Motor Development

Motor Development Standard 1:

Demonstrates motor skills in daily activities.


Child demonstrates effective and efficient use of large muscles for movement and position.


Child demonstrates effective and efficient use of large muscles to explore the environment.

​ IT-PMP 2

Child uses perceptual information in directing own actions, experiences, and interactions.

Reaches for objects.

  • Jaylen reaches for the ​stars hanging from the mobile over his crib.
  • Sarah reaches for her bottle as her caregiver holds her in his lap for feeding.
  • Talya reaches for the book her teacher is showing her.

Brings objects to mouth.

  • Tommy brings his rattle to his mouth. 
  • Sam grabs the paper and tries to mouth it.

Transfers objects from one hand to another.

  • Pete moves his pacifier from one hand to the other.
  • DaNesha moves the rattle to her left hand so she can pick up the toy car with her right hand.
  • Kathryn begins to eat with the spoon in her left hand, then transfers it to her right to finish her pudding.
Rolls over.   
  • When placed on her stomach, Amber rolls over to her back.
  • When her physical therapist puts a toy on the floor just out of her reach, Lucy rolls from her back to her stomach to reach for the toy.
  • Pedro rolls over and over to get to the toy butterfly his teacher is holding.


  • Deshaun creeps on his belly to reach his caregiver.
  • Kelly uses a crawling motion, alternating arms and legs, to get to another child playing on the floor.
  • Logan crawls on hands and knees to obtain a toy rabbit.
  • Frank uses hands and legs to crawl up steps.

Uses furniture to raise or lower self to floor.

  • DaJun reaches for the edge of a table to pull herself up to stand.
  • Lawrence holds onto the chair while lowering to sitting from standing.


  • Maya holds on to her physical therapist’s hands and walks across the room.
  • Carson walks from one piece of furniture to the next. 
  • Lois walks to her teacher to be held.  She begins to “run” as she gets closer.

Climbs on low objects.

  • Carter climbs into the chair and turns around to sit.
  • Haley crawls up three steps.  She sits on a step, then turns and backs down on hands.
  • and knees.
  • Miquel climbs into the toy car and uses his feet to push it a few feet.

Pushes and pulls toys while walking.

  • Tony pushes the toy lawnmower on the sidewalk.
  • Carla pulls a small wagon.
  • Willem pulls the string on the toy airplane as he walks quickly to make it “fly”.

Kicks ball forward.

  • As Manuel walks by a ball on the playground, he stops to kick it. 
  • Spencer kicks the ball towards the other children.

Walks up and down stairs placing both feet on each step.

  • Jessie walks up the steps, holding on to the rail tightly and placing each foot on the step before moving onto the next step.
  • Molly holds her interventionist’s hand as she walks down the stairs, placing her feet together on each step. ​


Child uses sensory information and body awareness to understand how their body relates to the ​environment.

Sits with support and holds ​head steady.​

  • Isabella sits up when propped by pillo​​ws.
  • Jessica sits in a corner chair for support when eating.
  • Juan sits using both arms and hands to hold himself up.

Sits independently with balance.

  • Jose maintains a sitting position after being placed on the floor.
  • Laura sits on the floor while pushing a toy car in between her legs.

Stands without support.

  • Kiley lets go of the table and remains upright.  When he wobbles, he moves his feet to a wide stance to prevent falling.
  • Pedro remains standing after his teacher lets go of his hand. 
  • Lincoln can raise one foot to kick a large ball without falling.

Moves from sitting to standing using hands.

  • Nakyra rolls onto her side and uses hands for balance as she puts her legs into standing position.
  • Carl pushes on the floor with his hands to help himself get up.

Squats without falling.

  • Lucy squats to look at other children inside a tunnel. 
  • While listening to a song about jumping frogs, Marcy squats down and jumps up without falling.


  • Lynley walks across the room and begins to run when she sees her brother. 
  • Stephen runs smoothly across the playground.

Throws objects while standing.

  • Sukie throws a large playground ball to the floor in front of her.
  • Pam throws a bean bag into the basket on the floor.
  • Stephanie climbs three steps and turns around to throw her dolly to her teacher.

Uses riding toys with balance and coordination.

  • De Shea sits on a ride-on toy without pedals and pushes it with both feet.
  • Miguel sits on a tricycle with his feet on the pedals while his caregiver pushes him.
  • Cameron sits on the tricycle and pedals it a few feet.

​ IT-PMP 6

Child coordinates hand and eye movements to perform actions.

Reaches for o​bjects.

  • Synrah looks at a rattle on the mat in front of her and moves her arm ​toward it.
  • Eric sees a toy hanging above him from his activity gym and bats at it.
  • Joaquin uses both hands to reach for a block he sees on the table and then brings it to his mouth.
  • Colin reaches for a spoon with one hand, then picks it up and puts it in his bowl.

Makes random marks on paper.

