Your kids have probably not stopped talking about this new app, and you are probably wondering what all the fuss is about. The game turns the area around you into a magical world through the lens of your smartphone. By physically walking around to different locations, the goal is to find and capture Pokémon, which can be upgraded and battled against each other. This game has brought avid gamers off the couch and into parks, malls and other tagged locations all in the quest to find new Pokémon.
Are your child’s eyes glued to their phone? Get engaged with your kids and play the game together. Have each member of your family download the app and get to searching. As a family you can explore parks, landmarks, neighborhoods and libraries in search of the rarest finds. It can be a great way to spark conversation at the dinner table, and it creates fun family competition.
You can’t incubate Pokémon eggs without walking and moving around, and you must walk around the locations to find the Pokémon. This is a fun way to get the kids out of the house and explore new spots around town. You can even get your younger children involved by making it a game without the phone. Let them explore the area with you and throw their pretend Poke ball to help big brother or sister “catch 'em all.”
Many of the places you can go are historical landmarks or parks; turn this activity into a fun learning opportunity by letting your kids read historical markers and observe wildlife. Other places to find Pokémon include libraries, which can easily be turned into storytime after their Pokémon are found.
A feature on the App allows the user to screenshot a Pokémon on someone’s head, hand or anywhere around them, and can make for some creative photo ops at the places you visit.
Just like teaching your child safe computer habits, it is important to have this similar conversation about apps like Pokémon Go. Users can create “lures” to attract Pokémon for 30 minutes to a specific location. Although this can be fun for kids to play together, parents need to be aware adults are also playing this game so lures may be placed in non-kid-friendly locations.
The app can use as much data as when you stream music, so make sure your data plan can support the usage. There are also in-app purchases that your children could be buying without your knowledge. On the iPhone, there is a setting to turn off in-app purchases. On Android, make sure your phone is set to ask for a password for each purchase. Watch your battery usage as well, hours of playing can run the battery dry.
View this map made by a Reddit user for places to find Pokémon around Atlanta.