Even the best summer routine can run out of steam. In just 15 minutes
moms can jump start learning, bust boredom and find a little time to relax.
Author, Connie Sokol, shares her strategy.
What can 15 minutes do in a day? Lots! Jumpstart fun, education, or chill time
for mom and children with this little-known secret.
1.Fifteen minutes for education. During the summer kids can lose anywhere
from one to three grade levels of reading or math. Just 15 minutes a day can
help keep the brain cells stimulated in fun ways. Use educational software
such as Leap Frog or Advantage for online ease and specific grade levels, or
use colorful workbooks. My kids know to do this before any “fun”—they move
forward on their reading, math, and science, and I have zero guilt. You can
also do easy science experiments, choosing from hundreds online with
ingredients right in your cupboard. For example, set a timer and start a
contest for who can create the strongest egg carrier from paper, toothpicks,
and glue. Or kids can make a simple puppet show of a favorite story by using
a spring-load rod, a stairway, and a curtain.
2. Fifteen minutes of impromptu fun. Make a 15-minute Fun Jar. Kids
brainstorm fun activities like karaoke or art activities. Keep it super simple.
Give them a prop or cardboard box and say make a commercial, skit, or new
invention in 15 minutes. For example, when my kids pulled out “Make a
commercial,” I put them in two teams and gave them a few handy props to
choose from (TV remote and a binky). They made hilarious commercials
which I filmed with my iPhone. Simple, easy, fun. The beauty is not only are
they creatively busy AND working with their siblings, but it elongated the 15
minutes to an hour and I got the kitchen cleaned and put my feet up after.
Perfect! More fun ideas are at http://simplemom.net/20-indoor-activities-
3. Fifteen minutes to get physical. Remind your children their limbs actually
function. Have them walk the dog, play a water game outside, or play tag
(ameoba tag, freeze tag, lots of kinds online), even inside if it’s too hot.
Research shows that just 15 minutes can improve your child’s attention span,
ability to stay on task, G.P.A., and behavior.
4. Fifteen minutes for Mom! Do a hobby, read a book, or do something non-
productive and fun. Have one of your kids babysit, wait until naptime, or put
on an educational movie and simply rest. We love Bill Nye the Science Guy
movies, and hey, those are 30 minutes long. When you’re done, they’re
happy and more knowledgeable and I’m rested and more fun-loving. Who
This summer, discover the power of 15 fabulous minutes and you will be a
happier, healthier, and hip mother!
Connie Sokol is the mother of seven and just released her new romance
novel, Caribbean Crossroads. She is a speaker, blog contributor for
“Motherhood Matters” on KSL.com, and author of several other books
including Motherhood Matters, and Faithful, Fit & Fabulous. For tips,
podcasts, and products visit www.conniesokol.com.