Your Guide to Physical Development in Childhood

As your child starts growing and developing, there are some key milestones you should be aware of. Each stage of development is important and can help shape who your child becomes as they grow older.

In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of the different physical development stages in childhood, as well as tips on how to encourage your child during these periods.


What are the physical development stages in childhood?

Each stage of development brings new skills and challenges. Knowing what to expect can help you support your child as they grow and develop.

Let’s have a look at what changes kids experience during early childhood:

0-1 years

During the first year of life, babies go through tremendous physical development as they learn to sit up, crawl, and walk.

This rapid growth is amazing to witness, but it can also be a bit overwhelming for new parents. Here is a brief overview of some of the physical milestones your baby may reach during their first year.

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0-4 months

During the first few months, babies will spend most of their time sleeping and eating. However, they will also start to develop their neck and trunk muscles, allowing them to lift their heads and sit up with support.

4-6 months

Around four to six months, many babies will start to roll over and crawl.

9-12 months

By nine to twelve months, most babies will be able to pull themselves up to a standing position and take their first steps.

Toddler stage


During the toddler years (ages 1-3), children continue to grow and develop at a rapid pace. Here are the changes that they experience at ages 2 and 3.

2 years old

During the second year of life, kids grow in both length and weight, and their motor skills continue to improve. By the end of the second year, most children can walk independently and are beginning to develop more refined motor skills.

During the toddler stage, kids can greatly benefit from playing at an age-appropriate playground, where they can develop gross motor skills such as crawling, pulling up, and standing.

As they grow older, they’ll start to use the playground as a way to practice more fine-motor skills like climbing, swinging, and spinning.

Here are some of the physical milestones that parents can expect to see during the second year of life:

  • Walking independently
  • Developing more refined motor skills
  • Gaining greater control of overhead and trunk movements
  • Increasing strength and coordination
  • Experimenting with different ways of moving the body
  • Improving balance and coordination
  • Learning how to use tools and other objects effectively

3 years old

During the third year of life, children usually gain more control over their bodies and are able to do more complex tasks with their hands. Here are some of the milestones you may see in your third-year-old:

  • Walks up and down stairs one foot after the other without the help
  • Kicks a ball forward
  • Builds a tower of four or more blocks
  • Does a simple puzzle with three or four pieces
  • Copies a circle, line, or cross drawn by an adult
  • Turns book pages one at a time
  • Holds a crayon with fingers instead of a fist


By understanding the physical development stages in childhood, you can ensure that your child is getting the appropriate care and support they need as they grow.

If you have any questions about your child’s development or are concerned about their growth, be sure to consult with a pediatrician.

And remember, every child develops at their own pace, so don’t worry if your little one isn’t hitting all of these milestones exactly on schedule. They will get there in their own time!

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