Fine motor control

Hand to eye co-ordination

Large movements



Self Care



Using tools and writing equipment

We aim for all children to participate in activities which help them develop and control their ability to handle of objects and move with ease as well as having a good understanding of how to lead a healthy lifestyle and how to care for themselves.  We use the following base for our curriculum and plan activities according to your child’s developmental stage and interests.

Physical Development

Moving and handling

8-20 months


  Sits unsupported on the floor.
  When sitting, can lean forward to pick up small toys.
  Pulls to standing, holding on to furniture or person for support.
  Crawls, bottom shuffles or rolls continuously to move around.
  Walks around furniture lifting one foot and stepping sideways (cruising), and walks with one or both hands held by adult.
  Takes first few steps independently.
  Passes toys from one hand to the other.
  Holds an object in each hand and brings them together in the middle, e.g. holds two blocks and bangs them together
  Picks up small objects between thumb and fingers.
  Enjoys the sensory experience of making marks in damp sand, paste or paint.
  Holds pen or crayon using a whole hand (palmar) grasp and makes random marks with different strokes.
16-26 months


Walks upstairs holding hand of adult.
  Comes downstairs backwards on knees (crawling).
  Beginning to balance blocks to build a small tower.
  Makes connections between their movement and the marks they make.
22-36 months Runs safely on whole foot
Squats with steadiness to rest or play with object on the ground, and rises to feet without using hands
Climbs confidently and is beginning to pull themselves up on nursery play climbing equipment
Can kick a large ball
Turns pages in a book, sometimes several at once
Shows control in holding and using jugs to pour, hammers, books and mark-making tools
Beginning to use three fingers (tripod grip) to hold writing tools
Imitates drawing simple shapes such as circles and lines
Walks upstairs or downstairs holding onto a rail two feet to a step
May be beginning to show preferences for dominant hand
30-50 months




Moves freely and with pleasure and confidence in a range of ways, such as slithering, shuffling, rolling, crawling, walking, running, jumping, skipping, sliding and hopping
Mounts stairs, steps or climbing equipment using alternate feet
Walks downstairs, two feet to each step while carrying a small object
Runs skilfully and negotiates space successfully, adjusting speed or direction to avoid obstacles
Can stand momentarily on one foot when shown
Can catch a large ball
Draws lines and circles using gross motor movements
Uses one-handed tools and equipment, e.g. makes snips in paper with child scissors
Holds pencil between thumb and two fingers, no longer using whole-hand grasp
Holds pencil near point between first two fingers and thumb and uses it with good control
Can copy some letters, e.g. letters from their name
40-60+ months Experiments with different ways of moving
Jumps off an object and lands appropriately
Negotiates space successfully when playing racing and chasing games with other children, adjusting speed or changing direction to avoid obstacles
Travels with confidence and skill around, under, over and through balancing and climbing equipment
Shows increasing control over an object in pushing, patting, throwing, catching or kicking it
Uses simple tools to effect changes in materials
Handles tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely with increasing control
Shows a preference for a dominant hand
Begins to use anticlockwise movement and retrace vertical lines
Begins to form recognisable letters
Uses a pencil and holds it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed

Health and Self Care

8-20 months


  Opens mouth for spoon.
  Holds own bottle or cup.
  Grasps finger foods and brings them to mouth.
  Attempts to use spoon: can guide towards mouth but food often falls off.
  Can actively cooperate with nappy changing (lies still, helps hold legs up).
  Starts to communicate urination, bowel movement.
16-26 months


Develops own likes and dislikes in food and drink.
  Willing to try new food textures and tastes.
  Holds cup with both hands and drinks without much spilling.
  Clearly communicates wet or soiled nappy or pants.
  Shows some awareness of bladder and bowel urges.
  Shows awareness of what a potty or toilet is used for.
  Shows a desire to help with dressing/undressing and hygiene routines.
22-36 months Feeds self competently with spoon
Drinks well without spilling
Clearly communicates their need for potty or toilet
Beginning to record danger and seeks support of significant adults for help
Helps with clothing , e.g. puts on hat, unzips zipper on jacket, takes off unbuttoned shirt
Beginning to be independent in self-care, but still often needs adult support
30-50 months




Can tell adults when hungry or tired or when they want to rest or play
Observes the effect of activity on their bodies
Understands that equipment and tools have to be used safely
Gains more bowel and bladder control and can attend to toileting needs more of the time themselves
Can usually manage washing and drying hands
Dresses with help, e.g. puts arms into open fronted coat of shirt when held up, pulls up own trousers, and pulls zipper once it is fastened at the bottom
40-60+ months Eats a healthy range of foodstuffs and understands need for variety in food
Usually dry and clean during the day
Shows some understanding that good practices with regard to exercise, eating, sleeping and hygiene can contribute to good health
Shows understanding of the need for safety when tacking new challenges, and considers and manages some risks
Shows understanding of how to transport and store equipment safely
Practices some appropriate safety measures without direct supervision