Better Than Pokemon

Pokémon has recently taken the world back by storm with the release of their new app, Pokémon Go. Our house has been swept up in the excitement seeing as The Mister and I both grew up in the original Pokémon generation. I was in second grade when the original Pokémon games for Gameboy were released with the trading cards following close behind so imagine how neat it is that our oldest is experiencing this at close to the same age. We love it! We also love knowing that our kids’ screen time is educational though which is why we try to keep a good balance.

Whether you love it or hate it – or don’t know what it is – Pokémon Go is one of the most popular apps in the world right now. Here are some alternatives created intentionally to foster learning, making them a truly worthwhile time investment. For fun, and since Pokemon’s from Japan, I’ll count the 4 apps in Japanese – Ichi, Ni, San, Go!

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

Pokemon Go Alternative - FarFaria

I like this app because kids can read quietly and be entertained wherever they are. It also gives the entire family access to thousands of books on an iPad, kindle, phone, etc, 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! For example, in a home office, at the park, in the car, 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

Pokemon Go Alternative - Hooked on Phonics

Love Hooked on Phonics at much as I do?

They’ve really brought this time-honored system to the 21st century with this amazing app. It has educational games to keep kids engaged at home or on the phone anywhere. 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. 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

Pokemon Go Alternative - Learn to Mod

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, and even pique mom’s interest. 🙂

Great for Ages 7-13, girls too!

Cost: $29.99

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

Pokemon Go Alternative - GradeSlam

Does your high-schooler need help in 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, as well as 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, busy spells, and for when kids head off to college. For anyone gearing up their juniors for college entrance testing, this is a no – brainer.

Great for: upper school to college ages, tougher subjects

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

I hope I’ve expanded your digital horizons beyond Pokémon today! What apps do you and your family use? Comment below and share the knowledge!

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Raised in Northwest Arkansas with the soul of a Georgia peach, Emily has always seen herself as a southern girl with a passion for the beach. Now, with her three young children, she travels the United States full-time following her husband’s career and her family’s dreams. Join them as she shares their adventures in camper living, healthy lifestyles, and travel schooling.

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