Development and Characteristics of a 15-16 Month Old Child

Parenting September 14, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 15-16 Month Old Toddler



How I Grow:

  • I like to climb on things, and I usually like to do it alone.
  • I can climb up stairs on my hands and knees.
  • I can climb out of cribs, high chairs, and strollers.
  • I’m always on the go; I can walk pretty well; I can run a little.
  • I like to carry things in each hand.
  • I want to show you how independent I am by doing what I want, not what you want me to do.
  • I can understand simple directions such as “no, “come,” “show me,” and “look.”
  • I am learning to talk back and forth with people.
  • I don’t usually like having a whole story read to me.
  • I would rather point to pictures in a book and have you talk to me about them.
  • I am beginning to say “no” a lot.

What I Have Learned:

  • I like to feel different kinds of things such as smooth things, rough things, and soft things. I may not like things that stick to my fingers.
  • I can throw a small ball but I usually throw it crooked.
  • I may be able to build a tower of two blocks.
  • I can scribble with a pencil or crayon.

How I Get Along with Others:

  • I mostly want my own way; I may not cooperate much.
  • I like lots of attention.
  • I am easily entertained.
  • I can tell when someone I know is not around.
  • I can recognize myself in a mirror or photograph.
  • I’m pretty self-centered and often not friendly.
  • I like to copy the way you do things like sweeping the floor, setting the table, or raking the lawn.
  • If you show me that you like what I do, I will do it a lot.
  • Sometimes I will get things for you.
  • I like to know where you are at all times.
  • I’m not very good at giving but I like to get things.

What I Can Do for Myself:

  • I like to do things for myself but I don’t do them very well.
  • I can let you know when I have wet or soiled pants, but I’m still too young to be toilet trained.
  • I may be able to use a spoon but I spill.

Play I Enjoy:

  • I like to turn switches on and off.
  • I like to throw things, push things, and pound on things.
  • I like to spin wheels.
  • I like playing with spoons, cups, and boxes.
  • I don’t play very long with any one toy. I like to carry around a soft doll or toy animal.
  • I like playing in sandboxes.
  • I like rolling a ball with you.

Learn more about Your Toddler: 15-16 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.