Stages of Play Children go through distinct stages of play as they grow. Each stage is critically important to the development of the next. Infant Play Hang brightly colored objects near your newborn. Sing and talk to your baby. Rock your baby, and take him or her for walks. Toddler Play Ideas for toddler toys: a rocking horse, a shovel and a bucket, and toys that can be pushed or pulled. Preschool Play A preschooler needs space in which to run and explore. Take him or her on trips to the playground, park, or beach. Encourage him or her to play with other children.