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Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids
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Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  410 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
What if you got outside every day, and what if you could get your kids to come along? It sounds modest, but the effects, as dynamic outdoor spokesperson Rebecca Cohen herself can testify, are profound. This inspiring collection of activities gives families an idea for every day of the year, requiring little planning, no expertise and relatively little resources (time, cash ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks
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15 Minutes Outside isn't the kind of book you read, it's the kind of book you 'do'. After spending about five minutes reading through some of the intro, paragraphs, the afterword, and skimming some of all that's in between, I'm raring to go. The book contains 365 ideas, organized by season and month, to get you outside with your kids. Wow do we need this. I just wish I'd seen this before New Year's so I, like the author, could also have set our family an outside-every-day-for-a-year resolution. ...more
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did appreciate how this book inspired me to get out of the house more with my children, but was disappointed with the so called 365 ideas. Over 30 of the ideas were to plant something in your garden and there were way too many ideas that said "Ask your kids what they like to do and do it." also I felt like every other idea included roasting s'mores or drinking hot cocoa. I was just expecting a little more creativity and not so much redundancy. I took note of ten ideas to do with my kids...whic ...more
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up on a whim during one of our weekly trips to Barnes & Noble for story time. I needed some inspiration. The winter has been long and cold. For weeks at a stretch the only time we would be outside was to walk from our home to our car, from the car to our destination. I'm a library person who doesn't re-read, so I buy very few of my books in physical format, but I knew this was a reference book, it wouldn't do any good to check-it out from the library and read it, only to r ...more
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give it a 3.5...

I will admit to picking up far more of these kids of books than I actually read. You know, the "it's really easy to make significant life changes by just doing this One Easy Thing." Many of these seem to start out as a blog, though I don't know if this is the case with this one.

The first "do one thing" book I read was Being Julia Child. At the time I was in grad school and had just picked up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking at a planned parenthood book sale in S
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! The author reminds us that getting outside everyday seems daunting, but if you change your mindset and tell yourself it's only for fifteen minutes, it's so much easier to get out there. And most times, once you're out, you don't notice the time fly by. This book is filled with ideas based on the seasons so it's easy to find ideas for any time of year.
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Very inspirational and makes me want to go outside right now. I wish I owned this book. Spent a lot on late fees at the library.
Maria Gross
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the fresh ideas in this book. It was a good reminder that there are things to do outside even if it is too hot, or too cold, or just has to dress correctly! This book is geared for kids up to probably about grade 5, although some classic ideas like gardening ideas are good for all ages. Some of the ideas were more on the preschool side, but nonetheless, there were enough ideas that I haven't thought of that I enjoyed the read. I really don't like to go outside too much if i ...more
Cindy Hudson
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Going outside everyday with your kids is easier than you think, and there are lots of good reasons to do so. That’s the premise of a new book by gardening and outdoor lifestyle expert Rebecca P. Cohen. Frustrated that the demands of her business and daily life kept her from spending as much time with her two young sons as she wanted, Cohen made a commitment that she would spend at least 15 minutes outside with them every day.

Even when the weather was extremely cold or very hot, Cohen stuck to th
Lenore Webb
But even we run out of things to keep us outside and that is why I really have enjoyed reading a new book that was lent to us. 15 Minutes Outside : 365 ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids by Rebecca P. Cohen is a wonderful book packed with ideas to get you and your kids outside and moving no matter the weather. Rebecca shares her story of how she got the idea to get her kids out everyday and took a leap of faith to change jobs after 15 years.

In this book she has ideas for eve
Lori Calabrese
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We all want to get out of the house and connect with our kids, but admit it, sometimes as parents, our creative juices just aren't flowing. That's where Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids comes in.

This book is the perfect resource for any parent who just wants to get out there and nurture their kids with a little nature. And if you're not sure what to do, no sweat. Rebecca Cohen lays out a great plan with an idea for every day of the year. It sou
Jun 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is one of those books that is more valuable for the mindset or perspective it helps you achieve than for the actual content, itself. Organized into monthly sections, Fifteen Minutes Outside offers bite-sized practical ideas for getting your kids outside for at least fifteen minutes every day.

Many of the activities are all-too-familiar to rate this book worth purchasing, but the concept is worthy, and the sheer amount of proposed activities so vast, that you can't help but crave some fresh
Suppose your New Year's Resolution was to spend just 15 minutes outside with your kids every day through the year? Author Rebecca Cohen did just that -- and it had such great impact on her and her family that she wants to help as many families as she can start their own outdoor experiences.

She has a website: and a relevision series: Get Out of the House.

I too am an enthusiast of outdoor time with family (even though our family's "sports" are theater and dance so it's obviou
Mary Ann
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My poor two-year-old has been deprived of going outside a lot because I just had no idea what to do with a toddler in cold and hot weather. And little motivation myself (especially when pregnant with my second). This book was a reminder to me of how much fun I had when I was outside as a kid, and that with very little effort I can get my kids outside every day even if it is just for 15 minutes. I have not read every page verbatim yet, but I like what I've read so far and think it will get refere ...more
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book was so repetitive. Many of the activities were repeated numerous times, some even in every single month. Also, some of the activities were really dumb, such as breathe easy. It was just standing outside and breathing in the cold air to see your breath. My kid would not enjoy that because she would get bored easy with some of these activities.

