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Does your child have a delay in gross motor skills?

Gross motor skills involve properly using the large muscles of the body to perform everyday actions such as walking, running, jumping, sitting, kicking and throwing a ball.

Physical Therapists can assist a child in obtaining age appropriate gross motor skills while improving balance, strength and coordination.

What should I expect from my child?

Although every child progresses differently it is important to be aware of the expectations at each stage.

Guide for pre-schools (24 – 48 months)
Adapted from the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales (PDMS II)
and Hawaii Early Learning Profile (HELP) Chart

23-24 months

Goes up and down the slide

Jumps forward 4 inches (without falling,
using a 2 foot takeoff and land)
Jumps up with feet leaving the floor 2
Jumps down from a 7 inch step without assistance and lands on 2feet
Walks up the stairs without holding on
Throws a ball forward 3 feet using
an underhand technique
Kicks a ball forward 3 feet

25-26 months
Walks down the stairs without holding on
Walks backward 10 feet
Presents arms in attempt to catch a ball

Rides a tricycle

imitates standing on one foot

27-28 months
Can take 3 steps forward on a line with hands on hips
Walks up the stairs placing one foot on each step, can use handrail
Throws a ball forward 7 feet using an overhand technique

Walks backwards

29-30 months
Can jump down from playground equipment 16-21 inches high and land on
two feet
Can maintain balance walking on tip toes for 5 steps
Runs 30 feet in 6 seconds
Throws a ball 7 feet using an underhand  technique
Kicks a ball 6 feet using opposing arm and leg movements

31-32 months
Stands on 1 foot with hands on hips  for 3 seconds (should not have allot of swaying, should not hold onto foot with other hand etc)
Jumps forward 24 inches landing on 2 feet (not falling down)
Jumps down from playground equipment 18-24 inches (lands on feet)

Pedals a tricycle

33-34 months
Jumps over hurdles 2 inch off the floor
Walks on tip toes following an 8 foot line
Catches a playground size ball

Walks up 4 steps without handrail, alternating feet

Climbs playground equipment

37-38 months
Runs 45 feet in 6 seconds or less

39-40 months
Jumps forward 26 inches using 2 feet
Throws ball forward 10 feet
Throws a ball underhand hitting a target 5 feet away

41-42 months
Stand on one foot with hands on
hips for 5 seconds
Walks forward on a line for 4 feet without stepping off
Runs with arms moving back and forth across body at waist level, on balls
of feet, trunk leaning forward
Walks forward 8 feet on a line without stepping off
Catches a ball in outstretched hands thrown from 5 feet away

43-44 months
Stand on tip toes with arms overhead and without moving feet for 3 seconds
Walks down 4 steps, alternating feet without holding on
Throws a ball overhand to a target 5 feet away

45-46 months
Jumps up with feet leaving the floor 3 inches
Runs and is able to have a controlled
stop after 2 steps
Walks a 4 foot line backward, without stepping off
Throws a ball underhand 10 feet

47-48 months
Jumps forward 30 inches
Hops on each foot for 5 hops.

If I suspect a delay, what should I do next?

Contact the New York City Department of Education (DOE).  "Preschool special education services are available for children ages 3-5 who have disabilities or developmental delays...... The services are provided to eligible children free of charge by the New York City Department of Education (DOE).- (click on who we serve, then early childhood)

Committees on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) coordinates these services in your local school district.  To find your regional office search here (type CPSE in the search box, click on CPSE contacts).


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