Angela Hanscom is an entrepreneur, author, pediatric occupational therapist, and mom of two creative children. After spending years observing and working with children with behavioral issues and sensory deprivations, Angela wondered if these issues could be remediated and even prevented through more playtime in the great outdoors. She put her ideas into practice by developing and running an experimental nature program in her own backyard, with the hope of reconnecting children to nature at an early age. What she saw was inspiring. Today, TimberNook has grown into an internationally recognized program to get children playing outdoors.
Angela holds a master's degree in occupational therapy (OT) and an undergraduate degree in kinesiology (the study of movement) with a concentration in health fitness. She specializes in pediatric occupational therapy, especially in vestibular (balance) treatment and sensory integration.
1. Allow Children to Develop
To allow children at least a few hours of free play outdoors everyday in order to foster healthy development of their sensory and motor skills.
2. Child Freedom
To trust their children to have some independence with their play outdoors. It is important for children to have freedom to explore and play on their own - unhindered by adult fears to gain competence and confidence.
3. Go Outdoors
To enjoy the outdoors with your children by taking family time to go canoeing, kayaking, hiking, walking, camping, fishing, boating, skiing, and other outdoor adventures no matter what age the child is.
4. Stay Moving!
To fight for children to have adequate time to move throughout the day - both at home and at school.
5. Simple Schedule
To keep their schedules in the afternoons, after a long day of school, simple - allow for plenty of playtime.
Thank you to Angela Hanscom for taking the time to answer our question and big shout out to Timbernook - an amazing initiative that naturally supports childhood development through outdoor exploration.