by Anthony T. DeBenedet, MD & Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD

Quirk Books, $14.95, 192 pages

Some of childhood’s best memories involve roughhousing – wrestling, pillow fights, and jumping off beds. In a new book titled The Art of Roughhousing, Dr. Anthony DeBenedet and licensed psychologist Lawrence Cohen present the benefits of horseplay and include dozens of illustrated activities for parents and children to enjoy together. The authors define roughhousing as play that flows with spontaneity, improvisation, and joy. It’s physical, interactive, and rowdy. And according to the authors, you’ll have a better relationship with your child if you add some roughhousing horseplay into your daily routine. In Knock Your Socks Off, sit in a circle with socked feet in the middle. On “go”, try to yank off other people’s socks while keeping your socks safely on your feet. Last one left with a sock on wins! Other games involve lifting your child (if you can’t raise a suitcase into a plane’s overhead compartment, skip these). Safety tips are provided. As gym classes and recess time gets shorter in schools, kids need an outlet to release tension and stress. Why not play with your child to help build confidence, activate creativity, and form a special bond between you and your child. It’s something they’ll remember forever.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin