Chapter 7

“The development of play overlaps all areas of development – physical, social, emotional, and intellectual, which includes cognitive and language development. In fact, we often determine where a child is on one or more developmental continua by watching him play. The developmental process guides play behavior from the simple to the complex, from the concentrating on the self to interacting with others, and from concrete to abstract” (Rogers & Sawyers, 1988).

The Land of Make Believe: How and Why to Encourage Pretend Play

Play: 10 Power Boosts for Children’s Early Learning

 Developing Babies 5 Senses 

The Development of Play Skills from Birth to Age 3

It’s Never “Just Play”

Why Play = Learning

Tips on Playing with Babies and Toddlers

Tummy Time

Playing with Baby: Let the Music Play

Playing with Baby: Get Moving

Toddlers Exploring the World

Prop Boxes in Early Childhood Classrooms

Using Toys to Support Infant-Toddler Learning and Development

Best Toys for Babies and Toddlers 1

Best Toys for Babies and Toddlers 2


Teaching Your Child to Share

Activities to do with Infants and Toddlers

Activities for Bonding and Learning: Birth-12 Months

Activities for Bonding and Learning: 12-24 Months

Activities for Bonding and Learning: 24-36 Months

The Power of Play


Additional Readings

Bodrova E., Germeroth, C., & Leong, D. J. (2013) Play and self-regulation: lessons from Vygotsky. American Journal of Play, 6(1). Retrieved from

Honig, A. (2007). Play: Ten power boosts for children’s early learning. Young children, (September 2007), 72-78. Retrieved from

Leong, D.J. & Bodrova, E. (2012) Assessing and scaffolding make-believe play. Young Children, 67 (1), pp. 28-34.

Rogers, C. & Sawyers, J. (1988). Play in the lives of children. Washington, D.C.: NAEYC.

Sawyers, J., & Rogers, C. (2003). Helping babies play. Beyond the journal, (May 2003), 1-2.

Additional Websites

      “Prop Boxes” are essentially a box full of materials related to the same theme or topic. The children play with the materials, act out scenarios related to the theme and add the materials to their own play. This link provides additional information and examples of Prop Boxes for preschool classrooms, but the information easily translates to toddler classrooms:

     Seasonal play experiences and explorations for infants and toddlers organized by month from Zero to Three:

Magda Gerber’s website

Music and Movement Resources:

eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care Database of Fingerplays and Songs: