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Age Development


Fine motor skills

Functional Skills

Activities and toys to encourage Development

1 year old


Can pick up small objects with a fine pincer grasp (tip of index finger and thumb)

Can point with index finger

Can release a small object into someones hand

Can hold a crayon in a fisted grasp

Showing a preference for one hand, but use either

Drop and throw toys deliberately

Bangs objects together


Attempts to hold spoon, brings to mouth

Helps more with dressing

Holds and drinks from cup

Containers to put toys into them and then take them out

Picture books

Push and pull toys

Stacking toys and bricks

Messy play

Thick crayons and paint brushes

Musical toys

18 Months


Can point to known objects

Can build a tower of 3 or more bricks

Can use a delicate pincer grasp to pick up very small objects

Can hold a pencil in their whole hand or between the thumb and first 2 fingers

Can scribble to and fro

Can thread large beads onto a lace or string


Can use a spoon when feeding themselves

Holds cup with both hands

Assists with dressing and undressing, taking off shoes, socks and hat, but struggles to replace


Paints and crayons

Sand water play

Matching and sorting games

Simple jigsaw puzzles

Puppet play

Pop up toys

Stacking toys

Balls to roll and kick

Pretend play – toy telephones, dressing up clothes

Bath toys e.g. beakers, sprinkling toys and waterproof books

Finger paints,

Picture books

2 years old


Draw circles, lines and dots using their preferred hand

Pick up tiny objects using a fine pincer grasp (index and thumb)

Can build a tower of 6 or more blocks

Picture books and turning the pages

Can copy a vertical line

Can drink from a cup with fewer spills

Managing to scoop with a spoon at mealtimes

Able to pull pants down for toilet, needs help pulling up

Puts on hat and shoes


Messy play, water play, sand play

Provide bricks, sorting boxes, hammer and peg toys, simple jigsaw puzzles

Triangular pencils to help pencil grasp

Model building toys e.g. duplo

Picture books


Glove puppets

Pretend play


3 years old


Can copy a building pattern of three or more cubes, including a bridge

Can build a tower of 9 or 10 cubes

Can control a pencil using their thumb and the first 2 fingers

Can copy a circle

Can draw a person with a head and sometimes with legs and arms coming out from the head

Can cut paper with toy scissors

Can thread large beads onto a lace



Can eat using a fork or spoon

Washes hands, needs help with drying

Can pull pants down and up but needs help with buttons, and zips

Provide a variety of play opportunities e.g

  • Balls,
  • Sand
  • Water play
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Threading
  • Drawing
  • Colouring

Art and craft activities

Trips to the park

Matching and sorting games

Pretend play

Activities with bricks, boxes, trains, dolls

4 Years Old


Can build a tower of ten or more cubes

Can copy a building pattern of 3 steps using 6 cubes of more

Are able ot thread small beads onto a lace

Hold a pencil or pen in an adult type grasp

Can draw a figure that resembles a person showing head, legs and body

Can eat skilfully with a spoon and a fork

Can wash and dry their hands and brush their teeth

Can dress and undress themselves, except for laces, ties and back buttons


Outdoor exercise and activities : climbing frames,

Play games e.g. musical statues,

Encourage construction toys: jigsaw puzzles, board games

Provide art and craft materials

Sand and water play, pay doh


Matching games e.g. pairs

Teach how to dress and undress

Encourage independence when going to the toilet

Let them practice using a computer mouse and carry out simple computer activities


5 Years Old


May be able to thread a large-eyed needle and sew with large stiches

Have good control over pencils and paint brushes

Can draw a person with a head, body, arms, legs, a nose, a mouth and eyes

Can construct models using kits such as duplo, lego

Can copy a square and at 5 ½ a triangle

Can do jigsaw puzzles with interlocking pieces.

Can cut a piece of paper neatly

Colours pictures neatly staying within outlines



Starting to use a knife and fork, but may still need to have some food cut up for them

Dress and undress, needs help with shoelaces

Washes and dries face and hands, needs help or supervision for the rest

Provide plenty of outdoor activities

Teach to swim and ride a 2 wheeled bike

Encourage skipping and kicking a football

Encourage use of models, jigsaw, sewing kits and craft activities including drawing and painting

Encourage to help with simple home tasks, e.g. washing up, watering plants,

6 Years Old

Can build a tower of cubes that is virtually straight

Can hold a pen or pencil in a way similar to that of an adult: tripod grasp

Are able to write a number of letters of similar size

Can write their last name as well as their first name

May begin to write simple stories


Opportunity to play and engage in exercise

Allow children to try new sports or activities

Encourage writing skills by providing lots of example of things written for different purposes such as shopping lists, letter sna recipes

Play memory games with children e.g. pairs / dominoes

Talk about what they have done during their day

Encourage to sort and match objects and order with different concepts e.g size, preference,

Story times

7 Years Old

Can build tall, straight towers with cubes

Are more competent in their writing skills, individual letters are more clearly differentiated now and capital and small letters are in proportion

Begin to use colour in naturalistic way, e.g. green colour at the bottom of page to represent grass

Draw people with heads, bodies, hands, hair, fingers and clothes

Can use a large needle to sew with thread

Can complete activities including washing, dressing and toileting.

Encourage vigorous outdoor play

Swimming, Skating,

Obstacle courses

Provide a range of drawing and craft materials

Simple gardening skills

Plan and make working models e.g. pulley lifts and wheeled vehicles,

Encourage children to become more familiar with using a computer, e.g. typing


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