A Parent’s Guide to Playing Pokémon Go With Kids
While Pokémon Go is geared towards adults and teens, many parents play it with their kids as well. Yesterday I helped my kindergarten set it up and we spent the day in the park looking for Pikachu. There are some safety concerns, but there is a lot of potential for exercise and learning.
If you’re still not sure what this game is about, read our article. This is a free game in which you walk around places in the real world to collect in-game items and characters. You can catch Pokemon characters just about anywhere, but if you want them to fight, you have to head to real-life locations called gyms. Supply stops and gyms are usually located in libraries, churches and parks.
Find out which parts of the game are age appropriate
So that the child can get the most out of the game, it really helps if he can read and do simple math. You can read them the instructions at the beginning, but they will continue to encounter creatures and objects that have names and characteristics.
To attract toddlers and preschoolers, you can play this game yourself and offer your child the opportunity to help him with every poke-check. They may also try to throw Poké Balls to catch the Pokémon you find. This job takes some skill, but if you have enough Poke Balls, why not give them some practice?
When children are old enough to have their own phones and transportation, they are certainly old enough to play the game unaided, but now you have to worry about where they are going and whether they are paying attention to their surroundings. More on this later.
Set up your phone to play Pokémon Go
You can of course install Pokémon Go on your phone, but if you pass it on to a happy Pokémon child, you may never get it back. Instead, see if you have an older phone or tablet with GPS functionality. Even if it only has Wi-Fi and not a cellular data connection, you can still play the game.
You can do this, of course, by sticking to areas with Wi-Fi. You can even catch a Pokemon from the comfort of your home. Or you can use your own phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot if your data plan allows you and your kids to travel PokéStops together. Keep in mind that the iPod Touch does not have GPS, so it needs to connect to fixed Wi-Fi hotspots (not your phone’s hotspot) to know its location.
Since Pokémon Go has many options for spending real money, you can limit in-app purchases. IPhone has an option to disable in-app purchases . On Android, make sure your phone is set to ask for a password with every purchase (and don’t forget the password).
I go even further by using my kids’ phones. I have a one-time google account just for their games and I don’t enter a credit card to pay. I just buy Play Store gift cards, so if they somehow find a way to spend the money, the worst they can do is pour $ 25 off their account.
Getting Started with Your Child and Google Account
The first thing the app does is ask for your date of birth. In adults, it then asks if you want to log in with your Google account or with your Pokémon Trainer account. For children (13 and under), it does not offer Google as an option. Unfortunately, as the Pokémon servers are currently overloaded, it may not be possible to create a Pokémon Trainer account. You can create a bogus Google account (technically owned by you, the parent) and force them to log in that way.
Once you get started, you can customize your avatar and then it’s time to catch your starter Pokemon. (You don’t have to wander to do this.) If your kid’s heart is tuned to Pikachu, there is reportedly an Easter egg that allows you to catch Pikachu as a starter . In fact, catching the little guy can be tricky, so remind him that you can always go looking for the wild Pikachu later.
Stay safe – especially around baits
Remember everything you taught your child how to keep track of where he goes, hold hands near busy roads, and look both ways when crossing streets or parking lots? They are going to completely forget about it all when their eyes are on the phone. It’s worth talking to them a bit before they get hit by a car about how to be careful and how we might be going to put in place a few more rules – like only crossing the street when their phone is in our pocket, maybe.
If your child is old enough to wander on their own, remember that they can now walk without paying attention to their surroundings (even if they promise to be careful). You can rethink the rules in this case too: do you still agree that she goes to the same places that she is usually allowed to?
Lures complicate things a little from the parent’s point of view. The player can set a decoy to attract Pokémon for 30 minutes, but since these decoys are visible to nearby players, they can also lure people . It can be fun: a group of kids can catch Pokémon together, or a library or museum can prepare baits to attract people to the event. It can also be related to parents. Who is exhibiting this bait and why?
Someone can create bait to attract children for nefarious purposes – maybe a potential bully or just a bully from the area.
Be sure to ask your child who they encountered while playing games. You don’t need to panic, but it might be worth getting back to talking about how to recognize people and situations that might be unsafe .
Have fun and learn something
Wandering may be the most frustrating part of playing Pokémon Go, but it’s also what makes it worthwhile. How many video games have built-in exercises, education, and opportunities to learn about art and the natural world?
Exercise for granted: for example, you need to walk to incubate eggs. Driving doesn’t count and the app knows the difference. Parks often have many PokéStops located close to each other, so even if you have to travel to get there, you can stroll to monuments, statues and historical signs to collect supplies and find new Pokémon. There are different Pokémon in different places. I caught a goldfish like a goldfish near the lake today.
But that’s not all. Many PokéStops are located in interesting places, including historical monuments. Yesterday my son and I visited the cannon in the cemetery (dedicated to the war memorial) and the chestnut nursery in the park. I drove past these trees a million times, not knowing what it was, but the signs explained how the chestnuts in the area were destroyed by fungus, and the park workers tried to protect some of the trees so they could reach maturity.
While walking, you may even come across real animals. Some wildlife experts on Twitter are now following the #PokeBlitz hashtag to help you identify birds, beetles, snakes, plants, and other items you might find when searching for Pokemon.
There are so many interests in the game that it’s natural for family walks. And since you can play it almost anywhere, it is suitable for both city walks and nature walks. Rest assured of safety, but remember to have fun.