Playful Ideas
Tired of playing the same old games with your children? Spark your little ones’ imaginations—and spice up playtime—with ideas from these parent-approved books and Web sites.


  • "Building Healthy Minds: The Six Experiences That Create Intelligence and Emotional Growth in Babies and Young Children," by Stanley Greenspan, M.D., Perseus Publishing, 2000. Emphasizes the importance of parent-child play in a child’s development.

  • "Make Your Own Preschool Games," by Sally Goldberg, Ph.D., Perseus Publishing, 2002. Offers quick, low-cost activities that use materials found in most homes.

  • "Playful Parenting," by Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D., Ballantine, 2002. Packed with parenting theory and tips for every type of play you can imagine, this book is loaded with anecdotes sure to encourage parents.

Web Sites

  • Playing for Keeps Provides information and resources for parents, plus plenty of tips for constructive play.

  • Zero to Three A primer on play, including theory and concrete tips.

  • The Space Place – Out-of-this-world ideas for imaginative play from NASA.