Helping Hands School
Developmental Checklist

for Children


This developmental check list is adapted from the U.S. Department of Health. Education and Welfare in 1979. It is offered here only for educational purposes. If you suspect a child has a significant developmental delay a complete, multi-disciplinary evaluation by an appropriately trained team of professionals should be obtained. To get a referral to such a team you can contact your pediatrician, school district or local department of health.

Age 3 to 6 Months

Age 6 to 9 Months

Age 9 to 12 Months

Age 12 to 18 Months

Age 18 to 24 Months

Age 2 to 3 Years

Age 3 to 4 Years

Age 4 to 5 Years

Age 5 to 6 Years


Age 3 to 6 Months

Motor

  • will bear weight on legs
  • can roll over stomach to back
  • engages hands in midline
  • when pulled to sit, head is steady, does not fall back
  • when on abdomen, can lift shoulders off mat
  • when on abdomen, can lift head and look about
  • will begin to reach for and grasp objects
  • sits with support

Mental

  • looks at objects in hand
  • looks after a toy which is dropped
  • uses a 2-hand approach to grasp toys
  • looks at objects as small as a raisin
  • turns head to voice, follows with eye

Language

  • coos
  • gurgles
  • chuckles
  • laughs aloud
  • squeals
  • has expressive noises

Social

  • has a social smile
  • will pat a bottle with both hands
  • anticipates food on sight

return to top of page


Age 6 to 9 Months

Motor

  • rolls from back to stomach
  • gets feet to mouth
  • sits alone, unsupported, for extended period (over 1 min,)
  • stands with hands held
  • on back, can lift head up
  • beginning attempts to crawl or creep
  • when sitting, reaches forward to grasp without falling
  • Secures a small object with fingers using a raking motion

Mental

  • bangs toys in play
  • transfers objects from handto hand
  • reaches for a toy with one hand
  • picks up a toy he/she drops
  • is persistent in obtaining toys
  • would pull a toy to self by attached string

Language

  • responds to name
  • vocalizes to social stimulus
  • has single consonants, i.e., ba., ka, ma
  • combines syllables, i.e da-da, ba-ba.
  • likes to make sounds with toys
  • imitates simple sounds

Social

  • expects repetition of stimulus
  • likes frolicky play
  • discriminates strangers
  • smiles to mirror image
  • takes some solid food to mouth
  • beginning to enjoy peekaboo
  • bites and chews toys

return to top of page


Age 9 to 12 Months

Motor

  • crawls well
  • can sit steadily for more than 10 minutes
  • stands holding on to furniture
  • can pull to standing position
  • walks holding on to a hand or to furniture

Mental

  • will uncover a toy he/she sees covered up
  • can grasp object small as raisin with thumb and on finger
  • beginning to put things in and out of containers
  • goes for an object with index finger outstretched
  • likes to drop objects deliberately
  • shows interest in pictures

Language

  • understands no, or inflection of "no!"
  • uses mama, or dada first inappropriately,
  • then with meaning
  • by 12 months has at least one other word
  • knows meaning of 1-3 words

Social

  • cooperates in games
  • plays patacake and peekaboo
  • waves good-bye
  • will offer toy without releasing it
  • will try to roll ball to another person
  • likes to interact in play with adult

return to top of page


Age 12 to 18 Months

Motor

  • can get to standing position alone
  • creeps up stairs
  • can scoop and recover an object
  • by 18 months, walks well alone
  • walking, pulls a pull-toy
  • seats self on chair

Mental

  • looks at pictures in a book
  • will scribble spontaneously with pencil or crayon
  • uses spoon
  • drinks from cup
  • will follow one or two directions ,i.e., take a ball to...
  • Stacks 2-4 one inch blocks

Language

  • has 3-5 words
  • will point to one body part
  • will point to at least one picture
  • uses jargon, i.e., unin - telligible " foreign" language with inflection
  • imitates some words

