Reference levels of physical development in first year

The first year is a crucial transition year for young children as they move from kindergarten to school for older children. This may be the first time they have eaten in the cafeteria with their friends or played outside during recess without the supervision of their teacher.

Just as first-graders begin to establish the learning and study habits they will build on throughout their education and working lives, they also develop physical habits that will determine their health and well-being. -be future and will shape the quality of their lives.

Grade 1 children are typically 6 or 7 years old, and the following guidelines are for children in the typical age group. However, the information here is only intended as a general guide. If your child appears to be lagging in terms of physical development, you should see your pediatrician.

Overall motor skills


Your first grader is still developing gross motor skills, which involve movement of the whole body. These include running, jumping, throwing and catching. Physical activities at this age should include games and sports that focus on developing these fundamental skills through play rather than competition.


Your child’s balance will improve dramatically throughout this year. By the end of the first year, your child should be able to hop on one foot up to 20 feet without stopping. Playing hopscotch helps develop this skill.


Your child should be able to tiptoe up to 20 feet.


Your child should be able to easily jump up to 20 feet.


Your child should be able to stand on each foot for at least 10 seconds with their hands on their waist.


Your child should be able to do several crunches at the same time.

Push ups

Your child should be able to do several push-ups at once, lifting only their chest off the floor.


Your child should be able to accurately hit a ball at a target 10 to 15 feet away.


Your child should be able to bounce a ball and catch it easily.



Your child’s fine motor skills, which involves coordinating small muscle movements, will develop as quickly as their gross motor skills. These skills become particularly important as the emphasis in school is placed on reading and writing.


Your child should be able to print about 20 letters per minute.


Your child should be able to color within the lines of a coloring book.

Chopped off

Your child should be able to cut varying shapes or complexities from paper.


Your child should be able to model objects of different shapes with Play-Doh or clay.

Tie the shoes

Your child should be able to tie their shoes.


Your child should be able to dress and undress, fast and undo buttons, and handle zippers, without assistance.

To sleep


Restful sleep is a basic requirement for a healthy child. While sleep gives the body more and more time to recover and prepare for the day ahead, studies have also shown that well-rested children perform better in school, are less likely to act in school. , have lower obesity rates and are less susceptible to viruses. infection. It’s important to prioritize sleep by making sure your child has a dark, quiet, and comfortable bedroom and by establishing a regular nighttime routine with your child before putting them to bed.

A well-rested child will wake up spontaneously and have energy throughout the day. If you notice them yawning at inappropriate times or receive reports from school about their hyperactivity and misbehaving, your child is probably not getting enough sleep. Talk to your child’s health care provider about additional steps you can take to make sure your child is getting a more restful night’s sleep.

How much sleep?

Grade 1 students need 10 to 11 hours of restful sleep each night. For students who need to get up at 6 a.m. to get ready for school, bedtime should be between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Learn more about supporting your child with our Grade 1 physical health tips and physical activity recommendations pages.

The Parent Toolkit Resources were developed by NBC News Learn with the help of subject matter experts including Dr. Jayne Greenberg, District Director, Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

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