Development and Characteristics of a 21-22 Month Old Child

Parenting September 14, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 21-22 Month Old Toddler



How I Grow

  • I’m becoming a little less self-centered.
  • I love to run, throw, and climb.
  • I can walk upstairs with both feet on each step while holding on.
  • I may use one hand more than the other.
  • If you fold a paper, I can copy you.
  • I can obey about three directions.

How I Talk

  • I can say about 20 words.
  • I like to have you sing songs to me.
  • I like to look at books, but if you don’t watch me, I may tear them.
  • I try to follow directions.
  • I like to hear stories.
  • I can ask for things by name.
  • I can point to five body parts on myself or my doll.
  • I can help with simple jobs.

What I Have Learned

  • I like very tiny things like bugs. Watch what I put in my mouth.
  • I can name people I know from pictures.
  • I can put together a puzzle if it has only two or three large pieces.
  • I love to build and knock down, empty, pull apart, feel, twist, and squeeze everything I can get my hands on.
  • I am curious about people, animals, birds, and everything that I see.
  • I like listening to nursery rhymes, and I can say them.
  • I know when a picture in a book is upside down.
  • I can build a tower of four or five blocks.

How I Get Along with Others

  • I have a mind of my own, so I don’t always do what you ask. I often do the opposite of what I’m asked.
  • I can understand what’s mine and what’s yours.
  • I try to tell people what I have seen and done.
  • I’m beginning to understand other people’s feelings; I can sometimes cooperate.
  • I can show love to you and other favorite people.
  • I’m becoming easier to get along with, but I can still be hard to live with sometimes.

What I Can Do For Myself

  • I can wash and dry my hands.
  • I can hold a cup and drink from it.
  • I may be able to put on my shoes, but I still can’t lace them, and I may put them on the wrong feet.
  • I may be able to put things where they belong.
  • I can pick up and put away my toys, if you will help me.
  • I like to sweep, dust, mop, hammer, vacuum, shovel, scoop, or rake, because I have seen you do these things.

Play I Enjoy

  • I like to fit things together.
  • I enjoy using a toy telephone.
  • I like to pull things around in a wagon or cart.
  • I like playing tag with you or an older child.
  • I can put rings on a spindle toy.
  • I like to pretend. I might wrap up my doll or stuffed animal in a blanket and put it to bed.
  • My feelings are easily hurt.
  • I test the limits you set and try to get my own way.

Learn more about Your Toddler: 21-22 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.