When the weather is warm, it’s a pity to see the kids sitting around inside in front of the computer or a video game. As a tech savvy society, believe it or not, both worlds can unite (that’s the tech world and the outside world).
Let’s take a look at a few GPS activities for kids, where technology can actually encourage the kids to get out for some fresh air.
The first couple of tips I would like to share are a bit on the educational side. Education can be fun with an Android phone, a sense of adventure and a little fresh air!
Learn About The Sky
You can use your Android phone to stargaze. I ran into this app called Sky Map which is an astronomy app for Android users. Here is a video about it :
It apparently uses Android’s GPS, compass data and date and time to make it work. The idea here is that you can begin stargazing with your children as an educational and fun hobby that will bring everyone outdoors without all of the books and charts. Very cool if you ask me.
Use Wikipedia To Plan A Field Trip
Who doesn’t remember going on field trips as a kid? I remember looking forward to the trips because it meant a break from class, some fresh air and an adventure. With the Quickpedia app you can find places nearby to take a trip to.
With the option to discover Wikipedia entries nearby, you’ll be sure to find something worth checking out and learning about with the kids.
This app could also work while on a long road trip and you want to take a quick detour to take a break. You can check for nearby entries and see if there’s an adventure worth taking the kids on. And yes, Wikipedia can be fun.
The next few GPS activities for kids are some ideas for having fun. They can be educational too but the bend is more towards getting fresh air, exercise, and having an adventure.
High Tech Follow The Leader
Another way you can use your Android phone to arouse the kids’ interest in the outdoors is an app called “My Tracks”.
You could actually make a cool game out of it. Have someone making the trip to record it and then play follow-the-leader and have everyone else try to follow the same path, wherever it leads. Depending on the path taken, this could be interesting.
Use My Maps Editor for your Android phone and set up a geophoto hunt. The My Maps tab in Google Maps allows you to customize your own personal maps. My Maps Editor, which is free in the Android Market, allows you to modify your personal maps on the go using your Android phone.
Using this app you can map out a route of places or objects as you go. My advice? Map a route with specific points along the way and have them find the places or objects using the GPS coordinates alone. Have them pose for a picture at each point. The challenge from this game should prove to be very fun for all.
Create Your Own Geocaching Adventure
Take that last idea a step further. Ryan just did an article about geocaching using his new Android phone so I won’t go into it again except to say that you can take that idea and make your own personalized geocaching adventure.
Give them the GPS coordinates to the first location where they’d have to look for the container containing the coordinates to the next location. This will make it a private affair and will give you more control over how the containers are hidden and what they may find in the containers.
Any way you do it, with today’s technology we can now get the children excited about getting outside. In the warmer months, drag the kids away from the screens of the televisions, video games and computers and let them get some fresh air and exercise and maybe even learn a thing or two.
What ways have you used technology to get children outside?