There were some activities that did sound fun and I jotted down, but overall, there wasn't many activities actually in the book since so many of th
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Touches on a goal I have had for quite some time, and has given me the inspiration to actually make the goal official. I created a Pinterest board with many of the resources (mostly websites) she recommends throughout the book, along with other things I run across that will be helpful for inspiration, encouragement, and learning about nature. I also started recording our journey with photographs to share with others... I want my children (and myself) to enjoy the outdoors, and look at this as a ...more
Rachel B
May 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mindful
This book is broken down by season, which I thought was great - when you need an idea, it's quick to flip to the section that is relevant. A few of the specific ideas were also creative, but most were quite generic, like "Take a nature walk", and the book is very repetitive. "Take a nature walk in the winter", "Take a nature walk in the fall", etc.

There were little nuggets here and there that I enjoyed, and I think they simply would have been better if condensed and made into a blog post, or ev
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If my kids were younger this would definitely be a book I would own. It has lots of fun, new, unique ideas for getting out and about and most of them don't cost a thing! I LOVE that she includes variety in the actvities as well as times of day to get outside, many of the activities are related to children's book and LOTS of applicable websites for information and more ideas. I thought an over-abundance of activities related to gardening, (makes sense since she's a gardener) but many of the other ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for families with young children in an effort to spend quality time outside. Definitely need to buy this and/or give as gifts to keep on hand with the plethora of ideas to change up your routine or improve upon it. The gardening with children tips are very helpful and thorough for the DIYers. Most of the ideas are free or requires minimal money for useful reusable items. I can't wait to grow my peas in a teepee shape with long sticks so my daughter has a shady hideout while ...more
I liked this book overall. I thought the tips, tricks and ideas in the sidebars and text boxes were especially useful. Many of the activities become redundant, and many more I already knew to do because of my own outdoor-friendly upbringing. Still, for parents new to the outdoors or seeking information and new ideas on getting their kids outdoors, this is a useful book. I would definitely recommend it to any friends who aren't sure where to start.
Ok, I didn't read this entire book, but I skimmed it. I really like the idea of a mandatory 15 minutes outside everyday, even in the winter. I personally love evening walks and hope to eventually make it a family event when the time between dinner and bedtime isn't so hectic.

There are some good ideas in this book. It'd be nice to own this book (my copy is from the library) to that I could just pick it up and glance through when in need of some inspiration.
Jul 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awful
borrow, do not buy it, if you must absolutely read it. I thought it would have a list of fun games that I never heard of before. What I found was a pretty bad list of "look at mushrooms." She has her own blog. I'm sure you could get this list for free there as well...I mean if you are into looking at mushrooms.
Jun 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-parts
I read through the list of ideas. I found the ideas too general to be motivating for me, especially on hot, humid days where 15 minutes will mean a sunburn for me, or zero degree days. Also, I felt that the ideas were more for kids older than 2 and 4. I don't see taking my kids on a walk in the freezing cold being fun for anyone.
Christie Angleton
One of my goals for the new school year is to provide the parents of my students with resources for getting their kids away from screens and out into nature. While I found this book to be just okay for the most part, it is a quick and easy, accessible read that I think will be attractive to parents who need ideas for outdoor play with kids.
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family, kids
Lots of good ideas for spending time outside. Some don't work as well depending on where you live. For instance finding a swimming hole instead of going to the pool won't work for us because we live in Kansas. Also it's a bit of a drive around here to get to any National Parks to do anything, but still I think a very good book overall.
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book to reference from time to time when looking for ideas to do with the kids outside. The book is divided into seasons and months. Some of the ideas wouldn't work for my family, but I thought it nice to focus on the need for our children to get out every day, even for just a little while. I'll keep this on my shelf for many years to come.
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has so many wonderful ideas! The author not only gives you reasons why being outside with your kids is a good idea but she splits the book into the different months of the year with multiple activities for each one. I'm always looking for new creative and fun things to do with my kids and this book is great!
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I liked the idea of this book. My kids are a little old for a lot of these suggestions. It would be great for age 6 and younger. The way she wrote a lot of these ideas, I makes me think she is over stimulating her kids and they are not able to just sit still for a couple minutes, but that they ALWAYS have to be doing or thinking something.
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book to get ideas for year round outdoor activities that aren't as obvious as go for a nature walk, make footprints in the snow, have a picnic, etc. I skimmed it because we already spend a lot of time outdoors, but we are going to make a poster with our favorite ideas for each season.
May 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Glad I checked this out of the library. Too many ideas were similar- lots of planting, making s'mores, etc.
That being said I did get some helpful websites from it and some new ideas to try out, just not as many as I would have hoped. Also the idea of getting out for 15 minutes every single day despite the weather seems like a great goal to have for everyone in the family.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I didn't read the whole book word-for-word, I really like the concept of the book and would definitely read more in detail if I owned it (hard to remember 365 activities when you only have 3 weeks to read it before it's due back at the library). Nice reference book for ideas to get out and enjoy time with the kids.
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