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Developmental charts

This is a basic developmental chart that outlines broad guidelines as to what the average child is achieving at that particular age and stage. These are not supposed to be prescriptive and children may develop faster or slower in all or some of the areas. This is perfectly normal but if you are particularly worried then contact your doctor or paediatrician and share your concerns. I have simply included this in order to give you some guidelines.

3 months


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
Smiles Loves to look at faces Will shake a rattle if placed in hand Gurgles and coos Dislikes loud sounds Learns head control
Enjoys routine activities Plays with own hands, looks at them Cannot grasp objects at will Makes little happy noises (ah-goo) Calmed by familiar voices Responds to different textures
Not concerned about being touched by strangers Visually attentive, follows people with her eyes Looks at hands often Turns head to person talking Shows enjoyment by smiling and moving arms and legs Can lift head and chest when lying on her tummy
Stares closely at person when being fed Starts to respond to bright colours Hand to mouth process begins May start to get upset at angry voices Movement of limbs still awkward, not yet smooth
Begins to recognise and respond to familiar voices and sounds May have different cries for hunger, tiredness, pain, etc. Hands are open more often than fisted May be able to hold objects (rattles) in her hands
Enjoys bathing Straightens legs when held upright
Can follow a moving object with eyes Can roll over onto back from side

 6 months


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
May still be friendly with strangers Good sense of humour Pass object from one hand to another May try to locate a sound Raises hands and arms to be picked up Reaches out to object he wants
Loves ‘rough’ play Starts to look at objects very closely Tends to hit object in his hand against another object Practices talking by himself – babbles Touches bottle or breast while feeding Can stand when supported – bounces
Enjoys action nursery rhymes Tries to mimic vocal sounds Can hold two objects in his hands at the same time Makes new sounds Laughs when pleased Holds head steady
May smile in welcome Forgets about a toy when it can’t be seen Can grasp object at will Starts to understand ‘no’ Can discriminate between friendly and unfriendly voices Can move objects from hand to hand
Enjoys tactile jokes (blowing raspberries, tickling) Understands signs and the following action (bib means food) Can hold object between base of thumb and last three fingers Enjoys listening to music, especially of children singing Can sit supported and unsupported for a short time
Becomes attached to a specific person Recognises his own name Puts everything in his mouth
Examines face of person holding him Makes at least 4 different sounds Plays with feet when lying on back
Holds head and chest high when on tummy


9 months


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
Offers toys to adults Recognises names Can let go of objects but can’t place them down gently Understands ‘no’ and ‘bye’ Develops assertiveness Rolls over
No longer as friendly to strangers Points at pictures in books Tends to make raking movements with fingers Makes repetitive syllables (dadada) May begin tantrums May crawl
Clingy to caregiver Splashes deliberately in bath Can pick up small objects between thumb and forefinger Copies simple sounds Interested in everything Leans forward to pick up a toy
Loves ‘peek-a-boo’, may try to join in Responds to own name May develop own sounds for familiar people/objects Has favourite toys Makes walking movements when being held
May show attachment to a specific object Begin to realise object still exists even when out of sight Makes known when she wants attention (yells, waits for response, yells again) Very alert in new surroundings Pulls to stand but can only fall not sit
Shows likes and dislikes by reaching out or pushing away object Interested in books Makes associations between certain sounds and objects (water running = bath) May shake head when she doesn’t want something Can remain standing by holding onto something
Blows raspberries Sits unsupported
May copy coughs and sneezes Can lean forward without losing balance
Begins to ‘cruise’ holding onto furniture
Can drink from a cup with a spout


12 months


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
Feeds self messily, uses hands a lot Deliberately throws toys for someone to pick up Will let go of objects so they fall – just because  he can Understands a number of everyday words (cup, bath, teddy, bed, etc.) Gets clingy with parents or caregiver May crawl upstairs
Starts to help person dressing him Enjoys banging toys together Prefers to hold with one hand and do with the other Knows own name and responds when called Shows affection Can sit up from lying or standing position
Can drink from cup with a lid Recognises some objects and mimics their use (i.e. toothbrush) Points to objects with index finger May use a few words Greets known adults with great affection May stand alone, walks with hands held, may walk alone
Loves repetitive games and songs Points at objects and may make certain sounds to identify objects he wants Likes to put things in containers and take them out again


Imitates speech patterns and sounds Recognises people from quite a distance away Can manipulate things in and out of containers
Enjoys being outside and exploring Can roll a ball with his hands Babbles to people and when alone Enjoys physical contact Can twist around without falling
Can follow a fast moving object with eyes and head Can grasp an object while looking away Follows simple, one-step instructions Sits unsupported for long periods of time
Responds temporarily to ‘no’ and ‘stop’ Manages to ‘kick’ a ball if you hold him by hands
Repeats skills to master them Will hold a crayon in his fist and scribble Can use pincer grip well, can scribble with a crayon


