summer

Pokémon Go Guide for Parents with Young Kids

pokémon go for kids

Everyone is going Pokémon crazy with the release of Nintendo's new app, Pokémon Go. As a parent of little ones, it's important to learn about the pros and cons of this app before letting your kids dive in on the fun. We've been playing for almost a week - for research purposes only, we promise ;) - and have seen the big phenomenon hit the streets of Manhattan and across the country. You've probably heard the news regarding the potential dangers of playing the game or perhaps you've downloaded the app yourself and can't get enough. We've compiled some great tips about how to make Pokémon Go a fun, safe, and educational game to play with your little ones.

Protect Your iTunes or Google Play Password from Your Kids

Pokémon Go is free to download, but there are in-app purchases to buy PokéCoins for different items in the "Shop." These purchases require you to login to your iTunes or Google Play account, so be sure your kids are not able to do so by disabling in-app purchases or keeping your password safe to avoid getting a huge bill at the end of the month. You and your family can still have all the fun for free as long as you play wisely to collect more items from PokéStops.

This app requires cellular data

Photo courtesy of  J House Vlogs  on YouTube

Photo courtesy of J House Vlogs on YouTube

Like many mobile apps, playing Pokémon Go will require use of your cell phone's data, so hopefully you have an unlimited data plan or else you'll probably start receiving texts from your carrier warning you that you've used a majority of your data this month. If you're hitting the max data allowed per month, you may need to have your data turned off until the cycle restarts. Also, this app will do a number on your battery life. Make sure you're fully charged before you head out the door or carry a charger with you.

Make it Fun AND Educational

Playing the app can be rather simple once you understand what to do. You're playing as the Pokémon trainer who collects Pokémon (cute, little "pocket monsters" with unique traits and skills) outside. The app connects to your GPS to show you your location and the whereabouts of Pokémon in the wild, nearby PokéStops, and gyms where you can virtually battle other players. At the end of the day, you and your kids could be walking miles on this virtual scavenger hunt while discovering local landmarks and small businesses that you'd normally never visit. This provides a great opportunity for kids to get outside and explore, with your supervision of course.

When you get to a PokéStop and it's a historical landmark, spend time with your little ones to read about the landmark and start discussions about the history. Playing Pokémon Go during summer vacation can be a fun way to teach your kids about your local surroundings and to provide incentives to take trips to the library or museum for more typical summer learning. You can even use family trips to a local gym or PokéStop as an incentive for finishing a desired task or summer reading.

Always Be Aware of Your Surroundings

According the the AppStore and Google Play store, the recommended age to play is 9+ years due to a warning for "Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence." Our biggest concern is having little kids roaming the streets while looking down at their device ("distracted walking") or being "lured" into a dangerous area, which is why we recommend that a parent or guardian is always present to supervise your children, especially your young ones when playing this app. Recent reports mentioned that players are using the "lures" (a feature used to lure more Pokémon to a location) to plan a robbery or to lure children. Always look up when walking and hold onto your kids when crossing a street or intersection. We recommend playing this game at your local park or an area where there is little traffic.

Another part of the game involves eggs that hatch into new Pokémon. When you collect an egg, you can incubate it by walking a certain distance (2 km, 5km, 10km) to make it hatch. We love that this feature gets you and your whole family outdoors walking instead of indoors on the couch. Different types of locations have different varieties of Pokémon, so you will have plenty of opportunities to explore fun spots with your kids, for example, when you visit a body of water such as a lake or river, you will see more water Pokémon.

It's a Great Way to Make new Friends

Parents playing the app with their little ones will quickly notice they aren't the only ones. When walking to a PokéStop or local museum or library that put out a lure to gather people for an event, you will most likely make a connection with another family. Since school is out, now's the perfect time to get out there and meet other parents and children who have similar interests. It's also a great opportunity to connect with your local area's small business owners and support them by buying the family ice cream or a delicious pizza pie!

Due to the game's diverse players, you're probably going to meet a bunch of families who are also raising bilingual children. This gives your kids a great opportunity to practice speaking in their second language with other children their age.

Language Learning with Pokémon Go

Here at Little Pim, we're all about making language learning fun, easy, and effective for young children. We thought of ways to tie in language learning into the game to keep their brains active all summer long.

Counting

You can have your kids count the number of steps to catch the Pokémon in the foreign language they are learning. If the Pokémon is further away, help them out with the bigger numbers and eventually they will learn all the numbers in the new language.

This app also forces you to learn the metric system as the distance to walk to hatch your eggs is in kilometers you can convert them to miles. A recent article by MentalFloss pointed out that according to Google Trends, searches for “how far is 2 km” and “how far is 5 km” spiked after July 6.

