Angela Hanscom on the Importance of Nature for Kids Health, Happiness & Success!

Listen to the podcast below!



If you have a child that’s struggling at home or at school, with discipline, academics, health, or getting along with other kids, then do we have the balanced and barefoot show for you.

Today I’ll be talking with Angela J. Hanscom, pediatric occupational therapist, founder of Timbernook, an award-winning development and nature based program, and the author of a fantastic new book, I couldn’t put down, Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children.

And that’s just what we’ll be talking about today. About how unrestricted outdoor play makes for strong, confident, and capable children.

That plus we’ll talk about tummy time, spinning caurosels, climbing trees, getting lost, eating dirt, playing in the dark, the power of Alpacas, playing in the rain, why we might want to put our babies out in the cold, the power of spinning, loose parts, and why flying from swingsets, just may be the greatest thrill in the world!

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Angela J. Hanscom is a pediatric occupational therapist and the founder of TimberNook—a developmental nature-based program that has become an international brand. Angela holds a master’s degree in occupational therapy and an undergraduate degree in kinesiology (the study of movement). She has been a frequent contributor to the Washington Post and featured on the NPR education blog, Johnson & Johnson TEDx talks, The Huffington Post, ChicagoNow,Times of India, Jerusalem Post, Children & Nature Network, and MindShift.


Angela Hanscom Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Key Topics:

  • What was happening with Angela’s daughter?
  • Why our expectations for kids are not necessarily developmentally appropriate
  • What’s going on with child development today
  • What has happened to kids core strength and balance skills
  • What is Tummy Time?
  • Why do kids need floor time?
  • What is active play for kids?
  • What’s the importance of crossing the midline
  • What’s container baby syndrome (and what do flat heads have to do with anything)?
  • What’s the harm of restricting children’s movement?
  • What’s the importance of the outdoors?
  • What it means that nature is the ultimate sensory experience
  • What’s wrong with bright colors and things on the wall in classrooms, nursery, and kindergarten
  • What’s wrong with trying to ‘engage’ the child in school
  • Why kids need to climb trees
  • What’s wrong with putting ‘safety first’ for our kids
  • What’s the importance of dirt and what’s the hygiene hypothesis?
  • What we can learn from Lenore Skenazy author of Free Range Kids
  • What’s developmentally appropriate freedom for kids at different ages
  • How spinning improves attention (for students with ADD and ADHD too)
  • What’s wrong with today’s playgrounds
  • What are ‘loose parts’ for kids?
  • What’s wrong with recesses today?
  • What’s the challenge with organized sports for children today?
  • How much outdoor time should parents give kids get at different ages – and how can it help a child’s development?
  • What’s unique about what they do with children in Sweden and Finland?
  • What you should look for in an environment to raise your children
  • Is boredom okay for children
  • What are some of the biggest fears of parents?
  • What is Timbernook?

Related Podcasts:

INSPIRE #190: How to Build Strong Healthy Relationships for Home, Office & Kids! Plus Meditation! (Amy Banks MD, “Wired to Connect”)

INSPIRE #141: What You Need to Know About Electronic Screen-Time Especially if You Have Kids! (Victoria L Dunckley, MD)


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