Coordination and motor skills at different ages

When do kids start using crayons? Tying shoes? Riding a bike? All kids develop coordination and motor skills at slightly different rates. But kids tend to reach certain milestones at certain ages.

See when kids typically develop coordination and motor skills.

Infants and babies

By 2 months

  • Begin to push up when on tummy

  • Start making deliberate movements with arms and legs

By 4 months

  • Hold head upright

  • Bear weight on legs when feet are flat on the floor

  • Push up from tummy to elbows

By 6 months

  • Sit without support

  • Rock on hands and knees

  • Roll over

  • Move objects from one hand to the other

By 9 months

  • Creep, crawl, scoot, and may start to pull to standing position

  • Point at things

  • Reach for and grab a toy

  • Start picking up small pieces of food

By 12 months

  • Drink from a sippy cup

  • Shake and throw objects

  • Stand with support and may start to stand unassisted

  • Take a few steps while holding on to a person or a piece of furniture

Toddlers and preschoolers

Ages 18 months–2 years

  • Walk forward and backward

  • Run

  • Eat with a utensil

  • Hold a thick crayon or marker

  • Walk up and down stairs holding railing or person’s hand for support

  • Throw a ball

Ages 3–4 years

  • Alternate feet on the stairs

  • Jump with two feet

  • Put together a simple puzzle

  • Use door handles

  • Draw circles, squares, and very simple people

  • May ride a tricycle


Ages 5–6 years

  • Run, hop, skip, and jump

  • Perform basic dance moves

  • Throw and kick a ball, and catch it with two hands

  • Copy shapes and letters

  • Brush own teeth

  • Use spoons and forks the right way

  • May start to play a musical instrument

Ages 7–8 years

  • Ride a bike without training wheels

  • Show sports skills like catching a small ball

  • Do chores like sweeping or making the bed

  • Tie shoes and button and zip independently

Ages 9–10 years

  • Coordinate movements like dribbling and shooting a basketball

  • Use tools and draw with less frustration

Middle-schoolers and high-schoolers

Ages 11–15 years

  • Refine movements like those used in team sports

  • May try to develop strength and endurance due to increased muscle mass — especially in boys

  • May be clumsy because of growth spurts

Ages 16–18 years

  • Become more agile and less clumsy, making it easier to do things like type on a keyboard and build complicated projects

  • Refine visual-spatial coordination to help judge distance and speed and react quickly when driving

Kids develop differently, so if a child isn’t on track with all of these milestones don’t be alarmed. But share any concerns. Parents, teachers, and pediatricians can work together to help kids improve skills.

Also, learn about trouble with motor skills and coordination in kids.


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