The Power of Parent-Child Play

“Moms and Dads, you will be re-energized, renewed, and revitalized by bringing joy and accomplishment to playing with your children. Laurie Sargent gives you practical tools you can use now! Laurie gives us what we need–a fresh plan for bonding and enhancing our relationship with our children through play.”  Director of the Center for Counseling and Health Resources,  and best-selling author,   Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D.


Autographed, Hardcover.



It’s no surprise that experts believe parent-child play is good for families. But do you ever feel too busy or tired to play? Do you ever feel guilty if a game of Candy Land is not your idea of a good time, or feel exasperation when personalities clash in the midst of family fun?

In The Power of Parent-Child Play, Laurie Winslow Sargent tackles these issues with honesty, humor, and practical advice. “5-Minute-Fun” activities will help you connect with, teach and nurture your children, and can help reduce the need to discipline while inspiring more joy-filled parenting.

The author’s unique perspective on play is influenced by her former work in psychiatric and developmental occupational therapy, her parenting magazine article research, and her experience raising three children.  Much of the material in this book was previously published by Sargent in articles in national magazines, including Parenting, Christian Parenting Today, reaching 300,000 to a million readers.

This book was originally published by Tyndale House Publishers. Remainder copies were purchased and for sale now by the author. 


Table of Contents

Introduction: Parent-child play does not come easily to all parents, at all times!

Part 1: Play Benefits and Barriers

Chapter 1: One-Size-Fits-All?  The Variety of Ways to Play

Chapter 2: What Gets in the Way?  An Overview of Barriers

Chapter 3: Why Try?  Benefits of Play

Chapter 4: Derailing Tantrums and Defiance:  Connecting Discipline and Play

Part 2: Identifying and Overcoming Struggles

Chapter 5: Maybe Later, Dear:  Time and Energy Barriers

Chapter 6: Pampers, Proms, and Beyond:  Understanding Developmental Differences for Play at Any Age

Chapter 7: But We’re So Different!  Understanding How Personality Affects Play

Chapter 8: I Don’t Feel like Playing:  Finding More Enthusiasm and Joy in Play

Chapter 9: What Else Is Happening under My Roof?   The Effect of Family Stress on Play

Part 3: Harnessing Your Resources

Chapter 10: Chores Are Done, Time for Fun!  Nurturing Kids Self-Reliance and Helpfulness

Chapter 11: Find the Best, Chuck the Rest!  Getting the Most from Toys, Games, and Other Play Tools

Chapter 12: ABC and Do-Re-Mi:  Using Play to Teach

Chapter 13: Time to Get Out! Or Stay In?   Using Local Resources, from Museums to Moms Groups

Chapter 14: Playing Far from Home:  Family Adventures

Chapter 15: Make Memories!  Establishing or Renewing a Playful Home

Resources for Parents
Index of Activities
Questions for Reflection
End Notes



Publishers Weekly: “Parenting may be serious business, but publishers haven’t forgotten the role of fun. Tyndale’s The Power of Parent-Child Play by child development and occupational therapy expert Laurie Winslow Sargent (Apr.) focuses on creative play that yields closer relationships with kids.” (Excerpted from Securing the Ties that Bind by Cindy Crosby, Publishers Weekly, Jun 30 ’03)

The Old Schoolhouse: “The Power of Parent-Child Play is highly recommended for all parents! As a homeschooling mother of two, one of whom is handicapped, I can honestly say that I just don’t play with my children as much as I should. Oh, I teach them, feed them, clean them, read to them, and talk at them – but how much time do each of us spend really “relating” with the children?

When the homeschooling is finished for the day, the meals are cooked, and the house is cleaned, there just isn’t very much of me left to go around. Some days, if I am honest, there isn’t anything at all left, let alone the energy to play! The Power of Parent-Child Play addresses this issue and so much more. . . ” [Teri Lucas, TOS Magazine, 2003)

Dr. Mary Manz Simon: “In our hyperspeed world, it’s especially important to take the time and make the effort to nurture our children through their natural means of learning: play. That’s the heart of The Power of Parent-Child Play. Laurie Winslow Sargent has done an excellent job of presenting the theory and practice of developmentally appropriate play. I especially like the sections of “5 Minute Fun”, which offer practical ideas. This is worth a serious read, so you can have more fun playing with your child.”

Sherwood. E. Wirt, Editor Emeritus, Decision Magazine: “The Power of Parent-Child Play by Laurie Sargent is more than a psychological study in child behavior. It is a fascinating description of child-rearing that works. The candid way she describes her own home, and her deep insight into the personalities of growing children, cause people like me to wish the Lord would “make me a child again, just for tonight.”

For Sargent’s Presentations:

Shari Rusch, M.Ed: “Laurie Sargent speaks from personal and professional experience about raising healthy children. Her conversational style and warm personality draws audience members in and keeps them riveted throughout her presentations. Individuals will listen, learn, laugh and get involved with Laurie’s exciting presentations. Every child will benefit from their parents, teachers and/or caregivers hearing Laurie’s message of inspiration about raising loving, confident children.”

L. Daniel, M.Ed., School Counselor : “Laurie Sargent receives my highest recommendation!  Laurie has a wealth of knowledge both on a professional level and as the mother of three great kids.  She helps parents understand that each child is individual and unique.  Laurie has a sunny, outgoing and friendly personality that makes her exciting and motivating to listen to.

Prior to counseling I was a classroom teacher, reading specialist and ESL teacher. Since I have been in education for the past 14 years I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of families, and I am always on the lookout for parenting tips and ideas that are effective with children so that I could pass them on to families. I have truly enjoyed and benefited from Laurie’s knowledge, enthusiasm and her genuine need to help all parents be the best at our most important job – raising our children!”


Can you relate? What are your thoughts on this? I'd love for you to COMMENT.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.