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Book Review: Fifteen Minutes Outside-365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect With Your Kids

All those years ago when our family started implementing the idea to go outside for just fifteen minutes at a time, we could never have imagined all the things we would find to learn about and enjoy as we spent just a little time each day together in our own backyard.


Rebecca Cohen has written a gem of a book, Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids, which explores this idea even more as she made a promise to herself to get outside for at least fifteen minutes each day for an entire year…no matter the weather.

By month and season, Rebecca Cohen gives the reader a  comprehensive list of things to actually do outdoors during those fifteen minutes outside, providing suggestions to make it more enjoyable.

“Going outside with my family every day has changed my life. Instead of frantically running from task to task, I have learned to use the spaces in my schedule to look around, breathe deeply, and live in the moment.”
Rebecca Cohen – 15 Minutes Outside

These monthly lists form the heart of this book and will inspire families for many years…no more wondering what to do outside or how to entice your children into stepping outdoors with you. You can keep this book handy and reference it on those days where you just don’t feel like going outside but know that once you do you will be refreshed.

As a family, we are naturally happier when we are outside, learning and active together. It doesn’t feel like a chore.”
Rebecca Cohen – 15 Minutes Outside

Don’t miss the opportunity to give these ideas a try. Currently the price of this book on Amazon.com is $10.19…..what a bargain. She has a free download list of  “50 Outdoor Activities for Busy Families” that you can use to get you started.

My copy of this book has found a spot on my nature shelf and its pages are marked and highlighted with things I want to try with my boys. Although the book is aimed at younger children, I found quite a few ideas to explore with my teens.

Rebecca aimed to keep the activities in this book simple, little or no cost, and to be enjoyed every day of the year. I think she hit the mark and this book will help nature loving families to enrich their time outdoors without much extra effort. Thanks Rebecca!


Along with the book, she has a wonderful product that I know you are going to love! She has created Curiosity Cards for you to use as starting points for conversations that can take place anywhere. These laminated cards on a ring can be stowed easily in a purse, backpack, or hooked to a stroller. I recently took these on a day trip with my family and we made use of the cards as a way to stimulate meaningful conversations about thoughts, emotions, dreams for the future, and just plain getting to know each other better.

  • What would you like do more of every day?
  • Find two things that feel different from each other.
  • Look for animal tracks or signs of animals.
  • What game could we make up right now?

These Curiosity Cards are a gem and I give them a big thumbs up for my fellow nature loving families. You will use these for a long time in your family.

Don’t miss Rebecca’s website: Rebecca Plants. Here you will find lots of encouragement for getting outdoors with your family, including a whole series of videos to watch.

Rebecca has generously offered to supply a copy of the 15 Minutes Outside book to one of my readers. Use the Rafflecopter gadget to enter a random drawing for one copy of this exciting book. Hurry and enter the giveaway before midnight 7/27/12 and I will announce the winner over the weekend.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that I was not paid for this review but I did receive the book and Curiosity Cards for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Rebecca’s products are a perfect compliment to the 
Outdoor Hour Challenge!

42 thoughts on “Book Review: Fifteen Minutes Outside-365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect With Your Kids

  1. We go outside most everyday to play, and we almost always find a bit of nature to study while we’re there.

  2. We go outside a lot (we were out yesterday!), but sometimes we just look at each other because we don’t know what to do. At least we’re getting some Vitamin D.

  3. Nature is our favorite place to be. We love nature walks and nature photography. I love seeing my kids eyes light up at each new discovery. They find things outdoors and always have me be their own personal search engine to look up all the info on it. I love their curiosity and love for nature!!

  4. We love the outdoors but don’t seem to find or make the time to get out and enjoy it much…this would be a big help in the idea department 😀

  5. This looks like a great book, Barb! I’m always looking for creative ideas to make me actually get outside — or really, to make the girls get outside! When the weather is not so hot, that’ll be a lot easier!

