Motor skills refer to a person's ability to perform muscle and nerve acts that produce movement. They are generally broken down into gross motor skills, larger movements such as walking and kicking, and fine motor skills, smaller movements such as writing and tying shoes. While motor skills development in babies and young children is best observed by a medical professional, there is a number of things parents can look for to make sure their children are on track.
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Newborn through One Year
By the age of three months, parents should look for a baby to be able to lift his head while lying on his stomach. By four months, a baby should be able to grasp a rattle and bring both hands together. By seven months, a child should be able to roll over both ways and by eight months, pass an object from one hand to another. By one year, a child should be able to walk by holding onto furniture.
The Second Year
During a child's second year of life, he should learn how to walk on two feet, pull toys with strings and climb stairs by holding on. In addition, one hand starts to be dominant and fine motor skills begin to develop. Children should be able to hold a pen or pencil and make horizontal or vertical lines.
The Third Year
In their third year of life, children will generally learn to jump in place with both feet, stand on one foot for two or three seconds and kick a stationary ball. Fine motor skills also continue to develop. Children, for instance, learn to build small towers with blocks, copy a circle on paper and use a spoon and fork.
The Fourth Year
Children of this age should be able to hop on one foot one to three times, play catch with a large ball and ride a tricycle with relatively good control. Children should be able to draw a person with a head and body and be able to dress and undress independently, excluding buttons, zippers and snaps.
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