Fine Motor Milestones

Fine Motor Developmental Milestones

3 Months

  • Indwelling thumb no longer present, keeps hands open 50% of the time
  • Activates arms on sight of toy
  • Uses hands and mouth to explore
  • Inspects own hands, clasps hands
  • Reaches for toys

6 Months

  • Tracks with eyes 180 degrees vertically and horizontally
  • Tracks with eyes without head movement
  • Looks at distant objects
  • Attempts to pick up small objects
  • Uses palmar grasp
  • Reaches and grasps objects bilaterally
  • Brings hands together, transfers objects between hands
  • Bangs objects on table

12 Months

  • Pokes with index finger
  • Uses neat pincer grasp (tip of thumb to tip of index finger)
  • Grasps crayon with a fist, tries to imitate a scribble
  • Puts multiple objects into a container
  • Bangs two objects together, claps hands
  • Removes both socks

18 Months

  • Points with index finger
  • Opens a book independently
  • Uses hands cooperatively; one holds, the other manipulates
  • Matches and sorts objects
  • Scribbles

24 Months

  • Holds crayon with thumb and fingers, imitates lines and circular scribbles
  • Stacks a tower of six to eight blocks
  • Puts together simple puzzle or shapesorter, circle, square and triangle
  • Turns the pages of a book
  • Puts tiny objects into a container
  • Strings large beads
  • Pulls pants down, unbuttons large buttons

30 Months

  • Makes horizontal and vertical lines with crayon
  • Pastes on appropriate side
  • Imitates building with blocks; bridge and train
  • Matches and sorts primary colors
  • Removes screw on lid
  • Strings beads

36 Months

  • Begins to hold pencil with thumb and two fingers; adult-like grasp
  • Snips with scissors
  • Dresses self with supervision, help with fasteners
  • Uses fork, napkin independently
  • Washes and dries hands

3-4 Years

  • Spreads paste/glue on side of paper and turns over to stick it to another paper
  • Puts together simple inset puzzles 4-6 pieces
  • Holds paper with one hand while drawing with the other
  • Cuts across paper following a straight line
  • Folds paper with even edges
  • Identifies hot/cold, wet/dry, sticky/smooth/rough, hard/soft by touch
  • Spoon feeds without spilling
  • Washes and dries hands without assistance
  • Puts toothpaste on toothbrush
  • Uses buttons, snaps and zippers independently
  • Dresses and undresses independently

4-5 Years

  • Draws picture of person with eight identifiable body parts
  • Cuts out small shape with scissors/ square or triangle
  • Uses tripod grasp on pencil to draw
  • Cuts out picture following the general shape
  • Spreads with a knife
  • Opens all clothing fasteners

5-6 Years

  • Draws a picture of at least three objects
  • Cuts out complex pictures following the outlines
  • Puts together complex/interlocking puzzles
  • Identifies look-alike words correctly
  • Cuts cloth or thick paper with scissors