Play & Learn Ebook Bundle


By Penny Warner

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$16.99 CAD


ebook (Digital original)


ebook (Digital original) $12.99 $16.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around March 10, 2015. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The Most Complete Book of Games and Learning Activities for Babies & Preschoolers!

Child development expert Penny Warner offers over 300 illustrated ideas for games and activities designed to stimulate your child’s learning and development. For each game and activity, The Play & Learn Bundle includes: recommended ages, a list of the skills that your child learns through play, a detailed list of easy-to-find materials, step-by-step instruction, clear illustrations, variations for added fun and enhanced learning, and safety tips and other helpful hints. The Baby and Preschooler Play & Learn Bundle is designed to help children reach their full potential and have a good time along the way. It is a quick and easy reference guide full of new ideas for busy parents.



Experts used to think your baby was a helpless being at birth. They said a baby couldn’t see, hear, or think. But studies have proven that your baby can see, hear, and even learn long before she’s born; your baby’s growth in the uterus is the most rapid period of your baby’s development.

The period from birth to three months is the second most rapid period of development. As soon as your baby is born, learning takes rapid leaps in all areas of development—cognitive or thinking skills, physical growth and motor control, and personality development, including emotional expression, self-awareness, and social skills. To make the most of this valuable period, begin at birth to enhance your baby’s development in all areas.

Cognition begins immediately, as your baby tries to figure out her new world and make sense of her environment. Although, on average, your baby takes in language for twelve months before she says her first word, by the time she does, she already has a fifty-word vocabulary. The wheels turn constantly as your baby rapidly improves her thinking skills. Before you know it, she’ll be solving her own problems, asking unanswerable questions, and learning how to get what she wants. This section includes lots of games for you to play with your baby to enhance cognitive development.

As your baby begins to physically develop, you’ll see changes in motor control, from the first attempts at eye/hand coordination (with uncoordinated swipes at the air), to the ability to walk, run, climb, ride, even ski! The steps are small and nearly invisible along the way, but you and your baby can practice with a variety of fun games provided in this section.

Your baby’s psychological and social skills are also making swift gains, from that first moment of eye contact, to the ability to express herself emotionally, acquire new social relationships, and understand her uniqueness. Play further develops these personality skills, helping your baby become well-balanced psychologically, socially, and emotionally.

What are you waiting for? Take advantage of every moment of these first three months. Your baby grows quickly!



Since your baby is new on the planet, he spends much of his time trying to figure out his environment. Help him by playing a game of All Gone!


• Soft, colorful toys

• Box or bucket

• Blanket, towel, or cloth

Learning Skills:

• Anticipation of events

• Cognitive/thinking skills

• Object permanence and stability

What to Do:

1. Collect several soft, colorful toys, and place them in a box or bucket, out of sight.

2. Seat your baby comfortably in his infant seat and sit opposite him.

3. Bring one toy out of the box and show it to your baby. Hold the toy close to your face and talk to your baby, to attract his attention.

4. While your baby is watching, cover the toy with a cloth.

5. Say to your baby, “All gone!”

6. Wait a few seconds, then uncover the toy and happily announce, “Here it is!”

7. Repeat with different toys.

Variation: After you hide the toy under a cloth several times, place the toy out of sight. Watch your baby’s reaction as he tries to figure out what happened; then bring the toy out into view again. Try various hiding places to keep your baby intrigued.

Safety: If your baby gets upset at the toy’s disappearance, hide the toy slowly to show him what you’re doing. Don’t leave the toy covered for too long.



Everybody needs exercise—even your newborn baby! Baby Ball is a fun way to get your baby’s circulation going, limber up muscles, increase flexibility, and help your baby learn to control her body movements.


• Large ball, approximately 2 to 3 feet in diameter (available at toy, sporting goods, and teacher supply stores)

• Large section of carpeted floor

Learning Skills:

• Motor control and flexibility

• Spatial relationships

• Trust

What to Do:

1. Dress your baby only in a diaper, so her body will grip the surface of the ball without slipping.

2. Set a ball in the middle of the room on a carpeted surface.

3. Sit on the floor facing the ball. Stand your baby on the opposite side of the ball, facing you. Hold her arms to balance her.

