
Learn more on our Parenting
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