Gross Motor Skills Your Child Should Hit By Age 2, 3, and 4
Every child grows at a different pace. Skills — specifically motor skills — are developed at different paces based on ability and agility. The large muscles in the torso, legs, and arms are the bases of gross motor skills. Walking, climbing, and jumping are just some examples of what gross motor skills help us do; they are what move and operate our physical selves in our environment.
Here are some skills that your little one should be practicing and applying by ages 2, 3, and 4; along with some exercises and preschool activities that you can do together!
- Walking/running by themselves
- Walking up and down stairs
- Jumping and landing on both feet
- Kicking with right and left feet
Exercises: Bounce on trampolines, kick balls, and climb up and down stairs. Obstacle courses and any type of climber is a great preschool activity for this age group!
- Jumping forward up to two feet in length
- Catching a large ball
- Balancing on one foot for a short time
- Riding a tricycle
Exercises: Walk on a balance beam and try to balance on each foot, play catch with a beach ball, and play hopscotch.
- Hopping on one foot well
- Running and jumping well — starting to skip
- Playing hopscotch
- Catching a ball well
Exercises: play hopscotch, play catch with beach balls and balls of smaller sizes (basketballs, softballs, tennis balls, etc), maybe introduce jump rope, as well as obstacle courses involving a ramp where they can safely practice somersaults.
If you are located in New York City, Playgarden Prep in Tribeca offers movement classes for these age groups that work those gross motor skills with obstacle courses, a monthly sport, and equipment — including a trampoline and a ball pit — to get your little ones moving with fun preschool activities!
If your little one needs more support with their gross motor development, help is out there. Occupational and physical therapists are incredibly helpful resources for assessment and other assistance to set your little one up for success. Look up “occupational therapists” in your area for more information.
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Hi, I'm Miss Julia!
Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.