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Balanced and Barefoot

How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children
Narrated by: Rebecca Mitchell
Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

Non-member price: $35.87

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Publisher's Summary

Today's kids have adopted sedentary lifestyles filled with television, video games, and computer screens. But more and more, studies show that children need "rough and tumble" outdoor play in order to develop their sensory, motor, and executive functions. Disturbingly, a lack of movement has been shown to lead to a number of health and cognitive difficulties, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), emotion regulation and sensory processing issues, and aggressiveness at school recess break. So, how can you ensure your child is fully engaging their body, mind, and all of their senses?

Using the same philosophy that lies at the heart of her popular TimberNook program - that nature is the ultimate sensory experience, and that psychological and physical health improves for children when they spend time outside on a regular basis - author Angela J. Hanscom offers several strategies to help your child thrive, even if you live in an urban environment.

With this book, you'll discover little things you can do anytime, anywhere to help your kids achieve the movement they need to be happy and healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

©2016 Angela J. Hanscom (P)2016 Tantor

What listeners say about Balanced and Barefoot

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Audio voice is awful

This sounds like it is being read by a computer. It is really hard to listen to. It is too fast, so I slowed it down, still awful. I am only part way through the book, and don’t know if I can force myself to listen to this. The material is ok so far, a bit too many personal observations rather than science so far, but we will see. Might have to buy the kindle book to find out the rest. If you want this book, get the kindle version, Do Not Get The Audiobook!!!

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Buy the paperback

This book was full of interesting points, mostly aimed at parents or teachers who aren’t already immersed in the world of open ended, outdoor play, and the like. As someone who has already done some reading in this area, and is a firm believer in letting kids be kids, playing outside, simplifying childhood, etc. the contents of the book was kind of just reiterating what I already know to be true. If you were just beginning to dapple in this area, I would recommend reading this book as an entrance point. I would not recommend listening to this audio recording though. The reader sounded robotic and I had to double check I didn’t have my timing on 1.5x or something as it sounded unnaturally fast. It made it somewhat painful to listen to and took me many months to work through an otherwise good book. In retrospect, I would have much rather spent the extra money and got the book in paperback (or better yet, just borrowed it from somewhere - as I don’t think this is a book I would read again any time soon).

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  • Patrick R. Quinn
  • 12-08-2016

Good information, challenging to listen to as it refers to itself often.

This book is full of important information. However listening to it in audio format was a challenging experience. I also recommend checking out books by people referenced in barefoot and balanced, especially Peter Gray.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Skiffgirl
  • 01-12-2016

Game Changer

I feel like this book is a game changer. I wish I could get all of my parent friends to listen to it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • D S
  • 23-07-2019

Poorly-Researched, Poorly-Narrated

Anecdotal evidence is the basis of most of the author's sweeping conclusions. At best, tiny sample sizes. The dogma and poor reasoning of this book is revealed halfway through when the author romanticizes the playground equipment of the 80's, She describes horrific injuries suffered by children on that antiquated equipment, and then attributes the ensuing safety improvements to "litigation" rather than a reasonable intent to prevent those injuries. Worst of all, the narrator is stilted and robotic.

2 people found this helpful

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  • sonilane
  • 04-07-2018

A very good book!

I really enjoyed this book. It really supports the way I treat my kids in my school.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Renee Sorgenfrie
  • 15-01-2019

One sided

This book is an encouragement for parents to have children play in natural landscapes, yes this is important. Children benefit from these activities by learning problem solving, physical well-being, communication strategies and self confidence. Although as a reader I am left to question how these practices can be instilled in families where outdoor natural play is not available. Consideration needs to be voiced for families who live in an area where safety is a concern, or natural play habitats are not present. The author made clear that artificial play environments will not meet the needs of Unrestricted Outdoor Play therefor what are the outlets for families who are not middle and upper middle-class. This book is great for families of resources, but does not provide alternatives for families without means, transportation, safety in their neighborhood and so forth.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-2020

Should be Required

This should be a required read for all new teachers, daycare providers, OT’s, OTA’s, etc.

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  • Lauren
  • 15-10-2019

A must-read for every parent of young children

This book was such an eye opener. I am passing it on to as many other parents as I can.

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  • LD
  • 09-03-2020

Robotic

Great book and information that has positively affected how I parent but it sounds like it’s being read by a robot!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nathaniel Colquhoun-Butler
  • 20-02-2019

a must read for any human

seriously vital information in an age of poor connection with nature and the outside world