11 Developmental Milestones

Two Months

Alloftheairatonetime shared by CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Cognitive

  • Pays attention to faces
  • Begins to follow things with eyes and recognize people at a distance
  • Begins to act bored (cries, fussy) if activity doesn’t change

Fine Motor

  • Grasps reflexively
  • Does not reach for objects
  • Holds hands in fist

Gross Motor

  • Can hold head up and begins to push up when lying on tummy
  • Makes smoother movements with arms and legs

Language

  •  Coos, makes gurgling sounds
  • Turns head toward sounds

Social and Emotional

  • Begins to smile at people
  • Can briefly calm himself  (may bring hands to mouth and suck on hand)
  • Tries to look at parent

Four Months

Cpl. Meloney R. Moses, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Cognitive

  • Lets you know if she is happy or sad
  • Responds to affection
  • Reaches for toy with one hand
  • Uses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and reaching for it
  • Follows moving things with eyes from side to side
  • Watches faces closely and recognizes familiar people and things at a distance

Fine Motor

  • Brings hands to mouth
  • Uses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and reaching for it
  • Follows moving things with eyes from side to side
  • Can hold a toy with whole hand (palmar grasp) and shake it and swing at dangling toys

Gross Motor

  • Holds head steady, unsupported
  • Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface
  • Maybe able to roll over from tummy to back
  • Brings hands to mouth
  • When lying on stomach, pushes up to elbows

Language

  • Begins to babble
  • Babbles with expression and copies sounds he hears
  • Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tired

Social and Emotional

  • Smiles spontaneously, especially at people
  • Likes to play with people and might cry when playing stops
  • Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning

Six Months

Mehregan Javanmard, shared by CC BY-SA 3.0  via Wikimedia Commons

Cognitive

  • Looks around at things nearby
  • Brings things to mouth
  • Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach
  • Begins to pass things from one hand to the other
  • Looks for partially hidden object
  • Looks for fallen toys

Fine Motor

  • Reaches with both arms
  • Brings things to mouth
  • Begins to pass things from one hand to the other

Gross Motor

  • Rolls over in both directions (front to back, back to front)
  • Begins to sit without support
  • When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce
  • Rocks back and forth, sometimes crawling backward before moving forward

Language

  • Responds to sounds by making sounds
  • Strings vowels together when babbling (“ah,” “eh,” “oh”) and likes taking turns with parent while making sounds
  • Responds to own name
  • Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure
  • Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with “m,” “b”)

Social and Emotional

  • Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger
  • Likes to play with others, especially parents
  • Responds to other people’s emotions and often seems happy
  • Likes to look at self in a mirror

Nine Months

תהלה הרץ, by CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Cognitive

  • Watches the path of something as it falls
  • Looks for things he sees you hide
  • Plays peek-a-boo
  • Puts things in her mouth
  • Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other
  • Picks up things like cereal o’s between thumb and index finger

Fine Motor

  • Puts things in her mouth
  • Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other
  • Picks up things between thumb and index finger (pincer grip)

Gross Motor

  • Stands, holding on
  • Can get into sitting position
  • Sits without support
  • Pulls to stand
  • Crawls

Language

  • Understands “no”
  • Makes a lot of different sounds like “mamamama” and “bababababa”
  • Copies sounds and gestures of others
  • Uses fingers to point at things

Social and Emotional

  • May be afraid of strangers
  • May be clingy with familiar adults
  • Has favorite toys

One Year

Avsar Aras, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Cognitive

  • Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing
  • Finds hidden things easily
  • Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named
  • Imitates gestures
  • Starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair
  • Bangs two things together

Fine Motor

  • Reaches with one hand
  • Bangs two things together
  • Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container
  • Lets things go without help
  • Pokes with index (pointer) finger

Gross Motor

  • Gets to a sitting position without help
  • Pulls up to stand, walks holding on to furniture (“cruising”)
  • May take a few steps without holding on
  • May stand alone

