Keep in mind as you read this list from Active for Life, that if your child doesn't display all these skills, there's no need to panic. Participating in activity programs can help them begin to develop these skills and more.
For more information on physical literacy, visit Active for Life
Your child is born with a grasping reflex from day one. However, she will actually begin to practise grasping with deliberate intention at around three to four months. The ability to grasp objects is an essential motor skill. It also requires the development of hand-eye coordination, and it needs to be stimulated and supported in infancy.
TIP: Make sure your child always has age-appropriate toys to encourage her to practise grasping.
Your infant should be able to roll over onto her stomach between four and six months of age. Rolling over requires the development of basic core strength, and continued practise develops greater strength and coordination to progress to sitting and crawling.
TIP: Give your infant regular tummy time so she becomes familiar with the sensation of being on her stomach.
Infants will generally be able to sit up unassisted at six months. Sitting requires core strength and coordination, which is developed earlier through regular tummy time.
TIP: When your infant starts to sit up on the floor, make sure that there are no sharp or hard obstacles present. Never leave her sitting unattended on beds, sofas or chairs. If she loses her balance and tumbles, serious injury can result.
For the most part, infants begin to crawl between seven and 10 months. It sometimes begins as an “army crawl” with her pulling her body forward using her hands. Crawling requires your baby to have the strength to push herself up onto her hands and knees, and then maintain balance in that position as she propels herself forward or backward.
TIP: Encourage your child to crawl and reach by placing toys on the floor around her. While some infants don’t ever crawl, but instead go directly to cruising, don’t be in a rush for her to walk. Crawling is important for both motor and cognitive development.
Cruising describes how infants begin to learn how to walk by holding onto furniture for support. Your child develops strength, balance and coordination by cruising.
TIP: You should ensure that your child is safe to cruise by removing floor obstacles such as toys and cushions, and removing any furniture that has sharp edges or hard angles.
At around 13 months, most children will be walking without support. That is, they will be “toddling” as they take their first steps without assistance (that’s where the term “toddler” comes from). Thirteen months is an average: some children may walk sooner, and some as late as 16 months.
TIP: As with cruising, you should ensure that your child is safe for walking by removing obstacles on the floor — toys and cushions — and removing any furniture with sharp edges or hard angles.
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