Category Archives: Educational Apps

4 Apps Safer Than Pokemon Go

Pokeman Go Almost Causes International Incident

Two Canadian teens got so  absorbed in their Pokemon Go game they walked right across the United States border without even being aware of it. Fortunately the border agent who apprehended them was open to their explanation and reunited them with their mother. 

4 Apps Better Than Pokemon Go
Canadian Border, Ontario, Courtesy of Pixabay.

This kind of absorption in a game has certain dangers. Yes, Pokemon Go  does get kids out into the real world and they get more exercise.  Police report, though, that it’s not good for children, especially younger children who might be playing alone, to alert strangers to where they will be. Some incidents have already been reported.

If  children trying to catch the Pokemon can cross an international border without knowing it, they are not very aware of their surroundings. Some children have been robbed and attacked when playing Pokemon Go alone in unfamiliar surroundings. Others have been injured by falling into holes they didn’t see. One was on a skateboard, lost in the game, and cut himself. And he was 21. I don’t want to think about teens (or adults) who might play while driving. But I digress.

 Whether you love the game or hate it Pokemon Go is currently one of the most popular apps in the world. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s the best use of your children’s time. Here are some alternatives that will foster learning, entertain your children, and make good use of their time. For fun, and since Pokemon’s from Japan, I’ll count the 4 apps in Japanese – Ichi, Ni, San, Go!

Ichi (One): Have story time anywhere with the FarFaria App

4 Apps Better Than Pokemon Go

I like this app because kids can read quietly and entertain themselves  wherever they are. It also gives the entire family access to thousands of books on an their mobile devices, so there are options for all ages! Turn screen time into story time with this “Netflix for Children’s Books” app. It’s great to be able to save books to the app so they can be read offline anywhere. You will have it in the doctor’s waiting room, in the car as you run errands, in your home office, and, of course, at bedtime.

Great for: Ages 2-9

Cost: For a limited time, $19.99 (Save $20!)

Ni (Two): Improve reading skills with the Hooked on Phonics App

4 Apps Better Than Pokemon Go

Remember Hooked on Phonics?  Has it ever changed!

This awesome app  has brought the outstanding phonics program we remember into the 21st century . It has educational games to keep kids engaged at home or on the phone —  wherever your child is. I love that it syncs children’s progress to all devices – so if Dad is on the road he’s up to speed on the kids’ progress, and if you don’t have the iPad around, you can just download the app, sign in, and have the kids pick up right where they left off. It’s seamless.

Great for: Ages 2-8

Cost: For a limited time, $29.99 (Save $20)

San (Three): Learn coding skills with the browser-based Learn to Mod program

4 Apps Better Than Pokemon Go

Do your kids love video games and winning badges? Use that to get them coding! The Learn to Mod program is a browser-based software that teaches kids how to “mod” Minecraft with both Blockly and Javascript (neither of which I understand, but there you have it). The program includes hundreds of video lessons, puzzles, and quizzes that get kids learning this impressive skill while having fun. The cool badges keep them coming back for more.  I wish it had been there for me when I was much younger. It’s never too early today to learn to code.

Great for Ages 7-13, both boys and girls.

Cost: $29.99

Go! (Four): Need help with homework help? Use the GradeSlam app and ask a tutor!

4 Apps Better Than Pokemon Go

Does your high schooler need help with a particular subject? Are you strapped for time to help with homework? There’s an app for that! GradeSlam provides 24/7 tutoring in all subjects to students in middle and high school, and even in college. With their award winning chat-based tutoring platform, your kids can access tutors anytime they (or you) need. This is a perfect supplement for subject matter beyond your scope. It’s really handy when you’re too busy to help, or when kids head off to college. It’s perfect for anyone gearing up their juniors for college entrance testing.

This will help secondary, and even  college students , with their tougher subjects.

Cost: For a limited time, get a whole year for $99  (save $81!)

I hope I’ve given you  some alternatives to Pokemon Go today that will keep your children entertained and SAFE,  while advancing their education.

 What apps do you and your family use? Please comment below and share your knowledge!