Language

  • Responds to simple spoken requests
  • Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”
  • Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech)
  • Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh!”
  • Tries to say words you say

Social and Emotional

  • Is shy or nervous with strangers
  • Cries when mom or dad leaves
  • Has favorite things and people
  • Shows fear in some situations
  • Hands you a book when he wants to hear a story
  • Repeats sounds or actions to get attention
  • Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing
  • Plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”

18 Months

greg lilly by CC BY-NC 2.0 via Flickr

Cognitive

  • Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon
  • Points to get the attention of others
  • Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed
  • Points to one body part
  • Scribbles on his own
  • Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures

Fine Motor

  • Scribbles on his own
  • Can help undress herself
  • Drinks from a cup
  • Eats with a spoon with some accuracy
  • Stacks 2-4 objects

Gross Motor

  • Walks alone
  • Walks up stairs holding for support
  • May run
  • Carries and pulls toys while walking
  • Can help undress herself
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture

Language

  • Says several words
  • Say and shakes head “no”
  • Points to show someone what is wanted
  • Uses two word sentences
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation

Social and Emotional

  • Likes to hand things to others as play
  • May have temper tantrums
  • May be afraid of strangers
  • Shows affection to familiar people
  • Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll
  • May cling to caregivers in new situations
  • Points to show others something interesting
  • Explores alone but with parent close by.

Two Years

Yoshiyasu NISHIKAWA. Shared under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr

Cognitive

  • Begins to sort shapes and colors
  • Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books
  • Plays simple make-believe games
  • Follows two-step instructions such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.”
  • Names items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog
  • Matches object to picture in book

Fine Motor

  • Builds towers of 4 or more blocks
  • Might use one hand more than the other
  • Makes copies of straight lines and circles
  • Enjoys pouring and filling
  • Unbuttons large buttons
  • Unzips large zippers
  • Drinks and feeds self with more accuracy

Gross Motor

  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Begins to run
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture without help
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on
  • Throws ball overhand

Language

  • Points to things or pictures when they are named
  • Knows names of familiar people and body parts
  • Says sentences with 2 to 4 words
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation
  • Points to things in a book

Social and Emotional

  • Copies others, especially adults and older children
  • Gets excited when with other children
  • Shows more and more independence
  • Shows defiant behavior (doing what he has been told not to)
  • Plays mainly beside other children, but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase games

Three Years

Matt B by CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr

Cognitive

  • Can work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts
  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people
  • Does puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces
  • Understands what “two” means

Fine Motor

  • Copies a circle with pencil or crayon
  • Turns book pages one at a time
  • Builds towers or more than 6 blocks
  • Screws and unscrews jar lids or turns door handle

Gross Motor

  • Climbs well
  • Runs easily
  • Pedals a tricycle (3-wheeled bike)
  • Walks up and down stairs, one foot on each step
  • Kicks ball forward
  • Throws ball overhand

Language

  • Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps
  • Can name most familiar things
  • Understands words like “in,” “on,” and “under”
  • Says first name, age, and sex
  • Names a friend
  • Says words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “you” and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)
  • Talks well enough for strangers to understand most of the time
  • Carries on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences

Social and Emotional

  • Copies adults and friends
  • Shows affection for friends without prompting
  • Takes turns in games
  • Shows concern for a crying friend
  • Understands the idea of “mine” and “his” or “hers”
  • Shows a wide range of emotions
  • Separates easily from mom and dad
  • May get upset with major changes in routine
  • Dresses and undresses self

Four Years

woodleywonderworks shared under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

Cognitive

  • Names some colors and some numbers
  • Understands the idea of counting
  • Starts to understand time
  • Remembers parts of a story
  • Understands the idea of “same” and “different”
  • Plays board or card games
  • Tells you what he thinks is going to happen next in a book

