Motor Development

By: Vivian Chan

There are two type of motor skills: fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills is related to the development of small muscles while gross motor skills involves the larger muscles.

At the stage of prereaching, infants may try to reach for an object but are unable to close their hand around it because they close their hands too soon. They start to control their movements around 3 months of age and they gradually improve.

At 6 months, they start putting toys and objects into their mouths, reaches for and grasps objects, shakes objects, and move toys from one hand to the other. At 12 months, infants are able to grasp small objects with their thumb and index finger, bang objects together  and put small objects into a cup or container. They are capable of eating with a spoon and drinking from a cup. Banging, shaking, squeezing and throwing are ways they can learn to gain control with their hands.


During an infant’s first month of life, their movements are propelled by the rhythmic pushing movements of their toes and knees. 5 or 6 months later, this movement will disappear and they will start crawling on their hands and knees and by 8 to 9 months of age, they can crawl on flat surfaces. As infants become a year old, many are able to stand up and walk with assistance.





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