Playful Parenting

  • Interview with Playful Parenting author, Larry Cohen
  • Playful Parenting Tips
  • Parents in Action: Playful parenting
  • Playful Parenting Audiobook | Lawrence J. Cohen
  • LoveParenting: Peaceful/ Playful Parenting example with three kids behind-the-scenes.
  • Free Audio Book Preview ~ Purposeful Parenting ~ Jean Barnes
  • Playful Parenting and the Growth of Our Children’s Relational Capacities
  • Dr. Lawrence Cohen on Reconnecting with Children
  • Playful Parenting
Amazon Price: $16.00 $10.36 You save: $5.64 (35%). (as of April 23, 2018 12:36 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Have you ever stepped back to watch what really goes on when your children play? As psychologist Lawrence J. Cohen points out, play is children’s way of exploring the world, communicating deep feelings, getting close to those they care about, working through stressful situations, and simply blowing off steam. That’s why “playful parenting” is so important and so successful in building strong, close bonds between parents and children. Through play we join our kids in their world–and help them to

• Express and understand complex emotions
• Break through shyness, anger, and fear
• Empower themselves and respect diversity
• Play their way through sibling rivalry
• Cooperate without power struggles

From eliciting a giggle during baby’s first game of peekaboo to cracking jokes with a teenager while hanging out at the mall, Playful Parenting is a complete guide to using play to raise confident children. Written with love and humor, brimming with good advice and revealing anecdotes, and grounded in the latest research, this book will make you laugh even as it makes you wise in the ways of being an effective, enthusiastic parent.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345442865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345442864
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces

Customer Reviews

I finally managed to restore the beautiful relationship with my son

22 people found this helpful.
 on April 9, 2016
By Bill Stan
This book was a revelation for me. It has immensely improved my relationship with my son and probably saved us resentment and miscommunication.

Life Changer For My Parenting and Attitude

6 people found this helpful.
 on January 9, 2018
By Chris10
This book is wonderful! The mindset of playful parenting has brought such joy not only to my kids and family but to ME as well.

A fun and effective way to look at childcare

5 people found this helpful.
 on February 17, 2013
By Trixie
This book is great, and points out the emotional and psychological necessity of play to children. Written by a play therapist and father, he has a good understanding of the benefits. This book shows how play can benefit and help both troubled and traumatized children, and healthy children dealing with daily stresses.

A great tool to have in your belt

8 people found this helpful.
 on April 9, 2013
By Bob Heddle
The best endorsement I can give to this book is to simply relate a story that my wife told me.


7 people found this helpful.
 on March 14, 2012
By Mary Lee
This book is exactly what I was hoping it would be and even more besides. It’s an easy read, there’s not too much child psych lingo, and it’s entertaining.

Great ideas.

7 people found this helpful.
 on December 30, 2013
By The Steadfast Reader
Overall I really liked this book. It gives some incredible tips on becoming more engaged with our children and how play is the language that our children use to express and deal with big and small hurts, disappointments, and trauma. It’s definitely an extremely kid-centric theory of parenting. Much of the advice that Cohen gives is actually quite intuitive when you stop to think about it.

From a dad to his daughter

2 people found this helpful.
 on December 20, 2014
By pamoon
I have bought this book as a Christmas gift to my daughter and her husband because they have just become parents. I considered myself to be a very playful dad and want to encourage them to do so too. I very much liked a radio interview I heard on National Public Radio discussing the book with the author. You can hear the delightful podcast of that interview at NPR’s website and searching for “what-kids-can-learn-from-a-water-balloon-fight”

easy ways to solve behavior problems and to get connected

27 people found this helpful.
 on December 30, 2001
By ChristineMM
This book is excellent, so much more than what I had expected. A must-read for all parents.

Terrific..a valuable parenting resource!

10 people found this helpful.
 on December 10, 2007
By Donna Ross
I got more out of this book than I thought I would. I was expecting some hints on playing with small children. But the idea of play as a form of therapy had never crossed my mind. But I am delighted that it did. My son is nearly 5 and suffers with social phobia and selective mutism. With that in mind I jumped ahead to the chapter on ‘Encourage their confidence’ and discovered the “Poopyhead game”. What a fabulously fun way to give a child a bit of power in such a safe way. I tried it with two 5 yr olds. One quiet and shy, the other boisterous and confident. They got to break a funny rule and laugh at me. They felt was obvious. These kids got that from a completely non physical game. I went from there to the chapter on ‘Learn to roughhouse’. My husband plays it with our son, but I wanted some ideas on it for me as this is said to be a wonderful confidence game for shy kids. Well I got a few rules to help create a safe environment and an insight into the emotions attached to the game – playfullness, confidence, determination and power to name but a few, and how I might bring those out. Add to that the connections based on love and trust and it’s a winning conbination. I then flicked ahead to the chapter on discipline. I certainly expected (and got) a non smacking approach..but was different, and it worked! I’m used to using ‘time-out’ with varied success. My son reacts to that just how the author writes it. Word for word. So I gave this new approach a try. Success. The idea of instilling good judgement with clear limits from a young age is empowering to kids and builds confidence. It also lends itself very easily to prevention rather than cure. I’ve had the book for about one week. I’ve tried a few new approaches to parenting from the book, and for my son it has switched on the power within. This socially phobic child has attended a pre-school Christmas party (approx 60 people), a visit to a friends house (10 poeple)and sat alone on Santa’s knee for a chat and photo for the first time. He did all this with an enthusiasm and confidence unseen in him. I am bursting with pride at his achievements of the last week and our household is much happier and calmer for it. I’ve still got much more reading to do and am loving the new stratedgies to manage time old parenting issues. My only criticism is that the reading can be a bit heavy going at times. For a book about play, it’s not what I would call a light read. But really, it’s certainly worth persisting to find the gems within, and I’m looking forward to it.

Great approach to raising healthy, happy, and confident kids!

3 people found this helpful.
 on March 12, 2014
By Rose S. Chang
This book, written by a play therapist, introduces parents to the power of play for connecting with your children. Parents and kids benefit by unlocking the power of play to help kids address big feelings, and learn how to manage life’s upsets. The author gives many examples for playing with kids – so even if you are short on ideas, you will learn some of the best ways to reach your child. I have used many of the tips with my 5 y.o. and find them very effective. He is learning how to manage his frustration and solve problems effectively, and I am learning how to manage my frustration as well!