Quirk Books Unplug and Play
Quirk Books Unplug and Play

Unplug and Play

By Anthony T. DeBenedet


Publication Date: March 7, 2023

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​​Learn how rough-and-tumble play can nurture close connections, encourage resilience, and boost confidence—with 45 illustrated activities to get you started.

Every kid needs horseplay! Roughhousing is an essential part of childhood development—but it is increasingly overshadowed by screens and structured activities. In Unplug and Play, a doctor and a child psychologist, both dads, introduce parents to the benefits of physical play for young children.

Drawing from gymnastics, martial arts, ballet, team sports, and even animal behavior, the authors present fun full-contact  activities for parents and children to enjoy together, including:

Human Cannonball

Magic Carpet Ride



Raucous Pillow Fight

And more!

With activities for everyone from toddlers to kids ages 12 and up, you’ll build a foundation for a lifetime of enriching physical play.

Previously published as The Art of Roughhousing, this updated edition incorporates new child development research and addresses the changing role of screen time.

About the Author

ANTHONY T. DEBENEDET, M.D. is a practicing physician, behavioral-science enthusiast, and energetic dad. His interviews and writings on play, health, wellness, and behavior have run in multiple major media outlets. He is the author of Playful Intelligence: The Power of Living Lightly in a Serious World (Santa Monica Press, 2018). DeBenedet lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he enjoys spending time with his wife and their three daughters, connecting with friends, and playing a little basketball.

LAWRENCE COHEN is a licensed psychologist, author, and consultant living in Portland, Oregon. Larry is the author of The Opposite of Worry, a book for parents about childhood anxiety and fears, and Playful Parenting, an award-winning book about nurturing close connections, solving behavior problems, and encouraging children's confidence. He is also coauthor, with Michael Thompson and Catherine O'Neill Grace, of Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Friendship, Popularity and Social Cruelty in the Lives of Boys and Girls, and Mom, They're Teasing Me: Helping Children Solve Social Problems. He specializes in children's play and play therapy.

Author Residence: Ann Arbor, MI (AD)/Portland, OR (LC)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 192 pages

Publisher: Quirk Books

Publication Date: March 7, 2023

ISBN: 9781683693499

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