Milestones for Growing & Learning
Watching children grow is one of the many joys of life. As they grow, your children will experience physical, cognitive, and social-emotional milestones, which will help you recognize the different stages they have reached or passed. You’ll be surprised at how much they learn and change in such a short time!
Remember – kids develop at their own unique pace, so use these milestones as general guidelines.
Milestones to Look for:
Birth to 3 months
Recognizes faces, touch, voices, and smell.
Watches people, objects, and activities intently.
3 to 6 months
Reaches for, grasps and explores objects with fingers, hands, and mouth.
Pushes up to see people and things around him or her.
6 to 9 months
Copies your actions—like waving bye-bye and shaking their head “no.”
Notices new people and objects in familiar environments.
Uses several senses at once to explore environment.
9 to 12 months
Tries to build a tower with two blocks.
Figures out how things work through repetition (e.g. dropping his or her toy for you to pick up again and again).
Uses some objects for their real purpose / function—like a cup for drinking or spoon for eating.
12 to 15 months
Points to identify a body part or picture.
Imitates, like talking on a phone or stirring in a pot.
Begins to solve simple problems—like trying to climb to reach a desired object or to open doors and cupboards.
15 to 18 months
Scribbles with a crayon and builds a tower with blocks.
Understands simple questions.
Points to an object when named by caregiver—”Where’s the doggie?”
18 to 24 months
Uses imagination (e.g. making noises while playing cars).
Searches for favorite object.
Shows some understanding of daily time sequence—like time for nap, lunch, outdoor play.
24 to 30 months
Opens and closes things to see how they work.
Sorts similar objects together.
Not always sure what’s real and what’s pretend.
Laughs at silly stories and actions of others.
30 to 36 months
Does “big kid stuff” like running, riding a tricycle, drawing, or getting dressed.
Understands spatial concepts like “over” and “under.”
Explores and notices the way materials can change—like snow melting, water freezing, wind moving leaves.
Classifies, labels, sorts objects by size, color and/or shape.
3 to 4 years
Remembers what happened yesterday.
Builds a tower of six blocks.
4 to 5 years
Tries to solve problems.
Is interested in new experiences.
Understands “same” and “different” and “behind” and “next to.”
5 to 6 years
Uses imagination to create stories, but can distinguish between fantasy and reality.
Copies a square, triangle, and other geometric shapes.
Understands the concepts of time and sequential order.