Social

  • cooperates in dressing
  • holds own bottle or cup
  • finger feeds
  • points or vocalizes to make desires known
  • shows or offers a toy

return to top of page


Age 18 to 24 Months

Motor

  • can run, albeit stiffly
  • walks up and down stairs if hand held
  • hurls a ball
  • can kick a ball or object
  • jumps with both feet
  • stands on one foot with hand held
  • kicks ball forward

Mental

  • can tower 4-6 one inch blocks
  • turns pages of a book, even 2-3 at a time
  • tries to imitate what an adult draws with a crayon
  • can point to 2-3 body parts

Language

  • by two years, has at least 20 words
  • by two years, is combining two words in a phrase
  • jargon, which was elaborate by 18mo. is gone by 24 mo.
  • verbalizes desires with words

Social

  • uses spoon, spilling very little
  • removes one piece of clothing
  • imitates housework more and more
  • handles a cup quite well

return to top of page


Age 2 to 3 Years

Motor

  • can walk up stairs without hand held
  • can balance on one foot for one second
  • can jump in place
  • walk on tiptoe
  • can jump from the bottom step
  • can throw ball

Mental

  • can tower 6 one-inch blocks
  • can dump a raisin from a bottle to attain without hints
  • can imitate a vertical line and a horizontal line, with pencil words
  • can anticipate the need to urinate or defecate
  • points to several parts of a doll on request

Language

  • uses 2-4 word phrases
  • uses plurals
  • names at least one picture
  • talks incessantly
  • vocabulary 100-300 by 3 years
  • uses some personal pronouns, i.e., I, me, mine
  • identifies over 5 parts of own body

Social

  • puts on some clothing
  • washes and dries hands
  • has parallel play with peers
  • can pour from a pitcher
  • if worked with, can toilet self

return to top of page


Age 3 to 4 Years

Motor

  • rides tricycle
  • alternates feet when going up stairs
  • can stand on one foot for 2-5 seconds
  • can broad jump
  • uses scissor
  • swings and climbs

Mental

  • can tower 8-10 one-inch block
  • says full name
  • can match colors
  • has sense of round, square & triangular shaped figures
  • copies a circle, line, cross with pencil
  • can repeat 3 digits

Language

  • can answer some questions
  • knows rhymes and songs
  • asks questions
  • has understanding of on, under, and behind

Social

  • knows own sex
  • beginning to play with other children
  • unbuttons
  • dresses with supervision

return to top of page


Age 4 to 5 Years

Motor

  • runs well and turns
  • can hop on one foot 1-2 times
  • beginning to skip
  • stands on one leg for 8-10 seconds
  • throws ball well overhand
  • walks down stairs one foot to each step

Mental

  • can copy a cross with a pencil
  • can pick the longer of two lines
  • can copy a square with pencil
  • rote counts to ten
  • expressively identifies 4 (red, blue, yellow, green)
  • draws person with 2 body parts

Language

  • vocabulary over 1000 words
  • can match colors, and by 5 years, name 3-4 colors
  • counts 3 objects with pointing
  • 90% of speech intelligible
  • can define words in terms of use
  • can answer questions like: what do you do when you are cold...hungry...tired?

Social

  • can separate from mother easily
  • dresses with little supervision
  • buttons
  • likes to play "dramatic" play, make-believe
  • imaginative play with a doll

return to top of page


Age 5 to 6 Years

Motor

  • skips on both feet alternately
  • can catch a bounced ball
  • can walk heel to toe on a line
  • can hop on one foot for 10 feet

Mental

  • can copy a square or triangle from looking at a copy
  • gives age
  • knows morning from afternoon
  • draws a person with a body with 3-6 parts
  • prints simple words

Language

  • can repeat 4 digits
  • asks questions about meaning of words
  • counts 10 objects
  • names coins
  • can tell what some things are made of
  • can define some words

Social

  • no supervision necessary for dressing
  • plays "dress-up"
  • elaborate dramatic play
  • does simple chores unattended at home

return to top of page


Navagation Bar

[Home] [Tony's Story] [Resources] [About Helping Hands] [Send Us Email]

blueweb6.gif (5492 bytes)