4. Roll your baby up onto the ball, carefully holding her so she doesn’t slip or fall.

5. Roll your baby around the ball, forward and backward, and side to side.

6. Experiment with the ball and try different exercises.

Variation: Deflate the ball a little. If you don’t have a ball, use a couch pillow or cushion.

Safety: Make sure you hold your baby securely at all times, so she doesn’t fall or roll off the ball. To ensure trust between you and your baby, move the ball and your baby slowly.



Your baby begins to respond to touch immediately after birth. The first welcome your baby receives is the tactile comfort of your touch as you hold him. Provide your baby with a Baby Massage so he can delight in the pleasure of your soothing hands.


• Blanket or towel

• Baby lotion

Learning Skills:

• Body awareness

• Enhanced sense of touch

• Social interaction

What to Do:

1. Spread a blanket or a towel on a soft carpet.

2. Place your naked baby on the blanket, on his tummy.

3. Pour a little baby oil into your hands and rub your hands together to warm up the oil.

4. Gently massage your baby from his neck to his shoulders, down his arms to his hands, down his back to his buttocks, down his legs, and to his feet. Use a gentle touch, not too firm and not too light.

5. Turn your baby over on his back and repeat, using more oil.

Variation: Give your baby a foot or hand massage any time, while nursing, bathing, or sitting at the park; oil is not necessary.

Safety: Use a soft touch so you don’t cause any rug burns! Be sure your baby isn’t allergic to the oils or lotions you use. Avoid touching your baby’s face so the oils don’t get into your baby’s eyes.



Bath time is fun for most babies, although some don’t seem to like the water. But no matter what kind of reaction you get from your baby, you can make bath time more fun by adding a few baby bubbles while you wash.


• Soft washcloth

• Plastic baby tub

• Baby bubble bath

• Towel

Learning Skills:

• Body awareness

• Language development

• Listening skills

• Sensory stimulation

What to Do:

1. Lay a washcloth on the bottom of your baby’s plastic tub to help keep your baby from sliding around.

2. Fill the tub with warm water and add a small amount of baby bubble bath solution.

3. Place your baby into the tub, holding her securely at all times to gain her trust.

4. Sit your baby up so she can safely enjoy the bubbles and splash the water if she wants.

5. Wash your baby’s body parts while singing “This Is the Way We Wash”:

This is the way we wash our face,
Wash our face, wash our face.
This is the way we wash our face,
Baby (name) and Mommy.

Continue the song with “…clean our neck,” “…rub our chest,” “…scrub our back,” “…bathe our arms,” “…soap our legs,” “…tidy our toes,” and so on.

Variation: Get into the bath with your baby and wash yourselves together. Put some toys into the tub, or use a washcloth in the shape of an animal or a puppet.

Safety: Follow these two rules to make sure your baby enjoys the bath:

• Be certain that your baby feels secure at all times—don’t let her slip or dunk under the water.

• Make sure the water is always warm—not too hot and not too cold.



From birth, your baby starts to learn through his senses. This game will help your baby develop his ability to locate sound, which leads to better head control and general motor movement.


• Soft blanket

• Your mouth

• Your finger

Learning Skills:

• Head and neck control

• Location of sound and touch

• Motor movement and control

• Social interaction

What to Do:

1. Place your baby on his back on a soft blanket.

2. Sit near your baby so he can hear you clearly.

3. Make a sound imitating a buzzing bee as you move your finger close to your baby’s body.

4. After a few seconds, touch your baby with your finger and say, “Buzzy bee!”

5. Repeat, landing on different parts of your baby’s body.

Variation: Move your head to follow your finger, so your baby can track the sound. Vary the pitch of the buzzing sound, from high to low, to keep the sound interesting. Turn your baby over on his tummy and play again. This time he won’t be able to see your finger move and will have to wait for the Buzzy Bee surprise!

Safety: Touch your baby softly and don’t make the sound too loud. If your baby startles, slow down the game.



The face is a good place to start teaching your baby about body parts. Play a game of Eye Winker to help your baby distinguish her nose from her mouth from her eyes—and teach her what each does!


