2–2.5 years old: Gross motor skill development

2–2.5 years old: Gross motor skill development
Your toddler’s gross motor skill development at 25–30 months. Follow your toddler’s milestones step-by-step.

Gross motor skill development allows babies to exercise their balance, coordination, and large muscles. These skills will help your little one master certain movements, such as sitting, crawling, walking, running, climbing, and jumping. Developing gross motor skills is also an important step toward developing fine motor skills.



Gross motor skill development: 2–2.5 years old

At this age:

  • Your toddler can climb up and down the stairs by putting both feet on each step and holding the railing.
  • They can run without falling.
Remember that not all children develop the same skills at the same speed. The material on this website is for general information purposes only. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, speak with a doctor.
  • They can balance on their toes for a few moments.
  • Your toddler can jump up and down, feet together.
  • They can jump over an extended rope, one foot after the other or both feet together.
  • They can kick a ball without support.
  • Your toddler enjoys sitting on ride-on toys and can push themselves forward with both feet at once.

Over the next few months, your toddler will begin to do the following:

  • Walk on their toes.
  • Walk more than three steps on narrow surfaces (e.g., 20 cm wide).
  • Go up and down the stairs, placing only one foot on each step while holding the railing.
  • Run while avoiding obstacles.
  • Jump down from a step or chair.
  • Hop forward.
  • Sit on a tricycle and try to pedal.
Find out how to support your toddler’s gross motor skill development through books. (In French)

How can you help your toddler progress?

Every child is different and develops at their own pace. That said, you can help foster your toddler’s development by adopting the Comfort, Play, and Teach parenting approach, which can easily be integrated into your daily routine. The table below outlines small, age-specific actions you can take that will benefit your toddler’s gross motor skill development.

Comfort
When you play pretend with your baby—for instance, by jumping like a frog or slithering like a snake—
 
they understand that you enjoy playing with them and have fun moving their body while using their imagination.
When you praise your toddler for running without falling or going down the slide,
 
they gain confidence in their abilities and learn to challenge themselves.
When you bounce your toddler on your knee, mimicking the clippety-clop of a horse’s hooves,
 
they have a great time playing and laughing with you.
Teach
When you play different types of music and encourage your toddler to do a variety of dance moves like jumping, rolling, stretching, and marching,
 
they get to compare different movements and associate them with specific musical genres and rhythms.
When you play bowling with your toddler by placing plastic bottles in a triangle so they can knock them over with a ball,
 
they get to practise their hand-eye coordination and aim.
When you imitate animal behaviour using your body (e.g., flap your arms like a bird, hop like a frog),
 
your toddler is encouraged to do the same and try different movements.
Play
When you play with your toddler and ask them to do simple physical tasks (e.g., stop and start, change direction, speed up or slow down),
 
they learn many concepts associated with movement.
When you sing songs like Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes while naming different body parts and acting out certain movements,
 
your toddler learns what their body parts are called and associates them with different actions (e.g., shrugging their shoulders, stomping their feet, clapping their hands, bending their knees).
When you show your toddler different movements, such as marching, bending over, and stretching, and ask them to do the same,
 
they’re encouraged to follow your lead and experiment with their body.

 

Naître et grandir

Scientific review: Stéphanie Boivin and Sonya Côté, occupational therapists
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: April 2019

 

Photo: iStock.com/Andrew_Howe

 

Sources

Please note that hyperlinks to other websites are not updated regularly, and some may have changed since publication. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. If a link is no longer valid, use search engines to find the relevant information.

  • Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development. Physical Activity in Early Childhood: Setting the Stage for Lifelong Healthy Habits. April 2011. www.child-encyclopedia.com
  • Ferland, Francine. Le développement de l’enfant au quotidien : de 0 à 6 ans. 2nd ed., Éditions du CHU Sainte-Justine, 2018, 264 pp.
  • Ferland, Francine. Viens jouer dehors! Pour le plaisir et la santé. Éditions du CHU Sainte-Justine, 2012, 122 pp.
  • Canadian Paediatric Society. Caring for Kids. “Your child’s development: What to expect.” www.caringforkids.cps.ca

 

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