15 months


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
Loves interactive games Points to pictures in a book Enjoys scribbling Uses a few words Shows a lot of affection to family Probably walking alone
Happily plays independently May make animal sounds when given a picture or a word Holds crayon in his fist May say ‘no’, ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ Likes to be able to see caregiver or parents when playing alone Can stand up from sitting
Enjoys being around children of same age but lacks social skills Begins to take turns (in speech, copying noises, faces, etc.) Can turn pages of a book but will skip several pages Has own sounds to refer to specific objects Experiences and tries to express a range of emotions May put shapes into a shape sorter
Curious about new people Pats pages when looking through books Can build a tower with 2 – 3 blocks if shown how Has a large (understood) vocabulary Can bend over to pick up a toy when standing
Confident when with caregiver or parents Points to names people or objects Can put a lid back on a container (ie; shoe box) Can follow longer instructions May be able to kick a ball forward
Can indicate at least one body part on self and others Can hold 2 small blocks in one hand Gaining experience in two-way conversation Climbs up and down stairs on hands and knees or stomach
Can give a toy if asked for it Listens to short stories, engages self in the stories Enjoys throwing small balls with growing accuracy
Examines everything May show anger physically
Sits down with a bump


18 months


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
Feeds self with a spoon but still messy May be able to identify some geometric shapes Notices very small objects and uses a pincer grip to pick them up Starts to use words meaningfully, may put two words together Enjoys praise and has pride in his achievements Backs up to a low seat to sit down
Can help to undress self Can point to a few body parts when asked Scribbles and can make dots May still use many gestures to communicate Becomes aware of other’s emotions Should be walking well, not balancing with arms
Plays with food Can understand and carry out one or two part instructions Draws with both hands (may show a preference) Often chats using correct speech patterns but is unintelligible Pretend play includes simple dressing and cleaning tasks Can handle large toys and objects
Able to put away familiar toys and objects Will put things back where they belong Starts to use a brush to paint with May try to use own name or ‘me’ or ‘I’ Emotionally responsive to environment Walks up and down stairs holding adult’s hand
Has to learn to share as she has a strong understanding of ownership Can remember where familiar items were put away Can thread big beads on a thick string Loves to try and sing, loves listening to music and dancing Better able to cope with separation (understands object permanence) Can use a cup with and lid, spills a little and uses both hands
Is interested in own mirror image Knows which objects go together Starting to follow 2 part requests Exerts independence May be running
Has a favourite toy Understands that objects still exist even when she can’t see them May show preferences for different styles of music Very vocal when discontent –even has mood swings Squats without losing balance
Can play alone for up to 30 minutes Understood vocabulary improves daily Enjoys showing off Can open small hinged boxes


2 years


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
Plays in imaginative and purposeful way Uses all of her sense to explore the environment Can scribble in circles Can follow a two part instruction May show an interest in potty training Should be walking and running confidently
Pays more attention to other children but still plays alongside them Makes enormous leaps in understanding, may match identical shapes or pictures Can make horizontal and vertical lines Speech may still be unintelligible, especially to outside people Confident about meeting new people, but may still cling to parents or caregiver Should be able to march, stamp feet, jump, walk backwards
Has difficulty sharing toys and taking turns Aware that actions have consequences, very curious, asks questions Uses all fingers to hold a crayon and holds his hand up May sing well-known nursery rhymes Adamant to do things alone – often refuses to be helped Should be able to walk alone up stairs-2 feet per step
Dislikes other children getting attention from own caregiver or parent Understands simple instructions, action words and prepositions Uses elbow movements when drawing Probably uses between 50 and 300 words, learning more every day Temper tantrums arise from frustration and lack of understanding Can ride a plastic scooter, pushing with both feet
Can put on some items of clothes (hats…) Attention span varies Will hold scissors in both hands and cut while you hold the paper Asks names of objects Appreciates the security of daily routines Can push and pull toys while walking
Possessive about toys May be able to point out one object in a selection of four Can build a tower with 6 – 7 blocks Can name major body parts and point to even more Develops will of his own and wants to do things his way Able to drink from a cup with little or no mess
Shows sympathy towards others Enjoys simple puzzles Refers to self by name Temper tantrums may occur Can turn pages
  Notices small details on pictures May start using short sentences Can unscrew lids on jars
Can identify known people in pictures May be able to catch a large ball
Can collect same colour objects, ie; green beads Throws and kicks balls


2 ½ years


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
Realistic role play Can identify self in photo Shows a hand preference while drawing Asks lots of questions Can begin potty training Can ride a tricycle
Uses tea sets or cooking sets appropriately Understands positions, cause and effect Can copy a circle and line Vocabulary focused on family and home environment Likes to still be near parent or caregiver Alternates feet walking upstairs, but still 2 per step coming down
May be able to use a fork Concentrates for approximately 7 minutes on a task Tends to use one hand more in activities Will talk to self while playing Tantrums less easy to stop Can help dress and undress
Still unwilling to share Beginning to understand things happening in the past Can use his fingers separately Still uses echolalia (repeating people) Distraction no longer effective Kicking and throwing improving
May play with other children but not for long Can complete a 3 –4 piece puzzle Can thread at least 4 big beads Uses about 200 words and understands many more Hates being restrained Can walk upstairs, climb a jungle gym and kick a ball
Developing a sense of humour Uses adjective, possessive nouns, plurals and past tense No understanding of danger Enjoys mobility toys
Likes to play tricks Stubborn Can throw a ball in specific direction


