Babies love books!

Our complete list of top picks for newborns to one-year-olds

Books, music and games for newborns to one-year-olds. You might get tired of reading the same books, but your baby will love hearing the same stories again and again. Hearing favourite stories helps your baby become familiar with the way books and stories work.

Find books and games just right for:

Browse the catalogue for books with more baby games. 
View or print the words and directions for games to play with babies [PDF]

Newborn to 3 months

Books and CDS: Nursery rhymes and music to sooth and relax

Chant nursery rhymes or sing lullabies while cradling your newborn.  By six to eight weeks, you'll be rewarded with that first smile!
List of titles

Games

Print or view the words and directions for games to play with babies [PDF]

  • Gentle touch games help babies gradually coordinate the part of the brain that "sees" with the part that "feels".  Games such as Two Little Eyes and Tummy Button help your baby learn what different parts of the body are called.
  • By two months, your baby's eyes will work together to move and focus at the same time.  At bedtime, slowly beam a flashlight around the room while singing a song such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  This activity will encourage your baby to track moving objects.
  • Babies may discover their feet by three months.  Shoe a Little Horse and other games in which you gently tap the soles of your baby's feet encourage this discovery.
  • Slowly, Slowly and other tickling games are often met with giggles.  Pause a moment between a slow tickle and a quick one.  Soon your baby will anticipate the faster tickle with a smile or by "freezing".  This indicates that your baby's memory is growing. 

3 to 6 months

Books about babies and other favourite things

By three months, babies are more alert and getting ready to explore the world. Your baby will enjoy looking at pictures of familiar objects as well as other babies.  When your baby babbles, repeat the sounds back to show that what is being "said" is important to you.
List of titles

Games

Print or view the words and directions for games to play with babies [PDF]

  • By three to four months, your baby will have gradually developed sensations in individual fingers and toes.  This is a good time to introduce This Little Piggy and other simple finger play games.
  • Chanting a rhyme such as Snip Snap Moon Slivers while clipping finger or toe nails can help keep your baby still for this delicate task.
  • Babies are fascinated by mirrors.  Dancing and looking in the mirror can be a fun game.  Try singing a favourite song, such as Mama's Little Baby, as you dance.
  • The strong rhythm of A Smooth Road and other bouncing games will develop your baby's listening skills.  Hold your baby under the arms and lift your heels up and down to give a gentle bounce.
  • Once your baby's neck muscles are strong enough, Here We Go Up, Up, Up and other "flying" games will meet with great delight.  Gentle, controlled lifts protect both your baby's back and head.  Flying games stimulate the parts of the brain that keep a sense of balance.
  • Babies love clapping games, such as If You're Happy and You Know It , even before they can clap on their own.  Hold your baby's hands and guide them through a gentle clapping motion.

6 to 9 months

This is a very tactile and active stage. Ideas to try:

  • Give your baby a toy or blanket to hold if he or she tries to grab or chew books as you read. 
  • Choose sturdy board books made from heavy cardboard. 
  • Keep book time fun by following your baby's cues for "more" or "stop".

Point-and-say books

Point to familiar objects and name them.  When babies hear an object called the same name over and over, they learn to connect the spoken word with its meaning.  Introduce books with clear pictures of familiar things.  The best point-and-say books for this age have only one object on each page.
List of titles

Mother Goose story books

The bouncy rhymes of Mother Goose will continue to help your baby develop listening skills.  Your baby will enjoy simple picture books that present a nursery rhyme as a story.
List of titles

Games

Print or view the words and directions for games to play with babies [PDF]

  • By six months, your baby will enjoy silly diaper-changing games such as There Was a Little Man.
  • Your baby will start to become aware that words are symbols for objects.  1,2,3 What Do We See? is a rhyme you can use to talk about different objects or what you are doing.
  • Stimulate your baby's sense of rhythm by banging to the beat of nursery rhymes such as There is a Cobbler.  An upside-down plastic container makes a good drum!
  • Shakers add to the fun of sharing rhymes with a strong beat such as Popcorn, Popcorn.  Make your own shaker by putting dried beans or rice into an unbreakable container, such as an empty vitamin bottle, carefully sealing the top.  Safety alert! Use only with close adult supervision.

9 to 12 months

Books to encourage finger coordination

Small motor skills take a big leap forward at this age. Your baby will start learning to turn pages.  To make it easier and cut down on torn pages, hold all but the page to be turned firmly in one hand.
List of titles

Peek-a-boo books

Your baby is beginning to understand that things exist even when they are no longer visible.  Pop-up toys and lift-the-flap books bring particular delight at this age.
List of titles

Games

Print or view the words and directions for games to play with babies [PDF]

  • Your baby will start to poke and point with one finger, wave bye-bye, clap hands and make a fist.  Play Open, Shut Them, Pat-a-Cake and other simple hand games with your baby to encourage coordination.
  • Hide-and-seek games such as Where's Teddy and Two Little Bluebirds are also appealing at this age.
  • Your baby will start to enjoy copying actions you do.  Action games, such as Baby Can You Do This? help your baby learn to follow directions and listen - important skills for all future learning!
  • As babies near their first birthday, many start to resist being dressed.  Singing dressing songs, such as Baby Put Your Shirt On can help make this chore more fun for you and your baby.