Fine Motor

  • Pours, cuts with supervision, and mashes own food
  • Uses scissors
  • Starts to copy some capital letters

Gross Motor

  • Hops and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds
  • Catches a bounced ball most of the time

Language

  • Knows some basic rules of grammar, such as correctly using “he” and “she”
  • Sings a song or says a poem from memory such as the “ltsy Bitsy Spider” or the “Wheels on the Bus”
  • Tells stories
  • Can say first and last name
  • Recalls parts of a story

Social and Emotional

  • Enjoys doing new things
  • Plays “Mom” and “Dad”
  • Is more and more creative with make-believe play
  • Would rather play with other children than by himself
  • Cooperates with other children
  • Often can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Talks about what she likes and what she is interested in

Five Years

David Kabiru, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Cognitive

  • Counts 10 or more things
  • Knows about things used every day, like money and food
  • Correctly names 4 colors
  • Better understands concept of time

Fine Motor

  • Can draw a person with at least 6 body parts
  • Can print some letters or numbers
  • Copies a triangle and geometric shapes
  • Uses a fork and spoon and sometimes a table knife

Gross Motor

  • Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer
  • Hops; may be able to skip
  • Can do a somersault
  • Can use a toilet on her own
  • Swings and climbs

Language

  • Speaks very clearly
  • Tells a simple story using full sentences
  • Uses future tense; for example, “Grandma will be here.”
  • Says name and address
  • Speaks in sentences of more than 5 words

Social and Emotional

  • Wants to be like and please other friends
  • More likely to agree with rules
  • Likes to sing, dance, and act
  • Is aware of gender
  • Cantell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Shows more independence
  • Is sometimes demanding and sometimes very cooperative

SIX YEARS

marviikad shared under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr

Cognitive

  • Shows increased attention span
  • Understands simple time markers
  • Understands simple motion concepts
  • Enjoys the challenges of puzzles, mazes, and games
  • Names and correctly holds up right and left hand fairly consistently
  • Inquisitive about surroundings and everyday events

Fine Motor

  • Enjoys painting, modeling with clay, drawing, coloring
  • Writes numbers and letters with varying degrees of precision and interest (might reverse or confuse certain letters: b/d, p/q, g/q, t/f)
  • Traces around hand and other objects
  • Folds and cuts paper into simple shapes
  • Ties own shoes (some still struggle)

Gross Motor

  • Movements are more precise and deliberate
  • Moves constantly
  • Enjoys vigorous activity
  • Rides bicycle with training wheels
  • Swings a bat

Language

  • Talks nonstop
  • Carries on adult-like conversations; asks many questions
  • Uses appropriate verb tenses, word order, and sentencestructure
  • Uses language to express displeasure
  • Talks self through steps required in simple problem solving
  • Imitates slang and profanity; finds “bathroom” talk extremely funny
  • Delights in telling jokes and riddles
  • Recognizes some words by sight;
  • Attempts to sounds out words

Social and Emotional

  • Becomes less dependent on parents
  • Needs and seeks adult approval
  • Anxious to please
  • Sees events from almost entirely own perspective
  • Easily disappointed and frustrated by self-perceived failure
  • Has difficulty composing and soothing self
  • Dislikes being corrected or losing at games
  • Often fibs, cheats, or takes items belonging to others
  • Knows when he or she has been bad based on expectations and rules
  • Can be increasingly fearful

Seven Years

Donna Cleveland, CC BY 2.0  via Wikimedia Commons

Cognitive

  • Understands concepts of space and time in ways that are both logical and more practical
  • Begins to grasp conservation
  • Gains better understanding of cause and effect
  • Tells time by clock and understands calendar time
  • Plans ahead
  • Shows fascination with magic tricks
  • Enjoys counting and saving money
  • Continues to reverse some letters and substitute sounds on occasion

