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Activities / Colorado Livin'

‘Just 20 Minutes Outside’–Fun outdoor activities for improving Denver kids’ physical and mental health

outdoor fun ideas

With summer in full swing, Generation Wild’s “Just 20 Minutes Outside” campaign hits close to home for Denver kids.

The Children’s Hospital Colorado declared a “State of Emergency” for Youth Mental Health and research shows that cases of depression, anxiety, sleep-related issues and other behavioral problems have become more prevalent in kids during the pandemic.

 Fortunately, research also shows there is at least one thing parents can do to ease these mental health strains: get kids outside. Today, Generation Wild, a movement created by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to reconnect kids with nature by increasing the amount of time they spend outside in unstructured play, is launching a “Just 20 Minutes Outside” campaign to directly address the role time outside can play in helping to alleviate the mental health issues affecting kids both during the pandemic and beyond. 

Just 20 Minutes Outside

Summer Monster :30 ENG from Generation Wild on Vimeo.

The campaign is launching with a striking video that takes the idea that all kids, at some time or another, turn into little monsters and that just 20 minutes outside turns them back into a kid again, and seeks to spread the word to parents about the importance of making sure kids get a healthy amount of outdoor playtime. A downloadable, printable and trackable list, available in English and Spanish, provides inspiration.

Generation Wild’s list of 20 ideas offers easy, fun and attainable ways to get kids outside for 20 minutes each day that doesn’t require spendy camping gear or a long drive to the mountains. The list’s imaginative and unique suggestions include Host a Mud Party, Go on a Color Scavenger Hunt, Play Flashlight Tag, Create a Bike Obstacle Course, Paint with Water on the Sidewalk, Go on a Micro Hike and more.

Need a few supplies?  Dicfeos 2-pack magnifying glass is super cheap (and scratch-resistant and shatterproof).  This Ultimate Critter Box Habitat Kit for indoor/outdoor insect collecting includes a net and tweezers, and kids will love watching their winged friends visit their glass hummingbird feeder with 5 feeding stations. 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy. 

Colorado Summer Vacation Guide Additional Resources

Colorado Family Vacation Guide 2021

Denver Summer Activity Guide (200+ ideas)

Crested Butte’s Mountain Paradise for Families

Royal Gorge: The Ultimate Colorado Escape for Denver Families (with the coolest lodge in Colorado)

10 Best Places to Camp in Colorado

Kids Guide to Camping in Colorado’s Mountain Towns

Colorado’s Top Five Lodging Suggestions

25 great fishing ponds in Denver

Denver’s best biking trails for kids

15 Fun and Quirky Roadside Attractions in Colorado

Winter Park in the Summertime

Best of Summer – Visit Leadville and Twin Lakes 

Top 10 Summer Adventures for Colorado Families

2019 Summer Vacation in Colorado: 75+ ideas for families

Colorado Summer Vacation Guide

2019 Denver Summer Activity Guide (150+ ideas!)

Family travel: Top 8 Family Vacations

Guide to Denver’s Splash Parks and Spray Fountains

Best Hikes for Kids in the Denver area

Where to pull of I-70 when you’re stuck in traffic (fun activities and restaurants)

10 of Colorado’s most scenic waterfall hikes

10 Beautiful Places in Colorado You Didn’t Know About

Borrow a Colorado State Parks Pass from Your Library

Yurt Village at Snow Mountain Ranch is Star-lit Fun

Cool Off This Summer at Colorado’s Best Beaches

A Local’s Guide to Gunnison’s Magical Summers

Best Denver-area Parks for Beginner Trail Runners (and hikers)

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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