Pokemon Go! Have you heard of it? Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few weeks, I’m sure you have. In case you never played Pokemon as a child, this is a twist on the original game where you go out into the real world--off the couch--and hunt various Pokemon.
You’re probably wondering what that has to do with family time though, right? Well, you may be surprised to hear that there are a lot of ways that Pokemon Go can be fun for the whole family to enjoy together!
15 Have an Adventure!
The biggest thing about Pokemon Go is the adventure aspect of it all. You can go out around your neighborhood and explore to find new PokeStops, Pokemon, and Gyms to battle in. Kids LOVE adventure, and they’ll love a family adventure to find new places. In fact, adventure is the name of the game, because you’ll run out of Pokeballs and other items if you don’t get out there and get some exploration done.
When visiting PokeStops, it’s a great time to take in some new sights and learn more about the community you live in. Check out the local science museum and see what you can catch there. Make a mundane ordinary trip to Target an adventure, walk through the store for a while and catch some Pokemon.
Your kids will get a kick out of it just as much as you will. Don’t believe me? It’s the same thing as letting a kid play Candy Crush with you, only this is way more interactive and you might even find that you get into the game too.
14 Catch ‘Em All!
The goal in just about any Pokemon game is to collect the adorable little animals known as Pocket Monsters, or Pokemon. Yes, all of them. Pokemon Go has the original line up of Pokemon out on it, but they’re planning to expand, and when they do, the game will get much more interesting.
Kids will love the collection aspect of the game as much as they will love the adventuring. They’ll get excited when they see that grey silhouette of a Pokemon that you’ve never encountered before, and will be eager to help you capture it!
It’s a good activity for teaching kids about counting and numbers. Ask your child after a good day of catching Pokemon to tell you how many they think you guys caught. Then tell them how many you actually caught. Keep track of the numbers and watch as your numbers go up! Your little one will be surprised as you start getting numbers in the fifties and higher!
13 Free Family Fun
One of the best things about Pokemon Go is the fact that it’s free! You don’t have to spend a dime to enjoy this activity with your family! Especially since everything costs money nowadays, having a free activity to do is something that many families are thrilled about. If you want to put some money into the game, you can, but it’s far from necessary because the game does not require it.
A fun, free way to make Pokemon Go into an all-day activity for your family is to plan a picnic, and head to a local park that has PokeStops. Have a picnic lunch at the park, go for a PokeWalk for items, and head to the playground for even more fun. Kids love spending time with you doing something you enjoy, so they’ll really love the one-on-one time they get with you!
12 Dress Up, Let Them Become Pokemon Masters! (Or Pokemon!)
Kids love to dress up. It’s a fact. If you give your kids dress up clothes, they’re usually thrilled to throw them on and play pretend. Well, you can do this with Pokemon Go too! Gather up some supplies to make a Pokemon Trainer costume, then get your kids dressed up. Give them some plastic Pokeballs too, and let their imaginations run wild!
The TV show, Pokemon, has a trainer named Ash Ketchum, and he wears a very basic outfit. A blue overshirt, a black t-shirt, and blue jean pants with sneakers. He also has a red and white ballcap with a sign on it, which changes every season. Matching his outfit isn’t hard at all for you to do for your little ones on a budget!
And there are other outfits as well, just check out the plethora of Pokemon trainer characters to choose from! Your kids can dress as a new trainer every day of the week! Some people have even made Team Rocket costumes to go play!
11 Good for Exercise!
In order to get anything to happen in this game, you have to walk. You want to catch Pokemon? Walk around outside. You need to hatch an egg? Walk. This game promotes good exercise and physical activity, and that’s something that so many games today are lacking. It’s very rare to see games that promote physical activity to this extent, and it’s worked!
People are out in droves trying to catch Pokemon, walking around and exploring their neighborhoods!