Fine Motor

  • Manipulates computer mouse or paintbrush with greater precision
  • Uses knife and fork appropriately, but inconsistently
  • Holds pencil in tight grasp near the tip; rests head on forearm, lowers head almost to the table top when doing pencil-and-paper tasks
  • Produces numbers and letters in deliberate and confident fashion (more uniform)

Gross Motor

  • Balances on either foot
  • Runs up and down stairs with alternating feet
  • Throws and catches smaller ball
  • Practices a new motor skill over and over until mastered, then drops it to work on something else
  • Finds floor more comfortable than furniture when reading, playing, or watching TV
  • Legs are often in constant motion

Language

  • Engages in storytelling
  • Uses adult-like sentence structure and language in conversation
  • Uses more adjectives and adverbs
  • Uses gestures to illustrate conversations
  • Verbal exaggeration is common
  • Describes personal experiences in great detail
  • Understands and carries out multiple-step directions
  • Enjoys writing simple notes to friends
  • Finds reading easier
  • Reading skills are better than spelling skills

Social and Emotional

  • Criticizes own performance
  • Is cooperative and affectionate towards adults
  • Is more outgoing
  • Seeks outs friendships
  • Can find things to do independently
  • Quarrels less often
  • Still tattles
  • Prefers same-sex playmates; more likely to play in groups
  • Blames others or makes up excuses for own behavior
  • Worries about not being liked
  • Feelings are easily hurt
  • Can be trusted to carry out directions and commitments
  • Worries about being late or not getting school work done

Eight Years

Biswarup Ganguly, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cognitive

  • Organizes and displays items according to more complex systems
  • Bargains and trades collectible items
  • Plan and saves money for small purchases
  • Begins to take interest in what others think and do
  • Understands there are distant countries and differences of opinion and culture
  • Understands perspective (shadow, distance, shape)
  • Grasps basic principles of conservation
  • Uses more sophisticated logic in efforts to understand everyday events
  • Adds and subtracts multiple digit numbers
  • Learning multiplication and division

Fine Motor

  • Copies words and numbers with increasing speed and accuracy
  • Has good eye-hand coordination
  • Drawings reflect more realistic portrayal of objects

Gross Motor

  • Likes to dance, skate, swim, wrestle, ride bikes, play basketball, jump rope, and fly kites
  • Seeks out opportunities to play in team activities and games
  • Exhibits significant improvement in agility, balance, speed, and strength
  • Possess seemingly endless energy

Language

  • Reads with ease and understanding
  • Writes with descriptions that are imaginative and detailed
  • Uses language to criticize and compliment others
  • Repeats slang and curse words
  • Understands and follows rules of grammar in conversation and written form
  • Is intrigued with learning secret word codes or using code language
  • Able to think and talk about past and future

Social and Emotional

  • Begins to form opinions about moral values and attitudes
  • Plays with two or three best friends; most often of same age and gender
  • Enjoys spending some time alone
  • Participates in team games and activities
  • Acceptance by peers is important
  • Enjoys talking on the phone with friends and family
  • Seems less critical of own performance, but is easily
  • Understands others may have more talent in a specific area
  • Enjoys performing for adults and challenging them in games

9 & 10 Years

Polish soccer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cognitive

  • Develops ability to reason based more on experience and logic more than intuition
  • Likes challenges in arithmetic but does not always understand complex mathematical concepts
  • Learns best through hands-on learning (researching, experimenting, building models, dramatizing)
  • Finds it difficult to sit still for periods longer than 30 minutes;
  • Uses reading and writing skills for nonacademic activities
  • Shows improved understanding of cause and effect
  • Continues to master concepts of time, weight, volume, and distance
  • Able to think in reverse, following a series of occurrences back to their beginnings
  • Prefers reading books that are longer and descriptive, with complex plots

Fine Motor

  • Writes, sketches, and performs fine motor skills with improved coordination
  • Likes to use hands for arts and crafts, cooking, woodworking, needlework, painting, building models, and taking apart objects such as a clock or telephone
  • Draws pictures in details
  • Takes great joy in perfecting handwriting skills