3 years


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
Enjoys make believe games Might be dry at night Starts to colour in simple pictures going over the lines Communicates in sentences, using tone and emphasis Temper tantrums begin to taper Can balance on one foot
Plays with other children Knows full name Uses and inferior pencil grip May be able to recite 10 numbers Affectionate to baby brother / sister Steers and runs around objects with ease
Begins to learn to share Decides what a drawing is once finished Can cut paper into pieces Carries on simple conversations Waits for wants to be fulfilled Catches clumsily with arms
Loves being read to Likes to paint Enjoys playing with paint and clay Talks about his experiences Developing sensitivity Likes to jump off bottom step
Tidies up well Can concentrate for about 10 minutes on one activity Understands concepts of size, shape and colour Forcefully kicks a ball
Learning how to function in a group Drawing of a person has at least 4 parts Grasping the concept of time (afternoon / tomorrow) Sits on bottom with legs crossed
Speech is more about outside world Able to thread big beads
Asks ‘why’ Can use scissors
Grammar not quite correct Holds pencil properly






4 years


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
Has best friends Knows primary colours Copies X, T, H, V, O Loves joking Loves dressing up Will climb trees and ladders
Can dress and undress but may still battle with buttons and laces Decides what to draw before starting Draws people with heads, bodies, legs, arms and fingers Mistakes reality for imagining at times Sympathetic when little sibling gets hurt Can catch, kick, throw and bounce a ball
Cheeky when cross Can concentrate for about 15 minutes on a task Can draw with pencils and crayons Asks for explanations Very wilful Can hop
Tendency for 3 children to exclude a third Knows what he wants to do but can’t always do it Holds pencil with thumb, index finger and middle finger Can recite up to 20 and count 4 or 5 objects Understands past / present / future Bends over with straight legs to pick up toys
Shares and takes turns Can work towards a goal when playing Can cut along straight lines Can sing several songs / rhymes Humour in play and conversation Can run upstairs well
Argues and fights Can recall up to four numbers Can cross midline Likes to play with rhyming words Can do a somersault
Tends to be silly and show off Can remember 4 objects Can cut simple shapes Makes few grammatical errors Can walk at least 4 steps on a balance beam
Can wash and dry hands


5 years


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
Enjoys humorous stories Enjoys jigsaws Can copy drawn shapes Loves to listen to stories and will use them in play later More restrained behaviour Able to walk along a thin long line
Complex, imaginative play Can count fingers Detailed drawings include surroundings Recites name, age and address Defends and cares for babies and toddlers Plays ball games well
Tends to be bossy and critical Can relate to time of day and corresponding activity Draws people with features (probably no ears though) Loves singing Self sufficient Dances
Skilled at construction toys Can concentrate sufficiently for about 20 minutes Can perform desk activities and make postural adjustments May know birthday Comforts upset friends Touches toes with straight legs
Cooperates in a group Fantasy play Can draw a detailed finger Increasingly articulate Tends to be gentle and friendly Skips
Can dress and undress alone Can solve simple problems Can write name if shown how Claims tasks are ‘easy’ before beginning Can ask what he needs and say what he feels Runs on tiptoe
Needs prompting to tidy up Developing planning skills – what he’ll do tomorrow etc. Can colour within lines fairly neatly Expressive and receptive vocabularies of 2500 to 2800 words Energetic and lively in the garden
Self-confident to talk in front of others Can follow three part complex instructions
Can share


6 years


Intellectual Fine motor skills Speech & hearing Emotional Gross motor skills
Can participate in games when rules are applied Can concentrate for 30 minutes at a time Can cut straight lines and corners Can repeat a story Can express his feelings Can walk heel-to-toe on a balance beam
Can make and keep friends Can identify body parts, their function and position Can colour within the lines on a picture Should be able to pronounce most sounds Can stand on 1 leg for 19 seconds with eyes open
Respects others and their property Uses a dynamic tripod grip on pencil Uses complex grammatical structures Can skip with a rope
Detailed drawing of a person with all basic body parts and clothes Can cut around curves and corners Can detect errors and absurdities in stories Catches a ball with hands only
Knows left and right of body Hand dominance is established Can predict possible outcome of a situation Can make star jumps
Enjoys ‘find the difference’ puzzles Can write own name Can understand cause and effect relationships Can ride a bicycle without side wheels
Can organise pictures into correct sequence Can touch thumb to each finger in 5 seconds Can hit a ball with bat or racket
Can thread 8 beads on a string in 25 seconds
Can copy many geometric shapes


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