As with any outdoor activity, make sure to be safe. Dress appropriately for the weather, keep hydrated, and pay attention to your surroundings. As long as you stay safe and hydrated, though, this activity can help to burn calories in a fun way. And it can help keep kids off the couch and up, active, and walking, which is always a good thing in this day and age.
Young children should always be supervised when exploring somewhere where they can get lost, like a busy mall, theme park or crowded street.
10 Businesses Are Getting In On It!
I’ve seen countless pictures of various businesses getting in on the Pokemon Go craze, and offering specials and deals to patrons who are at a certain level when they shop in these stores. I saw a pizza place offering a free pizza to anyone who is levels 13 and 15 in the game.
That’s a MEAL to a family! Froyo places are doing the same, as are other places all across the US. In Japan there’s a deal with McDonald’s where every single McD’s in Japan will become a PokeStop or a Gym.
As awesome as that is alone, there’s even some places going the extra mile and requesting that their place of business become a PokeStop, to draw in more players. With that will come more specials and deals just for players, which means more freebies for you! Your whole family will be able to get in on the action when it comes to this aspect of it.
9 Have a Poke Party!
You and your mom friends can make this a trip for everyone! Gather up all of your Pokemon trainers, low leveled or not, and get a group together to take a trip out. Walk to the park as a group, explore a zoo or science center, and while you’re out and about catching ‘em all, learn something at the same time! It’s totally worth it to travel in groups for something like this.
There’s strength in numbers, and some swear by traveling in groups of 3 or more for safety reasons when out doing anything in some neighborhoods. Either way, be observant of your surroundings and keep a close eye on your little ones as you go out exploring. And this game is super fun in numbers, also.
The more people playing, the more fun it can be, simply due to the amount of teamwork necessary to find rare Pokemon and alerting everyone else about it too. However, remember to stay safe in all aspects of game play. That includes the following points.
8 Don’t Play and Drive
This should be obvious, but with the accidents that have been happening because people have been playing the game while driving, apparently it’s not. Don’t play this game and drive. Honestly, you really shouldn’t be on your phone at all when driving, but that happens on occasion. Sometimes, important phone calls come when you're just not able to get off the road.
I admit it, I've taken a quick call while driving when it was important, but anything where your focus has to be fully lifted from the road and placed on something else, in this case a game, is not something to do while driving.
If you’re driving, you can hand the phone over to an older child and teach them to hit the PokeStops if you want someone to do that, but don’t endanger yourself, your kids, or others by playing Pokemon Go and driving. Catching that Pikachu is not worth killing someone. If you really need to do something really quickly on the phone, whether it’s playing this game or otherwise, pull over off the road and park the car to do it. Stay safe.
7 Stay Hydrated
In this summer heat, it’s easy to get dehydrated outside while looking for new Pokemon. Don’t let that happen to you! If you know you’re going to be out for a long walk, bring bottles of water with you. Freeze them in the freezer and let them melt gradually for ice cold water while on the go, and bring extra, because on long walks you are going to definitely need it.
Stay out of the heat, if it’s getting too hot, but if you’re going to be walking, be sure to bring other items to help with the heat and sun, such as sunscreen, bug repellent, comfortable shoes and a hat. Keep in mind that the heat will tire out little ones a lot faster than it will an adult, so definitely keep them hydrated, more so than yourself even.
6 Stay Aware
You’ve probably seen the news reports of people who got hurt playing Pokemon Go because they didn’t pay attention while playing this game. Don’t be like those people. That’s literally the easiest way to put it. These people walked into oncoming traffic, and some have even walked off cliffs for crying out loud.
They’re so engrossed in this game that they're not interacting with the outside world, and that is not ok. The loading screen of the game even tells you to stay aware of your surroundings.
Always be aware of your surroundings, and make sure your kids are being careful as well. Watch for traffic and changes in terrain as you walk. Be mindful of the wildlife and other things in the area. You can’t catch all the Pokemon if you’re hurt, so take care of yourself and your kids out there. Remember to be mindful of things like rivers, drop off spots in the land, and other things that can hurt you.
