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Inspiring Blog

January 28, 2020

It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since I wrote 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids. Daily time outside ended up being as much for me as it was for my kids, and I’ve seen the enduring positive ways daily fresh air continues to impact our choices. Here are ten ways that we still connect to the outdoors (even on those gray cold days when you’d prefer to be...

September 29, 2019


Would your family like to give back just by reading?

Join mothers and sisters Author Rebecca P. Cohen and Illustrator Marni Penning Coleman in this wonderful new program of giving back...

...and share the joy of reading with your little explorers ages 2-8, encouraging their imagination and learning about the world with PJ! 

When you gather nine families to order books, $1 from every book sold will go to th...

July 18, 2019

My boys, who were 5 and 7 when I wrote 15 Minutes Outside and who inspired PJ's Backyard Adventures, are now 15 and 17. I always hoped that they would continue to spend summers outside and find rewarding ways to learn about themselves. Seeing their choices unfold continues to give me hope for the future and evidence that time outside, whether alone or with others, helps us grow.

My teens have chosen different summe...

May 10, 2019

In my experience as a mom, bridging the gap between end of the school year and the start of the next is much easier when kids are learning through play.

The outdoors is a natural teacher, and we know that play is serious work. In play, children are following their curiosity and imagination with self-guided learning in every moment. As we know, Summer is an amazing time for play.

What if kids had the ability to play...

April 4, 2019

Recently, I was asked to share my journey with Welcome to Washington International, a group of women from all over the world who live in and around Washington, D.C.

In reflecting on what to share with the group, I wanted to offer the parts of my story that are more unknown and what has influenced me beyond what most people see.

Being open to new experiences and getting out of my comfort zone have yielded moments of...

August 31, 2018

When I tell parents I am the author of 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids a lot of parents ask, “Could you write a book that will help my teenager get outside?”

Believe it or not, my 5 and 7 year olds whom I wrote about are now teenagers. I am grateful to have seen how our daily outside time through their early years has helped their perspectives and choices into young a...

January 26, 2018

This week, I read aloud PJ's Backyard Adventures: Play at a Paris Playground (about a real playground in Paris!) to groups of two, three, four, and five year olds. The different ways little ones engage with this book is something not always found in traditional early readers. Because the book has fun layers to it, I can see how each child learns. The process is really cool to witness; I'm watch...

May 24, 2017

We lead busy lives, and sometimes it is tough to feel like you have enough time to spend time outside with your kiddos every day. As I wrote about in 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids, many times I was the obstacle to making sure we got our dose of fresh air daily. 

Not only is time outside good for us, but also a wonderful parenting tool that can actually make our live...

February 2, 2017

Finally, the days are getting a bit longer. Perhaps I’ve gotten over the hump of the darkest mornings and early evenings when I am always yearning for light.  I started reflecting on other bits of gratitude I can notice with the leaves off the trees to shift my mood when I need it most. I hope this list helps you too.

  1. Watch the sunrise. Every day it is different. Some days you may not see it at all. Notice when...

December 31, 2016

Get a breath of fresh air for 2017, and reflect on the impact time outside can have for you in the coming year with today's The Notable Woman Podcast.

Host Cristin Downs interviews me and my sister, Marni Penning Coleman, illustrator of PJ's Backyard Adventures in a great 30 minute episode. Hear the story of how we came to work together as author an illustrator and a how my children's early reader book series...

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