Developmental Guidelines



3 Months

At 3 months, most babies:

  • Turn head toward sounds
  • Make cooing sounds
  • Lift head when on stomach
  • Smile

6 Months

At 6 months, most babies:

  • Reach for objects and pick them up
  • Switch toys from one hand to the other
  • Recognize familiar faces
  • Initiate speech sounds
  • Roll over

12 Months

At 12 months, most babies:

  • Get into a sitting position
  • Stand briefly without support
  • Crawl
  • Imitate adults using a cup or telephone
  • Wave “bye-bye”
  • Say at least one word

18 Months

At 1 1/2 years, most children:

  • Follow simple directions
  • Can help undress
  • Point to a picture that you name in a book
  • Walk without help
  • Point, or show others something interesting
  • Say several single words

24 Months

At 2 years, most children:

  • Use 2-3 word sentences
  • Kick a ball
  • Begin to run
  • Feed themselves with a spoon
  • Identify hair, eyes, ears and nose by pointing
  • Build a tower of 4 blocks

36 Months

At 3 years, most children:

  • Throw a ball overhand
  • Ride a tricycle
  • Put on their shoes
  • Open the door
  • Turn one page at a time
  • Play with other children for a few minutes
  • Repeat common rhymes
  • Use 3-5 word sentences
  • Name at least one color correctly

3-4 Years Old

At 3-4 years, most children:

  • Run around obstacles
  • Walk on a line
  • Balance on one foot
  • Ride a tricycle
  • Use a slide without help
  • Throw and catch a ball
  • Use construction blocks
  • Complete simple tasks with food without assistance (such as spreading butter with a dull knife and pouring from a small pitcher)
  • Wash hands unassisted and blow nose when reminded
  • Begin dramatic play, acting out whole scenes (such as traveling, pretending to be animals, etc.)
  • Identify parts of a whole, like a slice of pie
  • Actively seek information through why and how questions
  • Tell you their full name and age
  • Make themselves understood to strangers using sentences (despite some sound errors)
  • Use more complex grammar (such as plurals and past tense)
  • Understand sentences involving time concepts and narrate past experiences
  • Understand size comparisons such as big and bigger
  • Follow a series of 2-4 related directions

4-5 Years Old

At 4-5 years, most children:

  • Jump forward many times without falling
  • Hop and may be able to skip
  • Turn somersaults
  • Use safety scissors
  • Print a few capital letters
  • Show some understanding of moral reasoning (exploring ideas about fairness and good or bad behavior)
  • Develop friendships and are aware of gender
  • Enjoy singing, dancing, and acting
  • Point to and name many colors
  • Draw a person with detail
  • Draw, name, and describe pictures
  • Count to 5
  • Tell you their street and town
  • Retell a story using full sentences (may confuse facts)
  • Speak very clearly
  • Use words like “can”, “will”, “shall”, “should”, and “might”
  • Refer to casually by using “because” and “so”