  • Ben looks at the paper his caregiver has taped to the table and pounds a jumbo marker on it. 
  • Laura looks at her paper as she randomly moves a large crayon and across it.

Stacks and places objects.

  • Aubrey puts one soft block on top of another.
  • Andrea puts shapes into the sorting toy.
  • Paulo looks at the opening in the milk carton as he drops small blocks into it. 
  • Sarah looks at each hole as she places the red and blue pegs in the pegboard.

Makes controlled scribbles.

  • With hand-over-hand assistance from his teacher, Shane pushes the marker up and down on his paper in the art center.
  • Henry looks at his paper and uses a marker with a writing grip to cover it with lines and zigzags.
  • Olivia uses a marker to draw circles over and over on her paper at the art table. 

Catches and throws.

  • Curtis watches a gently rolled ball and catches it with both hands as it rolls between his legs.
  • Shea reaches out both arms to catch a ball tossed to her but brings her arms together after the ball passes through them.
  • Margaret extends both arms and catches a large ball by bringing it to her chest.
  • Luke looks at the basket, then tosses a beanbag at it using an underhand motion.
  • Wanda flings a ball forward toward an object.

Child uses hands for exploration, play, and daily routines.

​ IT-PMP 8

Child adjusts reach and grasp to use tools.

Grasps and releases objects.

  • Quint grasps a rattle when placed into his palm.
  • Louey repeatedly grabs and drops a toy from the highchair.
  • Holly picks up a spoon and uses it to eat the green beans, and then releases it ​when finished.
  • When the teacher offers Kyle a drink, he intentionally drops a toy to reach for it.

Passes objects from one hand to the other and changes position of objects within their hands. 

  • Millicent holds a rattle in one hand and passes it to her other hand. 
  • Darryl picks up finger food with one hand and passes it to the other before putting it into his mouth.
  • Whitney turns a puzzle piece using both hands to fit it in place.

Grasps objects with control.

  • Akoi picks up Cheerios using his whole fist.
  • Amaya holds a crayon in a closed fist and scribbles on her paper.
  • Grace turns the pages of a book by lifting the popsicle sticks taped to each page.
  • Matthew holds a marker with his thumb and fingers and makes vertical, horizontal, and circular strokes while drawing.
  • Quincey takes pegs in and out of the round-holed peg board.

Motor Development Standard 2:

Demonstrates adaptive/self-help skills.

​ IT-PMP 9

Child demonstrates healthy behaviors with increasing independence as part of ​everyday routines.

Verbally or physically asks for food or drink. 

  • Jessica cries until the caregiver begins to feed her.
  • When the teacher brings the cracker box into the room, Billy reaches up with his hands.
  • Jasmine points to the picture of the banana on her picture board during snack time.
  • When Ryan is thirsty, he reaches toward the counter and says “dink” (drink).

Assists in feeding routines.​

  • Maggie places her hands on the bottle as her teacher feeds her.
  • Lori uses her fingers to push food onto the spoon, then raises the spoon to her mouth.
  • Lexi feeds herself oatmeal using a weighted spoon.
  • When asked to help, Carson places the cereal cups on the table.

Follows familiar sleep routines.

  • Kathy is crying, but calms down as her teacher rocks her, and soon falls asleep.
  • Buster rubs his eyes and holds onto his blanket as he goes to sleep.
  • Nina signs that she wants her teacher to pat her back at nap time.
  • Kevin finds a favorite snuggle toy and wanders to his teacher’s lap for a bedtime story.
  • When cots/mats are put out, Elisa looks for her favorite toy or blanket and moves to her sleep area.

Seeks assistance with and participates in diapering/toileting routines.

  • Marvin gains adult attention by fussing when his diaper is dirty or wet. 
  • Giselle cooperates during diapering by lifting and lowering her legs.
  • Gavin signs “potty” to his teacher to ask for help with toileting.
  • Connor pulls down his pants (may need assistance) and sits on the potty. He needs assistance when wiping.

Participates in dressing routines.

  • Midge raises her bottom to help get the diaper out from under her body.
  • Justin holds out his arm for his caregiver to put on his coat.
  • Trisha puts on her socks.
  • Gracie closes the Velcro on her leg brace.
  • Graham chooses which shirt he wants to wear today.
  • Lincoln unbuttons the large buttons on his coat.

Participates in routines to maintain hygiene.

  • Wilma holds her hands toward the water for washing when the teacher takes her to the sink after changing Wilma’s diaper.
  • Joa Lin chews on the bristles of the toothbrush, then lets her teacher brush her teeth. 
  • Mark climbs up the low steps and gets soap from the dispenser to wash his hands.

Unmatched Head Start Goals​

 IT-PMP 10

Child uses safe behaviors with support from adults.

​ IT-PMP 11

Child demonstrates increasing interest in engaging in healthy eating habits and ​making nutritious food choices.