Limiting screen time is a summertime challenge for many families. What if there was a way to make technology work for you and encourage your family to be active together? Good news: there is. Apps can encourage your family to discover nature, exercise together, and provide you with safe and fun fitness challenges. Here are seven of the best apps for active families.
- NFL Play 60. This app allows your child to earn points through physical activity. Players run, jump, or complete challenges along with an online character while holding the phone. Activity earns coins players can spend on unlocking characters or buying NFL team gear. Part of the NFL PLay 60 challenge, the app uses games to encourage exercise.
- 7 Minute Workout Challenge. Quick bursts of exercise are one way to maximize your workout and boost your activity level throughout the day. The seven minute workout challenge combines twelve high-intensity exercises that provide a maximum fitness benefit. See how you do, and encourage your children to participate with you.
- Out-A-Bout. An app that encourages early literacy, physical activity, and parent-child interaction? Sounds like a win. Designed for preschoolers, Out-A-Bout prompts you and your children to perform outdoor physical activities such as running, jumping, or climbing. Take pictures of your child performing each step, and the app incorporates them into a simple story and picture book to read with your child.
- Iron Kids. Developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Iron Kids is a workout and training app for children eight years old and up. Nine different exercises help budding athletes safely exercise and build strength, balance, and flexibility. Some exercises require light weights and a mat.
- Super Stretch Yoga. This app guides children into following twelve simple yoga poses and encourages them to move, stretch, and breathe. Use it with your children for a quick endorphin boost or for an exercise break.
- Geocaching. Turn your next walk into a scavenger hunt with geocaching. Geocaching uses a set of real-world GPS coordinates to guide players to a hidden container (a geocache) at that location. Caches can be found on sidewalks, playgrounds, and state or national parks. Check the app to find locations near you.
- Leafsnap. Ever been stumped by your child’s request to identify a leaf or tree found on your walk? Leafsnap is an electronic field guide developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. The app identifies trees from photos of the tree’s leaves and includes beautiful photography of different fruits, leaves, flowers, seeds, and bark.
End the screen-time battles by using these apps to boost your family’s activity level. Using technology to have fun and stay fit as a family? That’s a win for everyone.