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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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Robot Narrator?

Content and delivery is anxiety-inducing. Skip this audiobook and enjoy a walk outside instead.

2 people found this helpful

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Nature literacy in children.

This book has been carefully cultivated to re-introduce why nature is a fundamental to little ones. It dives into all aspects that nature fosters. From the development of cognitive milestones to the behavior and self image of a child, nature organically instills in children. Barefooted and Balanced, is highly recommended to all who deal with children from all walks of life.

1 person found this helpful

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So informative

It has helped me see things from my child's point of view and has reminded me that I have to let go of control some times. Love this book!

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  • Patrick R. Quinn
  • 2016-08-12

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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  • D S
  • 2019-07-23

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Skiffgirl
  • 2016-12-01

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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  • Renee Sorgenfrie
  • 2019-01-15

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • sonilane
  • 2018-07-04

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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  • Shelby Butrum
  • 2022-05-18

Very informative

I couldn’t stop listening to this book! It was filled with so much good information, studies, and ideas for getting out more with kids and the benefits! 100% recommend!

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  • Elysiana
  • 2022-05-13

Read while pregnant!

I wish I read this book while I was pregnant. As much as it talks about older kids and toddlers, it also has great information on newborns and babies❤️

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  • Joe Dascenzo
  • 2022-03-29

Hope and practical steps to getting outside

The content of Balanced and Barefoot provided hope for an alternative to our tech-filled lives. Filled with practical steps to prioritizing outdoor time, Angela makes this task approachable and doable.

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  • Meredith M
  • 2021-12-13

A must listen for every care giver

Absolutely loved this book as encouragement for our parenting journey. My husband and I listened to it together. Rebecca Mitchell did an amazing job narrating, but really wish Angela J. Hanscom would have after listening to her passion on the subject during a podcast.

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  • Dana L.
  • 2021-08-07

Nature Play Expert and Advocate

The book has a combination of research, data, opinions, and tips and suggestions that advocate for nature play from an Occupational Therapist, Mother, and founder of an outdoor forest school. I recommend the book for Elementary teachers and administrators — as well as advocates for OPAL - Outdoor Play And Learning.