• Your baby’s face

• Your finger

Learning Skills:

• Recognition of facial features

• Sensory enjoyment—touch

• Social interaction

• Understanding of body parts

What to Do:

1. Hold your baby on your lap, facing you.

2. Say or sing the following chant while touching the coordinating body parts:

Eye winker (gently touch eyelid)
Lid blinker (gently touch other eyelid)
Nose smeller (gently touch tip of nose)
Mouth eater (gently touch bottom lip)
Chin chopper (gently pull down chin)
Neck drinker (gently run finger down neck)
Tummy tickler (gently run finger down to tummy, gently tickle)

3. Repeat several times.

Variation: After you’ve played Eye Winker a few times, try a round of Chin Chopper:

Knock on the door (gently knock on your baby’s forehead)

Peep in (gently lift one of your baby’s eyelids)

Open the latch (gently press your baby’s nose up)

And walk in (gently walk two fingers on your baby’s bottom lip)

Chin chopper, chin chopper, chin chopper, chin (gently open and close your baby’s jaw)

Safety: Be sure your touch is gentle or the game won’t be pleasant for your baby!



From birth, your baby prefers to look at a human face above all other objects. Something about the eyes, nose, and mouth attracts your baby’s attention. Finger Face is based on that fascination.


• Knit glove

• Scissors

• Your hand

• Colorful felt-tip pens

Learning Skills:

• Ability to focus

• Recognition of faces

• Social interaction

What to Do:

1. Cut the fingers off a knit glove.

2. Using felt-tip pens, draw a face in the middle of the glove’s palm. Make the eyes and mouth large, bright, and colorful.

3. Slip the glove onto your hand.

4. Hold your baby in your lap and turn the glove face toward him.

5. Now wiggle your fingers and move the face around slowly so your baby can enjoy his new Finger Face friend, who can help you sing songs, tell stories, or just chat.

Variation: Make Finger Face three dimensional. Sew or glue-gun wiggly eyes to the middle of the glove, make a mouth from red felt, and add a pom-pom nose in the center.

Safety: If your baby gets ahold of the Finger Face, he will probably put it right into his mouth, so make sure the eyes, mouth, and nose are securely attached.



Your baby begins learning to control her arms and legs from the moment she is born, but reflexes and lack of coordination seem to get in the way. Work on motor control with a game of Footsy Fun.


• Small, colorful booties

• Little bells, lightweight noisemakers, or small, soft, colorful toys

• Needle and thread

• Soft blanket

• Baby’s feet

Learning Skills:

• Eye/hand and eye/foot coordination

• Motor control

• Problem solving

• Visual tracking

What to Do:

1. Buy some small booties that are especially colorful—primary (red, blue, and yellow) or rainbow colors are best.

2. Securely sew little bells, noisemakers, or small, soft, colorful toys to the tops of the booties.

3. Lay your baby on her back on a soft blanket and slip the booties onto her feet.

4. Watch your baby enjoy her new Footsy Fun playthings.

Variation: Attach noisemakers or small toys to tiny mittens instead of booties, and place them on your baby’s hands.

Safety: Be sure all items are tightly secured to the booties or mittens, and check them regularly for signs of loosening. Don’t attach any sharp objects that might hurt your baby if she tries to bring them to her mouth. Watch your baby at all times.



Your baby likes surprises—as long as they’re fun and not frightening! You can begin playing the universally exciting game of Gotcha with this added attraction—the Gotcha Glove!


• Soft garden glove

• Small, soft toy animals (such as Beanie Babies), about the same size as the glove

• Needle and thread

• Soft blanket or infant seat

Learning Skills:

• Anticipation of events

• Emotional expression

• Social interaction

• Trust

What to Do:

1. Sew a small soft toy to the back of the glove, so the toy sits on the back of your hand when the glove is worn.

2. Place your baby on his back on a soft blanket or in an infant seat.

3. Slip on the Gotcha Glove.

4. Wiggle your fingers and move the glove around, so your baby can see the animal sitting on top.

5. Make animal noises as you move the glove, to attract your baby’s attention.

6. All of a sudden, place your gloved hand on your baby’s tummy, leg, arm, or other body part, and say, “Gotcha!” with a big smile.

7. Give that body part a little tickle or wiggle, then play again.

Variation: Make two gloves, one for each hand, for added fun. Attach strips of Velcro to the glove and to several toy animals. This way you can change the animals from time to time to keep the game interesting.

Safety: If your baby gets scared, slow down your movement and talk softly. Be sure to keep smiling as you play.



Developing eye/hand coordination takes time, but if you watch your baby carefully, you’ll see her beginning attempts to control those tiny hands. Fun fingerplays can help your baby work on motor skills.


