This list contains resources on motor development for very young children, ages birth through three years.
- Tip Sheets:
- Q&A: Development in Young Children
- Video: Physical Development and Health
- Blog: Active Play Promotes Young Children’s Development
- Slides: Motor Activities: Learning at Home Activities
Busy Bodies: How the Development of Physical Skills Supports Learning
Source: Zero to Three
Infants’ and toddlers’ physical skills emerge right along with their thinking, language and social skills. Parents and caregivers can support young children’s physical development by encouraging movement and exploration. This video and tip sheet provides parents and caregivers with strategies to nurture young children’s physical development.
CDC’s Developmental Milestones
(also in Spanish)Source: Centers on Disease Control (CDC)
Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye” are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move (crawling, walking, etc.). This website lists developmental milestones for children ages 2 months through 5 years.
Infant Physical Development: Fine Motor Skills
Source: Early Milestones
This document provides information on fine motor skills for infants, including activities and strategies for development.
Is Your Baby’s Physical Development on Track?
This article explains the signs of a physical developmental or early motor delay, common concerns from parents, and offers additional resources and next steps.
This page explains why motor skills are important, what motor milestones are, and offers motor activities for infants and toddlers.
Movement, Coordination, and Your 1- to 2-year-old
This page addresses 1-2 year old movement and coordination, including how to encourage a child’s movement and when to call the doctor.
Movement, Coordination, and Your 1- to 3-month-old
This page addresses 1-3 month old movement and coordination, including how to encourage a child’s movement and when to call the doctor.
Movement, Coordination, and Your 4- to 7-month-old
This page addresses 4-7 month old movement and coordination, including how to encourage a child’s movement and when to call the doctor.
Movement, Coordination, and Your 8- to 12-month-old
This page addresses 8-12 month old movement and coordination, including how to encourage a child’s movement and when to call the doctor.
Movement, Coordination, and Your Newborn
This page addresses newborn movement and coordination, including how to encourage baby’s movement and when to call the doctor.
No Stairs, No Problem! Tips to Help with Stair Climbing Skills
Source: Day2Day Parenting
This blog offers advice to families of toddlers working on stair climbing skills. The author gives examples using common household items to help children improve their strength and coordination.
Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development: Effective Practice Guides
Source: Head Start ECLKC
This guide describes effective teaching practices in the domain of perceptual, motor, and physical development for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Teachers, home visitors, and family child care providers can use the guide to learn more about how to support children’s growth and development in this area.
Physical Therapy for Infants and Toddlers
Source: Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse
The resource guide provides books, videos, organizations, articles, and web resources on physical therapy in early intervention.
Rocking and Rolling: Learning to Move
Source: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
This article describes how infants and toddlers develop motor skills through activities in their early childhood classroom. The authors offer suggestions to early childhood educators for observing motor milestones in action and setting up the environment for inviting movement skills.
Standing on the Sidewalk
Source: Songs for Teaching
This page provides lyrics for a children’s song/chant to develop fine and gross motor skills and language skills.
Tummy Time Explorations for Infants
Source: STEMIE (Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education)
This document gives suggestions to parents and caregivers about tummy time activities and adaptations for infants.
What Happens in an Occupational Therapy Evaluation
This video gives families an overview of what to expect during an occupational therapy evaluation. Occupational therapists observe and assess the gross and fine motor skills of children who struggle with these skills, leading to an evaluation report and activity suggestions for families.