Tips for parents of an 18-month-old

Encouraging gross motor development

The following organizations have great tips and reliable information about child development:


Gross motor development describes how a child moves his or her body, especially the bigger muscles. To promote gross motor development, have your child use his or her big muscles during:

  • Daily Activities:
    • Squat down to pick up objects
    • Climb stairs (on all fours, holding rail, or holding an adult’s hand)
    • “Tidy up” time
    • Reach for objects
  • Indoor and Outdoor Play:
    • Play at the playground
    • Run outside at the park and up and down small hills
    • Jump with two feet
    • Create obstacle courses: step on or over objects like pillows or puddles
    • Build a fort (inside or outside)
    • Walk up and down curbs
    • Throw and kick a ball
    • Sit on ride-on toys and use feet to move around
    • Play at the playground on play structures such as climbing ladders and sliding down slides
    • In the summer, play with the water in splash pads
    • In the winter, roll snowballs and build snowmen

Consider enrolling your child in activities like swimming, gymnastics, dance, or “kinder gym” type classes. These are often available through your city or region at recreation centres.

Call the clinic if: Your child is over 2 years corrected age and walks on his or her toes all the time or seems to trip and fall more than children of his/her age.