Infant Play Ideas to Promote Gross Motor Development

Torticollis baby

Every infant parent knows how quickly their little ones grow and change. Each stage is unique, and it is so important to engage your child in a way so that it optimizes their abilities and propels them to explore new skills. Gross motor development (such as rolling, sitting, crawling, and walking) is especially important in the early stages! Try out some of these age-specific play ideas to engage your baby and promote gross motor development:


  • 0-3mo
    • Lots of supervised tummy time! (30min/ day by 3mo)
    • Practice holding and shaking rattle with each hand (should be symmetrical)
    • On back, visually follow toy in each direction
    • Put noise-making toys on feet to encourage symmetrical kicking
  • 3-6mo
    • More tummy time! (practice reaching with each hand when on stomach)
    • Practice rolling, back to belly and belly to back!
    • Practice sitting with parent or boppy behind child
    • Practice grabbing feet when on back (one side or both)
  • 6-9mo
    • Encourage reaching in all directions in sitting
    • On stomach, use toy placement to promote moving in a circle
    • Practice hands and knees position with help at hips
    • Encourage pull to stand with placement of toys at low elevated surface
  • 9-12mo
    • Lots of play in standing
    • Encourage “cruising” (sideways walking along furniture) via placement of toys
    • Introduce walking with a push toy or holding onto parent’s hands

If your infant is struggling to engage with gross motor play, seems asymmetrical, or is especially “stiff” or “floppy” during these skills, speak to your physician about a referral for a pediatric physical therapy evaluation.  At Kids In Motion Pediatric Therapy Services, we are infant and child development specialists and have many convenient locations with pediatric therapists that can help children live their best life. 

2636 South Milford Road
United States