• Soft blanket or an infant seat

• Fingerplays, songs, and rhymes

• Your hands and baby’s hands

Learning Skills:

• Eye/hand coordination

• Motor control

• Social interaction

What to Do:

1. Lay your baby on a soft blanket or sit her upright in her infant seat, and sit close by so she can see you.

2. Sing or chant songs and rhymes while you play with your baby’s hands and fingers. Try one of the following Handy Clap games:


Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man, (clap your baby’s hands)
Bake me a cake as fast as you can; (repeat clapping)
Roll it (roll baby’s hands) and pat it; (pat baby’s hands)
Mark it with a B. (draw a B in the middle of baby’s hand)
Put it in the oven for baby and me. (gently poke baby in the tummy)

If You’re Happy

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap baby’s hands)
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap baby’s hands)
If you’re happy and you know it, then your hands will surely show it.
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
(clap baby’s hands)

Whoops! Johnny!

(Spread your baby’s fingers open.) Johnny (touch baby finger tip), Johnny (touch next fingertip), Johnny (touch next fingertip), Johnny (touch next fingertip), Whoops! Johnny! (slide your finger down in between the forefinger and the thumb, then repeat going backwards) Johnny. Whoops! Johnny! Johnny, Johnny, Johnny.

Variation: Try these games on baby’s feet instead of hands. Use your baby’s name when appropriate.

Safety: Hold and move your baby’s hands gently as you play.



One of your baby’s favorite toys is his feet! They’re soft and wiggly, and close at hand. And they feel funny when they’re touched! Have fun with Happy Feet as you combine nursery rhymes with toe touching.


• Soft blanket

• Words to songs and nursery rhymes

• Your fingers and your baby’s toes

Learning Skills:

• Body awareness

• Enjoyment of senses

• Language development

• Motor control

• Social interaction

What to Do:

1. Choose a favorite nursery rhyme that can be played with your baby’s feet and toes.

2. Lay your baby on a soft blanket and kneel beside him so you can reach his feet.

3. Play one of the following Happy Feet games:

This Little Piggy

This little piggy went to market, (wiggle the big toe)
This little piggy stayed home, (wiggle the second toe)
This little piggy had roast beef, (wiggle the third toe)
This little piggy had none, (wiggle the fourth toe)
And this little piggy cried, “Wee, wee, wee!” all the way home! (wiggle the baby toe)

Gobble Gobble

Wee wiggle, (wiggle baby toe)
Two tickle, (wiggle next toe)
Three giggle, (wiggle next toe)
Four sniggle, (wiggle next toe)
Five—gobble! (pretend to gobble up your baby’s foot)

Pitty Pat Pony

Pitty pat pony, (pat the soles of your baby’s feet)
Look at her toes. (hold baby’s feet and wiggle them)
Here a nail, there a nail, (poke the bottom of baby’s feet)
Gid-up and go! (pat the soles of your baby’s feet again)

Variation: Play the game using hands instead of feet.

Safety: Don’t tickle your baby too much. As you probably know from personal experience, excessive tickling becomes uncomfortable.



At first your baby will be curious about this new stranger she sees, but over time she will delight in seeing herself in that fascinating object called a mirror!


• Portable, full-length mirror, if possible

• Props, such as hats, cloths, dolls

Learning Skills:

• Enhanced self-esteem

• Learning body parts

• Recognition of self-image

• Understanding of environment

What to Do:

1. Set a full-length mirror against a wall.

2. Hold your baby in your lap close to the mirror.

3. Let your baby touch the mirror and examine its properties.

4. Interact with the mirror by waving, making faces, touching it, turning your head, and so on.

5. Use props: place a hat on your head or your baby’s head, cover your baby’s head with a cloth, or introduce a doll.

6. End the Magic Mirror fun by pointing out all of your baby’s body parts in the mirror.



On Sale
Mar 10, 2015
Page Count
368 pages
Da Capo Press

Penny Warner

About the Author

Penny Warner has a master’s degree in special education and twenty years of experience as a child development instructor at Diablo Valley College and Chabot College in California. She is also the author of over thirty books for parents and children, including: 365 Baby Care Tips, 365 Toddler Tips, Toilet Training without Tears or Trauma, Kids Party Games & Activities, and Games People Play. She lives in California and has two grown children.

Learn more about this author