Gross Motor Preschool Milestones 3 years to 5 years

During the preschool years (ages 3 through 5) a child learns various new gross motor skills. These new skills are vital for playing with their peers. Each child learns these at a different rate, however the following is an general outline of the development of gross motor skills during the preschool years:preschooler jumping

Gross Motor Skills of a 3 Year Old:

  • Standing on one foot for 3 seconds
  • Walking up and down stairs without holding onto the railing, reciprocating (one foot on each step)
  • Jumps over a line
  • Jumps forwards 2 feet
  • Jumps off a step with both feet simultaneously
  • Kicking a stationary ball 6 feet forwards
  • Throwing a ball both under and over hand
  • Independently get on/off a tricycle and pedal 20 feet

Gross Motor Skills of a 4 Year Old:

  • Standing on one foot for 5 seconds
  • Standing on tiptoes for 3 seconds without moving feet
  • Jumps forward 3 feet
  • Jumps up onto a step (approximately 8 inches high) with two feet
  • Jumps over a small hurdle
  • While running, is able to alternate direction and stop easily without losing balance
  • Hops on one foot 5 times
  • Walks backwards on a line
  • Gallops 10 feet
  • Throwing ball so it hits a target from 5 feet away

Gross Motor Skills of a 5 Year Old:

  • Standing on one foot for 10 seconds
  • Standing on tiptoes without moving feet for 8 seconds
  • Mimics movements accurately
  • Skips 10 feet
  • Jumping sideways
  • Kicking a stationary ball straight for 10 feet
  • Recommended:
    • Swimming: can “doggy-paddle” 2 feet to the edge of the pool
    • Biking: can independently pedal, steer, and stop a bike with training wheels (may begin to try without training wheels)

If a child has not yet learned these skills by kindergarten, or is having trouble performing these skills, there may be a cause for concern. They may be low tone or weak in their core or extremities. If you feel that your child is delayed in their preschool gross motor skills and would like advice or help, feel free to contact us for a physical therapy evaluation.  For a complete Milestone Guide for 3 Year olds compiled by Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists, click here!

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