  6. Yesterday I rigged an outdoor shower for her to get wet with on the hot day.

  7. Today I spent 15 minutes outside with my children and one of the neighbor kids. It’s amazing–since our family spends so much time outside, this little boy always wants to be outside when he is over here. 🙂

  8. I went outside yesterday with my boys. We went to the park, which also happens to be a dog park, where we made new friends and had the opportunity to see and ask about many different canine breeds. I must admit that I do lack on getting out in bad weather, and this book sounds like a great motivator to get out and get creative year round!

  9. We went outside this morning to check on the garden, pick veggies, and turn the compost. Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. 15 minutes? all 6 of us together? that hasn’t happened for months.

  11. We get out almost every day no matter what the weather. We have had plenty of rainy day walks!

  12. The last time was probably when we went to the local pool to cool off. I would love to get outside more often!

  13. Well, my younger two were in the baby pool with me on Friday but the big kids don’t want to join in 🙁

  14. 4th of July fireworks! :/ I think we need this book!

  15. Always open to fresh ideas!

  16. We fed our chickens and the new kittens today!

  17. We went outside yesterday evening and splashed in puddles for around 20 minutes. 🙂

  18. We were outside at the park this morning playing in the splash pad. Yesterday morning we had a nice rain storm and we went outside and the kids played in the rain. We try to get outside everyday.

  19. We did this morning! I enjoy doing Morning Time outside. I love how we can listen to the birds or watch them, or watch the clouds – just observe as we get our school day started.

  20. I truly want to get the kids out more…this book sounds like it would a great encouragement..

  21. Right now… they are always finding bugs!!!

  22. We live by the beach and go there quite often. We love to hunt for sea glass and take a peek by the rocks to see what is living there.

  23. My daughters and I went for a 60 minutes nature walk yesterday…even in the rain. 🙂 We had much fun looking at very unique “weeds”.

  24. The heat here is unbelievable and it’s not even the dog days of August yet. I think the last time I was outside with my children for 15 minutes was last spring 🙁

  25. My three little ones (4yrs, 2yrs, 12 months) were out this week for an hour or so in our large back yard. It was a fun treat as it has been so hot or raining. We had an “adventure” walking all around examining bugs, bushes, trees, stumps, etc.

  26. It been a couple months unless you count going to camp with my youngest! But I do have them go outside daily. I’m just not always with them, but probably should be.

  27. We haven’t been out this week much due to the weather and day camp for my oldest. We did recently enjoy a trip to the north shore of MN though!

  28. We go outside every day, but we live on a farm so it’s easy for me to spend that time working and not just enjoying my children. Thanks for the reminder!!!

  29. We are actually outside most of our day- my boys even play with their toys on the back porch. They are often found toad hunting or watching the birds that land in the ponds behind us. This books sounds wonderful!

  30. This looks like a great help!

  31. We don’t get out as often as I would like. Yesterday, we were out in our garden.

  32. We love to randomly run outside and look for caterpillars in our butterfly garden!

  33. Just this morning when we all went out to weed our planter.

  34. Just today! It was hot, but we found all sorts of treasures!!!

  35. I could do better on this – the WITH part – but today we were examining our fennel plant for more Black Swallowtail caterpillars and found three!

  36. Would love to win the book!

  37. My boys love doing nature studies, because they don’t see it as “school work”. Their love of nature was evident as we entertained ourselves by identifying all of the varieties of trees around us, while climbing up numerous slide towers at Water Country USA yesterday. And people around us were amused that we allowed yellow jackets to lite on our bare skin. Why not? I cannot think of a better way to study them, lol.

  38. Today! We get out there almost everyday, but we always do the same things…I would love some fresh ideas!

  39. My everyday goal is a walk with my littles and that often takes more than 15 minutes! As well, we have at least one outside time alotted per day and we have started nature journals to record what we see, smell, and hear! Nature is an amazing teacher!

  40. We go outside everyday, but often it is difficult for me to keep them outside. Some new ideas would be a big help!

  41. Yesterday, actually. We go outside nearly every day. I do, however, need to spend more time being *with* them, instead of daydreaming and ignoring them while they dig for bugs. But I don’t like bugs, so I daydream. 😉

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