When a child develops, patterns are followed and these are;
From simple to complex, where a child progresses from a simple action to a complex action for example a child has to stand before they can walk and walk before they can run. Each progression is becoming more complex as the child develops.
From head to toe. Physical development starts at the head and works its way down the body.
From inner to outer. A child will have to control the trunk of their body before they can hold object. They will have to use simple, gross motor skills to control their arms before they can master the complex, fine motor skills required to pick up a pencil and write.
From general to specific, a baby will express pleasure in a general way by widening their eyes, and their legs and arms move and shake in excitement showing their reaction with their whole body whereas an older child will show their pleasure in a more specific way by simply smiling.
The table below illustrates the average stages of physical development from three to twelve years explaining both gross and fine motor skills. It is important to realise that milestones are only a guide and can vary.
Age Gross Motor Skill Fine Motor Skills
3 Years A child can jump from a low step
Walk backwards and sideways
Stand and walk on tip toe
Stand on one foot
Ride a tricycle with pedals
Climb stairs with one foot on each step and descend with two