Childhood development is complex. Between fine motor and gross motor development, and the variability between children, it’s not always easy to tell if your child’s development is considered “typical.” If you’re worried that your child’s writing and pre-writing development may be atypical, here is a tool for you to use. These are the developmental milestones in writing that average children meet by certain ages. Also, there are lists of indications that your child’s fine motor/handwriting development may be atypical.
At 2-3 years, average milestones include:
- Pre-Writing Strokes – Between 2-2.5 years old, a child should be able to now imitate vertical and horizontal lines, and by 2.5-3 years old, a child should be able to imitate drawing a circle.
- Holding crayons – A child between ages 2 and 3 will typically hold a crayon with his fingers, but the crayon might still look awkward in his hands. He may hold the crayon with part of it resting on top of his hand or part of it under his hand.
- Painting – At 2, most children can use paints and have control over a brush.
You may want to talk to an occupational therapist if you have a 3-yr-old who hasn’t met the following milestones…
- Does not scribble or make marks on paper when you give her a crayon or pencil
- Cannot imitate you when you draw a straight line, horizontal line, or circle
- Uses a full fist to hold crayons
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Case-Smith, J., & OBrien, J. C. (2014). Occupational Therapy For Children. St. Louis: Mosby.
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