Vocabulary

Create your own flashcard set with a Pokémon Go theme. Choose vocabulary words that you encounter while playing the game, i.e. street, library, tree, ball, catch, throw, as well as all the related animal names you can think of. If you're child is learning Japanese with Little Pim, teach them the 1st Generation Japanese and English Names:

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Explore New Cultures

NYC Cultures

Here in New York City, we have an extraordinary mix of different cultures present within walking distance. For example, you can take a family trip over to Koreatown with your little language learns to get a glimpse of the Korean culture and enjoy the delicious cuisine at an authentic restaurant. Perhaps you'll run into a nice family of native Korean speakers that are also playing the game to spark up a conversation so your child can practice speaking in Korean.

Head over to Little Italy to catch some Pokémon and practice your Italian by pronouncing the various food and restaurant names. Enjoy some delicious Italian cuisine when in the area.

Learn more about NYC's ethnic neighborhoods from BusinessInsider to begin exploring this summer whether you're a local or just visiting.

Have Fun and Be Safe

Outdoor play and social interactions for kids is great, but can also present risks. As a parent of little ones, we recommend you supervise your child's cellphone use and play this fun game by their side. Make it a family activity and take the opportunity to teach your kids about "stranger danger" and the risks of "distracted walking." We hope you enjoyed reading this guide and wish you the best of luck in "catching them all!"

Korean-For-Kids

If you have any other tips for parents playing Pokémon Go with their kids, please comment below. Don't forget that you can also take Little Pim with you during summer vacation with our digital downloads available in 12 languages. Your kids will be speaking a new language in no time with our unique approach. Learn more on our website or contact us during business hours. Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay safe!

Need Summer Travel Tips with Kids? Little Pim to the Rescue!

Tell a parent there's an unanticipated three-hour car ride or plane trip in the near future, and in five minutes flat you'll find a lined bag busting with tissue, snacks, coloring utensils, and the child's comfort item of choice. Relief, however, will be not be found. Why? It takes this bag just to get to the grocery store! If there's one thing capable of infusing fear, hesitancy, and anxiety into an upcoming summer adventure, it's traveling with kids. What we hope is an exciting and restful experience, can often become a melting pot of opposites. Fortunately, Little Pim has come to the rescue!

Not only has Little Pim created learning tools proven to plant seeds of exploration, joy, and an expanded worldview into the youngest of children, the tools offered are as transferable to travel as to an afternoon at home. If you're looking for tips for Summer travel with kids, the following products will do the trick.

language-learning-for-kids

Colorful flashcards

Use these flashcards to familiarize your kids with sights and sounds discovered along your way. Play a guessing game or have your children quiz each other. To play, point to a flashcard and your child has to say the word in the language he or she is learning. If your child is having trouble remembering the word, you can say the word and he or she can point out the card. Before starting, read through the flashcards, pointing to each as your child repeats after you so it sinks into his or her memory.

Reward your child when they get 5 correct with a small treat like a gummy bear for example. Little Pim flashcards are really easy to travel with and make long trips with kids fun & educational for the whole family!

Engaging videos

Thank you, technology! Rest assured your kids are learning while you're resting, enjoying while you're planning, and engaging while you're focusing on what's next. Each of our videos has a unique child friendly theme, such as eating, playtime and feelings. Our Entertainment Immersion Method® is based on how children naturally acquire language.

The videos are segmented into 5-minute episodes to accommodate a young child’s attention span. The more your child watches, the more they learn. Simple sentences are broken down and are reinforced through repetition by native speakers.

Vocabulary scripts

Whether traveling to a foreign country where shopping and touring elicits perfect opportunities to put new languages into practice, or just a state away to visit family, these scripts and companion guides will help your family enjoy not only the vacation, but the book-ending miles. Memorize a conversation and pretend you are in the nation where the language is native. Discuss fun facts about the place.

Little Pim Plush

languages-for-kids

Whether this panda is involved in a learning activity, or your child just needs some comforting to fend off travel-sickness and tears, this plush friend delights to come along.

For more fun tips, products, answers and ideas, please contact us. We look forward to hearing how Little Pim helped replace your stress with rest this Summer!

Helping Your Kids Transition from Summer to School

Summer flew by faster than most of us expected and getting back to our school day routines can actually be exciting for parents. In order to make a smooth transition from vacation mode to strict schedules, we've put together a list of tips to make this as easy as possible. Good luck and happy parenting!

1. Sleep Schedules

Photo credit: Ozyman / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

You may not hear it often but it's time to get back to your old habits! It is important to start getting the kids to bed at a reasonable hour at least two weeks before school begins. This way they will be well adjusted and rested when the first day of school rolls around. Setting morning alarms can also be helpful for those of us that like to sleep in.

