Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fun Ways to Get Outside with the Whole Family (Plus Tips for Pokemon Go)

Biking- We have always loved biking as a family. It is my preferred method of exercise and it is so much fun to be able to take the family with me. 

My youngest daughter isn't big enough to keep up on her balance bike, so we usually end up leaving her home with daddy when we go bike riding. She absolutely HATES it. We looked into getting a trailer, but I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to dragging one around every time we rode bikes. We found this Tyke Toter that allows a toddler or small child to actually ride your bike with you and my daughter absolutely love this.

Tyke Toter is a seat with handle bars that attached to the main frame of an adult bicycle. I love the placement of it. She is right in between my legs so I feel like she is secure, but the placement doesn't disrupt the peddling of the bike at all. She has a little foot rest too. It has really helped us get out and about with out bikes more because the little one can come with us whenever we want to go.

My daughter loves being up front where she can see everything that is going on and it has such a simple installation, that it is easy to remove if I am going biking by myself.

Picnics- My girls love to pull together a picnic and head to the park. We leave a picnic blanket in our car at all times for spontaneous ones. Sometimes we just grab a loaf of French Bread and a pitcher of lemonade! We also love popsicle picnics. I will throw a bunch of popsicles in a cooler with ice packs and then they have something to cool them off while we are playing at the park!

Geocaching. The concept of finding hidden caches left by other people or "Treasure Hunting" as my 7-year-old calls it has really gotten us off the coach and moving around. We use the GPS on our smart phones to look for caches wherever we might be. We keep a small travel soap container in our car with mini treasures in it to trade with whenever we go Geocaching.

Pokémon Go- Pokémon Go is a lot like Geocaching but the prizes are all virtual. My kids love chasing after Pokémon .It has gotten us outside and playing, which I love! There is a screen involved but there is lots of walking or bike riding too! We like to head to a large local area like a park and then designate someone to be the screen watcher. The other people keep their eyes on the surroundings so that nobody walks into anything or anybody.

For those of you new to Pokémon Go, is a game in which you have to physically walk around to catch the Pokémon. After you sign up, the game will show you a live map of where you are and then as you walk around you will be able to find Pokémon and catch them by throwing a Pokéball at it.

There are many different types of Pokémon and each different type has strength and weaknesses. Your phone will buzz when there is a Pokémon nearby. Tap on the Pokémon and you will be taken to the screen where you can throw a Pokéball. There is a circle around the Pokémon that will tell you how easy the Pokémon is to catch. Red is the Hardest, followed by yellow and then green Pokémon are the easiest to catch.

What is a Pokéstop? 

Pokéstops are usually located at local landmarks. Visiting Pokéstops are a way to get items that you need in the game. Go to a Pokéstop and then click on it to activate it and retrieve items such a Pokéballs and eggs.

What is a Gym?

A gym is a place where you can battle other players to gain control of a gym. Pokémon battle one on one. You tap on the enemy for a small attack or tap and hold for a larger attack if your meter is full. You dodge attacks from other Pokémon by swiping left and right. The battle continues until faints.

Some tips for parents about Pokémon Go

  • Make sure that your child chooses a username that doesn't identify them. 
  • Be aware that not everybody has a child friendly user name. 
  • Be care about how much data you are using while you play. Don't go over for a game. 
  • Bring a battery pack. This app is a battery hog for sure. 
  • Go with your kid. Pokéstops and Gyms are places where people go together. You don't know who could be there, so go with them and stay staff. Playing during light hours is also important with this one. 
  • Make sure you have adjusted the settings on in app purchases so they aren't spending without you knowing it. 
  • Make sure to wear good shoes and bring water. It can be a lot of walking! 
  • Designate one person the Pokémon watcher and one person to watch the surroundings. My daughter usually walks with my phone in one hand and my hand in the other, to help keep her safe. 
  • The best way to catch Pokémon quickly is hopping on a bike. We bike from landmark to landmark and then stop and catch out Pokémon. 

Hiking. Since our second daughter was born we have made a bigger effort to go out and hike. We look for easy hikes usually in the 1-2 mile round trip range. We want our two kids to enjoy hiking as a family, not loathe it. Our favorite hikes usually end at a waterfall that our kiddos can play in for a little bit while they cool down from the hike.

Our favorite easy hikes in Utah include:

  • Battlecreek Falls- is a steady incline that is perfect for little hikers. It has a gorgeous falls that is about 3/4 of a mile up from the trailhead. 
  • Bridal Veil Falls- a easy, paved trail this a great one to hit with your bikes or strollers. The kids can play in the water and feed the fish! 
  • Cascade Springs- A gorgeous trail with rivers, fish and waterfalls. It is a stroller friendly hike so perfect for those with littles.  

What do you love to do outside?
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