Key Development Milestones

0-12 Months

Key Milestones of Play for 0-3 Months:

  • Enjoys playful face-to-face interaction with people.
  • Coos in response to playful interaction.
  • Notices and responds to sounds.

Key Milestones of Play for 3-9 Months:

  • Enjoys playful interactions with others, e.g. peek a boo.
  • Is vocalizing in response to playful interaction.
  • Turns head toward sounds.
  • Maintains eye contact with familiar people during playful interaction.
  • Enjoys playing with toys of varied textures.
  • Enjoys musical toys.
  • Raises hands to be picked up.
  • Enjoys various types of movement, such as being gently swung.

Key Milestones of Play for 9-12 Months:

  • Turns head in response to name being called.
  • Points to objects of interest by 12 months.
  • Enjoys playing and banging musical toys.
  • Frequently explores the environment when placed on floor.
  • Enjoys moving to get a desirable toy.

1-3 Years

Key Milestones of Play for 1-3 Years:

  • Is interested in interacting with people (plays patty cake).
  • Raises hands to be picked up.
  • Maintains eye contact with people during playful interactions.
  • Is interested in imitating others.
  • Is able to locate objects you are pointing to.
  • Enjoys banging and playing with musical toys.
  • Enjoys playing with new toys.
  • Enjoys exploring and playing at the playground.
  • Enjoys swinging on playground swings.
  • Enjoys sitting to look at or listen to a book.
  • Is able to participate in messy activities that result in dirty hands.

3-5 Years

Key Milestones of Play for 3-5 Years:

  • ​Play is now highly social and focused on peer relationships.
  • The preschool age child participates in circle time, singing and dancing games, and art time.
  • Group play replaces parallel play and the preschooler shows interest in being a friend.

5-7+ Years

Key Milestones of Play for 5-7+ Years:

  • Fine motor control so that children will be able to hold a pencil and start writing.
  • Engages with books and begins relating the story to their own life.
  • Testing their physical abilities at the playground.
  • Will keep trying if they don't get it right the first time.
  • Imaginative play will become more planned and the story will continue over days.
  • Enthusiasm for learning new things and using toys that relate to their learning.