OT Developmental Milestones of Children 2-5 Years Old


In a previous post, Children Achieving Success: a look into pediatric occupational therapy, we mentioned the importance of understanding the developmental milestones that children should reach at any given age. With this knowledge a parent or teacher can ensure that each child is reaching these goals, and if not they will know to reach out to a doctor or therapist for testing. Below I have listed the developmental milestones for children ages two to five years old.

Developmental Milestones at 2 Years Old

  • Removes unfastened coat
  • Removes shoes if laces are untied
  • Helps pull down pants
  • Finds arm holes in pull over shirt
  • Stack 4-6 cubes


Developmental Milestones at 2 ½ Years Old

  • Removes pull down pants with elastic waist
  • Assists in pulling on socks
  • Puts on front buttoned coat or shirt
  • Unbuttons large buttons
  • Draws a vertical line


Developmental Milestones at 3 Years Old

  • Copies Horizontal Line
  • Copies a Circle
  • Puts on pull over shirt with minimal assistance
  • Puts on shoes without fasteners (may be on wrong foot)
  • Puts on socks (may be with heel on top)
  • Zips and Unzips once latched
  • Buttons large front buttons


Developmental Milestones at 3 ½ Years Old

  • Finds front of clothing
  • Snaps or hooks front fastener
  • Unzips zipper on jacket separating zipper
  • Puts on mittens
  • Buttons series of 3 or 4 buttons
  • Unbuckles shoe or belt
  • Dresses with supervision (needs help to orient front/back)
  • Cuts a paper in half within ½ inch of line
  • Draws a cross
  • Traces a horizontal line
  • Grasps a crayon with thumb and index fingers positioned downward to the end of the crayon


Developmental Milestones at 4 Years Old

  • Removes pull over garment independently
  • Buckles shoes or belt
  • Zips jacket zipper
  • Puts on socks correctly
  • Puts on shoes (needs assistance with tying laces)
  • Draws a diagonal line


Developmental Milestones at 4 ½ Years Old

  • Draws a square
  • Cuts out circle and square on a paper
  • Connects dots by drawing straight lines
  • Touches each finger to thumb
  • Grasps crayon with crayon resting between the top of the index finger and the thumb.


Developmental Milestones at 5 Years Old

  • Ties and unties knots
  • Dresses unsupervised
  • Colors inside the lines
  • Folds a paper in half accurately
  • Copies a diamond shape

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About the Author: The Therapy Spot
The Therapy Spot of Baltimore is a multi-disciplinary pediatric therapy center, featuring an energetic group of experienced and qualified therapists. We provide speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy to children in the greater Baltimore region.