Gross Motor

  • Throws a ball with accuracy
  • Uses arms, legs, and feet with ease and improved precision
  • Runs, climbs, skips ropes, swims, rides bikes, and skates with skill and confidence
  • Enjoys team sports, but may still need to develop some of the necessary complex skills

Language

  • Talks, often nonstop and for no specific reason; sometimes just for attention
  • Expresses feelings in effectively through words
  • Understands and uses language as a system for communicating with others
  • Uses slang expressions commonly expressed by peers
  • Recognizes that some words have double meaning
  • Finds humor in using illogical metaphors in jokes and riddles
  • Shows advanced understanding of grammatical sequences
  • Recognizes when a sentence is not grammatically correct

Social and Emotional

  • Becomes less dependent on parents
  • Needs and seeks adult approval
  • Anxious to please
  • Sees events from almost entirely own perspective
  • Easily disappointed and frustrated by self-perceived failure
  • Has difficulty composing and soothing self
  • Dislikes being corrected or losing at games
  • Often fibs, cheats, or takes items belonging to others
  • Knows when he or she has been bad based on expectations and rules
  • Can be increasingly fearful

11 &12 Years

MIKI Yoshihito from Sapporo City, Hokkaido, Japan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cognitive

  • Begins thinking in more abstract terms
  • No longer needs to rely on experiencing an event to understand it
  • Accepts the idea that problems can have multiple solutions
  • Completes the majority of language develop by the end of this stage
  • Often works through problems by talking aloud to self
  • Develops solutions or responses based on logic
  • Enjoys challenges, problem-solving, researching, and testing possible solutions
  • Stays focused on completing tasks
  • Develops detailed plans and lists to reach a desired goal
  • Performs many routine tasks without having to think
  • Learns from errors using cause-and-effect

Fine Motor

  • Concentrates efforts on continued refinement of fine motor ability
  • Likes to sew and paint

Gross Motor

  • Displays movements that are smoother and more coordinated
  • Rapid growth can cause temporary clumsiness
  • Enjoys participation in activities and organized games in which improved skills can be used and tested
  • Requires outlets for release of excess energy that builds during the school day
  • Enjoys team sports, riding bikes, playing in the park, taking dance lessons, going for a walk with friends, shooting hoops, playing soccer
  • Has an abundance of energy but also fatigues quickly
  • Uses improved strength to run faster, throw balls farther, jump higher, kick or bat balls more accurately, and wrestle friends

Language

  • Completes the majority of language develop by the end of this stage
  • Often works through problems by talking aloud to self
  • Talk and argues, often nonstop, with anyone who will listen
  • Uses longer and more complex sentence structures
  • Masters increasingly complex vocabulary
  • Adds 4,000-5,000 new words each year
  • Weaves elaborate stories with precise descriptions
  • Becomes a thoughtful listener
  • Understands that word statements can have implied meanings
  • Grasps concepts of irony and sarcasm
  • Enjoys telling jokes, riddles, and rhymes to entertain others
  • Masters several language styles, shifting back and forth based on the occasion

Social and Emotional

  • Organizes group games but may modify rules while the game is in progress
  • View self-image as very important
  • Defines self in terms of appearance, possessions, and activities
  • Becomes increasingly self-conscious and self-focused
  • Understands the need to assume responsibility for his or her own behavior
  • Daydreams and fantasizes about the future (including career)
  • Develops a critical and idealistic view of the world
  • Expresses interests in other cultures, foods, languages, and customs
  • Adopts dress, hairstyles, and mannerisms of celebrities
  • May spend more time now with peers than with family members
  • is able to discuss what is emotionally troubling

Attribution

This chapter is copied from Appendix C – Developmental Milestones is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Jennifer Paris, Kristin Beeve, & Clint Springer.

License

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Preschool Methods by NSCC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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