Development and Characteristics of a 37-38 Month Old Child

Parenting September 14, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 37-38 Month Old Child


How I Move:

  • I am well balanced.
  • I move well and quickly.
  • I can carry drinks without spilling.
  • I can gallop in high, wide steps.
  • I can ride a tricycle.
  • I alternate feet when climbing stairs.
  • I put on and take off jackets with some help.
  • I have some finger control in handling small objects.

How I Think:

  • I operate in the here and now.
  • I am excited, curious, and imaginative.
  • I know number concepts of one and two.
  • I understand, “It’s time to...”
  • My attention span is four to eight minutes.
  • I can name and match simple colors.
  • I have difficulty combining two activities such as eating and talking.
  • I use letter substitutions such as “w” for “r”, as in wabbit for rabbit.
  • I use pronouns like he and she and prepositions like on, over, in.
  • My vocabulary is 800 to 900 words.
  • I understand two directions given one after the other.

How I Get Along:

  • I like to copy adults.
  • I am interested in playmates.
  • I pretend to be an animal.
  • I play alongside other children.
  • I am beginning to take turns.
  • I want to please adults, but am often independent.
  • I am spontaneous, lively, and talkative.
  • I go after what I want and fight for it.
  • I may be jealous.
  • I often get frustrated.

Learn more about Your Child: 37-38 Months from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.

Note to Parents: When reading this newsletter, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.
References: These materials were adapted by authors from Extension Just in Time Parenting Newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.