Book Review: 15 Minutes Outside by Rebecca P Cohen

15 Minutes Outside
365 ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids
By Rebecca P Cohen
ISBN: 9781402254369
$29.99 for book & 50 conversation cards

How many of you would like your kids OFF the TV, Video Games, Movies - how about OUT OF THE HOUSE! Right now, it's so beautiful outside. Yes, it's a little nippy (it's been getting down to 29 degrees this week - Brrr) but if you keep jackets, gloves, boots, hats in the garage or by the back door for your family to grab as they head outside they can bundle up and then remove layers as they warm up.

Rebecca P Cohen has a book that was released this last year called "15 Minutes Outside, 365 ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids". In it she lists each month as a separate chapter and then each month has a variety of activities for your family to do together. For instance, in October your family can go on LONG walks (start in 15 minute increments), jump in the leaves, make bubbles, look for "predators" (that's a GREAT word isn't it?), watch for birds flying South (make sure you have binoculars handy - cheap ones are fine), play kick ball or scavenge for sticks and other treasures like "helicopters" (those seed pods that grow on trees) & then show the kids how they can hold them up high and watch them spin to the ground.

In 15 Minutes, Rebecca gives you ideas on HOW to get those kids outside (with you which is the whole idea) without being pushy or nagging. I liked her idea of keeping baskets or cubbies with coats, jackets, gloves, boots, snow pants, hats, etc along with creating a Outdoor Play Kit which contains everything from balls, bubbles, binoculars, etc. I personally would also suggest you keep a journal/sketchbook available for kids who like to draw and observe life outside. I'd also suggest you make each kid responsible for their own things such as: hanging up their own coats, putting the mittens, hats, etc away, making sure their boots are against the wall on a mat or a newspaper to avoiding others tripping over them. If they forget just bring it to their attention and ask them "where do we put our things when we're done with them?". No need to nag, just be consistent and they will learn to do it without reminding. - it helps them learn responsibility and mom/dad shouldn't have to do everything. =D

Rebecca has a handy 50 Outdoor Activities Chart that you can download on her website. It's FREE of course! She also has a Great Show called Get Out Of The House and she gives all kinds of GREAT Low Cost or FREE ideas for outdoor fun!

Here's a Christmas Gift Idea:
Why not download Rebecca's Chart and enlarge it? Laminate it (or frame it) and give it as a give along with a copy of the book and the activity cards.  Give it as a family gift instead of giving each member of the family an individual gift. I can't think of a better holiday or even hostess gift to a family! 

You can purchase the Book & Conversation Cards on Rebecca's Website for $29.99 and download the Chart online. The cards are designed to spark conversation between adults and child. Perfect for family gatherings, road trips and meaningful moments every day. Each card contains an interesting questions, such as "what could we build with what is around us right now?" A portable set of 50 durable laminated circular cards, 3" in diameter & fastened with a stylish clip.

About Rebecca Cohen:
Rebecca is an internationally recognized healthy living expert and the go-to spokesperson for gardening and outdoor activities any time of the year. Rebecca is author of the new book, 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids (Sourcebooks), which was named a "Best new Parenting Book" by Scholastic Parent and Child (April 2011) and host of the television series. Get Out of the House, which shows fun ideas for time outside in every season. In addition, she appears on live morning news shows around the country on the how-to's of gardening and outdoor lifestyle. Rebecca's work has been featured in better Home and Gardens, Parenting, Redbook, Working Mother, Family Circle, Backyard Solutions and and in countless social media outlets.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy the book to review on Holiday Traditions & Gift Ideas. No positive review was required and I wasn't paid any $ for my opinion. Thanks!


  1. I guess this is a must read books since nowadays are hook with techy stuffs that they are not able to enjoy the beauty of nature.

    I stumbled you, my post is No More Saying, "If Only"!

  2. What a shame that parents have to come up with ideas to get their kids outside to play now. When I was growing up and even when my kids were growing up, the problem wasn't getting outside but keeping them inside. My kids, especially my son, would hop on his bike and we wouldn't see him til suppertime. Kids were so much healthier and not so dependent on their parents to entertain them or find entertainment for them. I don't know when all that changed but I'm sure glad I'm not raising kids these days.

    Kathy Adams


Falling Christmas Object Gadget