5 Don’t Break the Law
This one might surprise you, but apparently this is a real thing and goes beyond playing while driving. Don’t go onto other people’s property to hunt for Pokemon. Stay out of 'No Trespassing' areas, and don’t go or do anything that would equate to you breaking a law. Pokemon is not worth breaking the law and getting trespassing charges. The law is the law, it’s not worth breaking to get a Charmelion.
If you do get stopped by the police while playing, remain calm and be polite. Follow their directions, and leave peacefully if you are on private property. Be mindful of the public property you are on, as well. Don’t leave your trash lying around, clean up after yourself. Throw away your garbage, don’t mark up bridges or wildlife with graffiti.
Set a good example for your kids and they will remember it, and follow your lead. After the day is said and done, though, your kids may be tired, and ready for some food and crafts. We’ve got you covered there, too!
4 Pokemon Pizza
Start off with a main course, and you can do one that every member of the family often loves--pizza! Start out with a round crust, you can buy pre-made if you want to, and add sauce and cheese. Then on one half, more cheese, and the other, cover in pepperoni.
The goal is to make it look like a Pokeball. Take some olives, and line the middle with them to make the black line that goes down the middle of a Pokeball. Cook, and serve!
This won’t look perfect, but kids will love helping you cook this beautiful pizza pie! And it’s tasty as well! If you don’t like olives, you can always go for using something else in the center, such as sausage, but it won’t look quite the same. Either way, kids will adore this cooking craft!
3 Pokeball Cookies
These are as yummy as they are simple to make. Make circular shaped sugar cookies, and bake them. Allow them to cool, then take red and white decorative icing to make the colors of the Pokeball. Use black decorating icing to make the center of the Pokeball, and allow to dry. If you want, find some of the grey M&Ms that come out seasonally, and use a dab of white icing to cement it in place.
Kids love cookies, and these will make a perfect dessert after a long day of Pokemon hunting! These travel well too, so bag a few up and take them with you to your next Pokemon hunt for a quick, sweet pick me up that everyone will enjoy! These go well with milkshakes, milk, and all kinds of different drinks, such as coffee if you happen to be caffeine deprived.
2 Pokemon Printable Pages
Not so much a craft, but still a fun way to pass the time after a long hunt. There are numerous sites that have free Pokemon coloring pages on them, just take some time to print them out, and put them aside for whenever the kids need to unwind and want to sit and color for a while. You can even get in on the fun and print out some coloring pages for yourself as well.
Coloring is a great stress reducer, and it can lead to other art activities. You can take an art page and line parts with glitter to make an interesting design. Or you can take it and use paints to see how the picture changes with different art mediums. The art field is all about creativity so you can do just about anything. Just allow your imagination to run free, your heart to run wild, and get out the markers and crayons.
1 Pokeball Ornaments
We all know Christmas is just around the corner, for those of you who celebrate this holiday and love this game enough, there are some DIY crafts for making Pokeball Ornaments for your Christmas tree! All it takes is some paint and patience.
Get the colors you’ll need, and some clear plastic or white plastic ornaments. Paint the balls in the way you want them to look. For classic Pokeballs you’ll want the red and white design, but for others you can do far more than that, and will need a lot more paint.
These Pokeballs can be a cute decoration for your holiday tree, and can even be used after the holidays as decoration in various ways if you’re so inclined, which is why plastic is best for crafts like these. You can even add glitter to add a touch of sparkle!
You can make Pokemon Go into family friendly fun that everyone can enjoy and get into! It’s awesome that it promotes healthiness in people of all ages. However, you still need to be safe about it, that’s for sure. As long as you and your family are safe about it though there is no reason why everyone cannot enjoy this activity together!
Do you play Pokemon Go? What level are you? What team are you? Tell us in the comments!