What Are Some Fundamental Motor Skills?


Quick Answer

Some fundamental gross motor skills include rolling from stomach to back, reaching for objects without falling, and walking. A few fundamental fine motor skills include the ability to ball the hands into a fist, using hands to explore toys and stacking objects.

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Full Answer

Gross motor skills are movements related to large muscle groups, such as the legs and arms. Fine motor skills involve smaller muscle groups, such as those in the hand. Milestones for babies and toddlers are broken down by three-month intervals.

At zero to 3 months, a baby should be able to lift and hold his head up, push up onto his arms while lying on his stomach and move his hands to his mouth. At 4 to 6 months, he should be able to reach hands to play with his feet, use hands to support himself while sitting, and reach for toys while on his stomach. At 7 to 9 months, a toddler can start to crawl, pick up small objects with thumbs and fingers, and move his head to track objects visually.

Near the 1-year mark, a toddler should be able to clap his hands, crane his neck to see around corners, and use his thumb and forefinger to pick up small objects. Around this time, he may start walking independently. While standing, he should be able to maintain balance when throwing an object.

Between 1 and 1 1/2 years, the toddler should be able to walk independently, squat to pick up toys, and help with getting dressed and undressed.

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