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Motor Development: 1 – 2 Years

We have all heard it said, “They grow up so fast”. That is because toddlers are constantly growing and developing and this usually follows an expected pattern.

Your toddler’s gross motor skills, such as crawling and walking, will progress as the large muscles in their bodies’ develop. The smaller muscles in their body, such as in their hands, will help them develop fine motor skills. These skills help them do things like building a tower with blocks.

Their rapidly increasing movement between 1 to 2 years means that they will become a lot more active around the house. An active toddler also means you may need to reorganise your house so that any dangerous or breakable items are out of reach of little fingers.

Here are some of the common milestones for 1 to 2 year olds:

At around 12 to 15 months your toddler may:

  • Stand without support
  • Start taking a few steps without any assistance
  • Start to pick up objects by simply bending down
  • If they are walking, may start walking backwards
  • Can hold a crayon and will begin to make marks and scribble on paper

As your toddler reaches the ages of 16-19 months they may begin to:

  • Turn a few pages in a book at a time, and scribbles well on paper
  • Walk more steadily, and if they have been walking for a while now, they may start running
  • Takes an interest in walking up and down stairs
  • Climb onto low furniture, such as the couch or seat themselves on a small chair
  • Start to build a tower by stacking three to four blocks
  • If they are shown how, they may be able to kick a ball or throw a ball
  • Use a spoon properly to feed themselves by using it the right way up

As your child continues to develop, at around 20-24 months, they may be able to:

  • Build taller block towers
  • They are getting better at scribbling with a pencil or crayon and can draw straight lines
  • Help with undressing and dressing themselves
  • Run with more control, not bumping into things and stop when they want to
  • Turn handles and push buttons
  • Begin jumping
  • Can do simple puzzles

It is important to keep in mind that it is normal for your toddler’s growth and development to differ from other children and even their siblings. If you are concerned about your toddler’s growth and development, it is important to seek advice from your healthcare professional.


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