Monday, April 25, 2011

15 Minutes Outside

After realizing she was not giving her family the rich experience of enjoying the great outdoors, Rebecca Cohen made an important resolution for herself and her family: to get outside for a few minutes every single day. On the surface, that seems like a pretty easy resolution, after all, it's only fifteen minutes. Until you to get to the Every. Single. Day. part of that resolution. That's a lot of cold, wet and snowy days, not to mention lazy mom days.     

When it comes to getting outside, I'm full of good intentions, and poor follow through. Warm, summer days are easy, but in the winter I am easily sidetracked by cups of coffee and board games spread out on the rug in front of the fire. It's just too easy to stay indoors and the minimal effort it takes to remain on the couch. But this book fights back by making it fun and easy to get your bums outdoors with a minimum of fuss or thought. 

I give Rebecca a lot of credit for sticking with her resolution and getting out there - and then writing this to give everyone else a hand! To help on harried days, she composed a list of fifty easy outdoor activities and posted it by their back door. The activities in this book are designed to be simple and low cost. You won't need fancy equipment or special clothing. I like that the book is divided into months of the year, with a weather appropriate outdoor suggestion for every single day in that month, for a total of 365 outdoor ideas. That organization makes it simple to pick up book, flip to the appropriate month and select an activity to try. Cool, huh?

But she doesn't just list thirty items in a boring column. Each one is a small paragraph explaining why the activity is worth doing or how her family had fun with it. For May, some of the suggestions are to invite birds into your garden with bird feeders, host an informal garden tea party, play kickball with the whole family, or check on your seedlings in the garden. One of my favorites was setting up a clear bag with dirt, worms and table scraps, then watching the compost break down. 

Of course, I thought some of her ideas were better than others, but that is to be expected in a book of this nature. Overall, I loved the concept, her enthusiasm and the outdoor activities she provided. We will be putting this book to good use - starting this month! 

Review copy provided by Sourcebooks. 

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