2. Adjust Your Eating Habits

Photo credit: theglobalpanorama / Foter / CC BY-SA

Time to get healthy again! We all know that summertime causes our shelves and refrigerators to become full of unhealthy snacks like ice cream and chips. It's time to get your kids back on track. Plan quick and healthy meals that meet their school lunch schedule.

3. Establish a Learning Environment

Photo credit: Holtsman / Foter / CC BY-NC

In case you got carried away like the rest of us, now is your chance to get crafty with your kids at home! Set up a well-lit, quiet study area and make sure your kids become comfortable with the space. Whether it's by using your Little Pim flashcards or simply drawing with a pen and paper, make sure you set aside some time for your children to adapt to a learning environment.

4. Rekindle Friendships

Photo credit: swambo / Foter / CC BY-SA

Children can sometimes be worried about finding friends at school. Schedule play dates with parents and friends that you may have lost touch with over the summer. This way your kids can feel more confident and comfortable in the classroom.

5. Motivate your kids

Photo credit: Jeff Pioquinto, SJ / Foter / CC BY

School is fun and it's important that your kids know! Talking about school will make your kids more confident and encouraged to do their best. Ask questions like: "What are your favorite subjects at school?" "What are your goals this year?" Setting goals is the first step to reaching them.

Staycation: Messy Summer Fun for Families

Summer is in full swing: long sunny days where the sun doesn’t set until late in the evening, and lots of hours to fill entertaining little ones. In some Scandinavian countries, in fact, the sun barely sets at all during July!

But never fear, we have LOTS of great ideas on how to fill those summer hours with plenty of messy summer fun for families, with the added bonus of a small price tag to boot.

In this round up, we have messy projects – the kind kids love, and parents are usually afraid of – but all of these are easily cleaned up as long as they’re done outside. Whether you have a balcony, picnic table in the park, or a grassy yard, we’ve got some messy fun for everyone!

MESSY STAYCATION FUN

Fun Foam Twister

What you’ll need:

  • * Plastic Twister board
  • * Foam soap in a variety of colors or shaving cream and food dye

Honestly, Twister is fun in any season. But you can amp up the laughs for your little ones by using colored foam soap (look for kid-friendly versions usually used in the bathtub) that coordinates with the colored circles on the board. Fill in each circle with the soap.

Then play away! This is guaranteed to be slippery, squeal-worthy, laugh-out-loud fun.

(Can't find foam soap? Simply buy shaving cream, dispense into bowls, then add drops of food coloring to create colored soap foam. Warning: this version may stain light clothing.)

Finish up the game by having everyone run through the sprinklers, hose, or even the shower to clean off.

Variations:

Are your kids too young to know left from right? Use a washable marker to make a red circle on their right hand to differentiate the two.

Make it a bilingual, or trilingual, game by using a language such as French to yell out commands.

Here’s a quick French Twister cheat sheet:

  • Right— Droite
  • Left— Gauche
  • Circle— Cercle
  • Foot— Pied
  • Hand— Main
  • Red— Rouge
  • Blue— Bleu
  • Yellow— Jaune
  • Green— Vert

Ice fossil hunt

What you’ll need:

  • *Large plastic bowl
  • *Cooking Spray
  • *Small toys
  • *Water
  • *Plastic and/or wooden spoons

Note: Make sure you start this one the night before so you’re ready to play on a hot day:

Take a large plastic bowl (make sure it will fit in your freezer) and spray with cooking spray.

Then add an assortment of small plastic and rubber toys; think: dinosaurs, rubber duckies, anything you’d get in a party gift bag or at an arcade.

Then fill the bowl with water and freeze overnight.

The next day, take the bowl to any outdoor location. Unmold (this should be easy after the cooking spray). Hand out plastic or wooden spoons to the kids and let them dig for treasure.

Good, cold, wet fun!

DIY Slime

OK, you’re probably not going to like this one as much as your kids are – but remember, do this outside and clean up will be a breeze (consider lining whatever table you’re using with newspaper or wax paper).

There are a number of DIY Slime recipes around, but the ones that make plastic-y slime usually contain Borax, which isn’t safe for little mouths. This recipe is completely edible (although we don’t recommend eating it – yuck!), and plenty of fun to play with, too.

What you’ll need:

  • Plastic bowls
  • Water
  • Cornstarch
  • Food coloring

In a bowl, combine 1 cup of cornstarch and 1 cup of water. Mix until you have a good and slimy mixture.

Add 1 to 3 drops of food coloring (classic green is always a great starting point).

Repeat with other colors.

Then play away.