Games and Gadgets to Get Your Kids Off the Couch
Marianne: …for Nerd on Call, and a couple of tech games and gadgets to get those kiddos up and moving.
Julissa: I’m so excited, I’ve seen just a little preview of this and I think I might be a huge fan of this myself. Okay, we are getting our kids up and active this summer.
Julissa: With a little dancing.
Ryan: Yeah, well, a little dancing and a little other stuff, too. So first we’ll start with this. This is called the UNICEF Kid Power bracelet. You can go to unicefkidpower.org. This is kind of cool. It’s sort of like a little tracker for your kids, how many steps they do and things like that. And there’s an app for the parent’s smart phone so they can kind of see how active their kids are. Best part is, if they hit certain challenges, they feed kids in need, so…
Julissa: Oh, that’s great. It’s a win-win.
Ryan: Over 800,000 ready-to-use meals have been given to famine victims all over the world by using something like this. So I mean, it’s cheap. It’s 40 bucks. You get your kid to run around outside and feed some kids.
Julissa: I love it. And actually save lives.
Ryan: I mean, come on, people.
Julissa: That’s fantastic. I love the Star Wars theme, too. Okay, great, I love that.
Ryan: Now let’s get to the fun stuff.
Ryan: Because we have a couple of special guests that are dancing for us today.
Ryan: Check it out.
Ken: Hey, it’s the family.
Julissa: We’ve got Ryan’s wife, of course, Andrea.
Ryan: Let’s see you, Jackson. Let’s see you move.
Julissa: And Jackson. Okay.
Ryan: So this is the Nintendo Switch and you can pick these up. They’re starting to come back into stores. They’re $299.
Julissa: All right, so this is actually, like, the console.
Ryan: Yes, and that’s basically what they’re playing on right here and it gets you up and dancing. This is Just Dance 2017. Get into it, Ju. Let’s do it. And so this is $60, it’s a 60 dollar game, but you can get it for $40 if you’re really good.
Julissa: Court, what are you doing? Come on.
Courtney: I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. You’re right.
Ken: So am I seeing your image on the screen or are you just following along?
Julissa: Wait, are you…
Woman: We follow the guy.
Ryan: You just follow along with the dude.
Ken: Oh, got it, got it, got it, got it.
Ryan: And they’ve got all kinds of different songs you can dance to. Let me move this out of the way so we can…
Ken: There you go.
Ryan: Oh, look at that.
Ken: All right, watch out for that baby next to you, Julissa.
Ryan: No smacking babies in the faces.
Ken: All right, there you go.
Julissa: Oh my God, this is so much fun. Wait, so can you get other games with this thing, too?
Ryan: Oh, yeah, they’ve got a bunch of new games that are out right now. Mario Kart 8’s my son’s favorite, but he sits on the couch and he’s a slug when he plays it. But this one’ll just get you up and dance. And they’ve got all kinds of songs. Jackson’s favorite song is “Gangnam Style” by Psy, and so you can do the little, you know, lasso dancing.
Julissa: I’m sorry, did you stop talking, because I’m really…
Ryan: They also have it on other consoles, too.
Courtney: No one’s paying attention to you, Ryan.
Julissa: Love you, love your show, but I’m so into this right now. Okay, so we’re getting points, too, as we…
Ryan: Yeah. And you’re competing.
Julissa: But that’s keeping track of me if you’ve got these consoles.
Ken: Oh, and you’re competing.
Julissa: Okay, because you’ve got the controller, one in your hand and one in Jackson’s. Oh. And you’re Jazzy?
Courtney: What up? I love that.
Julissa: That’s your name? I love it, I love it. This is so great.
Ryan: But you can see, Jackson’s winning right now.
Julissa: He totally is.
Ryan: Oh, no, wait. Andrea’s taking it over.
Courtney: Get it, Andrea.
Ryan: The cow’s starting to win.
Julissa: Oh, my, a dancing cow. I love it.
Ryan: So if your kids are at all competitive, hey, get them off the couch and make them work.
Julissa: This is so great. How much are these games?
Ryan: This is $60 brand new, but you can get them cheap if you go to, like, GameStop and get them used or look for them on sale. Best Buy had this one for 40 bucks.
Julissa: Awesome, awesome. These are so great. Again, we’re gonna link Nerds on Call to our website gooddaysacramento.com. Hold on, almost done.
You know it’s summertime when the house gets loud.
The kids are at home creating a ruckus and your furniture is becoming permanently marked with their indentations as they remain glued to their gadgets.
Video games, movies, and social media rule their day.
If you want your tech-addicted kids to get off the couch, use these same tools to get them up and moving.
Just Dance 2017
Video games don’t always have to be sedentary.
Just Dance 2017 (available for many platforms including Nintendo Switch, Wii, Wii U, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC) gets your kids grooving to some beats without requiring them to leave the comfort of the living room.
The game costs $60 plus an optional $30 to subscribe to Just Dance Unlimited which unlocks access to the complete library of Just Dance songs from previous versions of the game.
If you have enough controllers, up to 6 players can compete in an epic dance-off. Players can use mobile devices as controllers in this version as well.
If you happen to have a Nintendo Switch, the game is mobile and can be taken literally anywhere (including those family barbeques).
The full library contains 40 songs, making sure the kids don’t get bored quickly. Featured artists include Justin Bieber, Maroon 5 and Sia.
Unicef Kid Power Bracelet
Unicef has a great program in place that encourages kids to do good by getting active.
All they have to do is walk and complete pre-determined activities that are then converted into points used to complete missions.
To enroll your kids into the program, buy the $39.99 power bracelet (similar to a FitBit band).
Then download the app (on your smartphone) and you’ll be able to monitor their activity.
As they complete missions, they “unlock” ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF) packages that Unicef sends to malnourished kids in need.
Last month alone, the Unicef Kid Power network completed millions of steps and unlocked 800,000 RUTF packets.
To date, a total of 6.4 million food packets have been delivered.
Inspire A New Hobby With Geocaching
Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunt.
All it requires is a GPS-enabled device and your determination to locate a hidden container placed by other geocachers.
Out of the 2 million geocaches worldwide, there’s probably a few near you.
To start your adventure, create a free geocaching account from your phone.
Once completed, log in and select a geocache you want to find and that’s all there is to it. Not only is it a great outdoor activity, but you’ll also bond with your kids.
When you find a cache, remember to take the following steps:
Sign the logbook
Trade knick knacks
Log your find online
Put the geocache back where you found it
Encourage Constructive Competition Using Nabi Compete
If your kids are at each other’s throats, you can put that sibling rivalry to good use.
Nabi Compete lets you link multiple wearables to a smartphone on which you can create fun challenges such as “walk the distance of the golden gate bridge.”
For $39.99, you’ll get a pair of these devices.
In trying to outdo each other, your kids will learn a valuable lesson in hard work.
There’s also the incentive of being able to care for a virtual pet each time a challenge or goal is completed.
This is a game you’ll be happy to see your kids get hooked on.
Catch ‘Em All In Pokemon Go
If you’re on a tight budget, Pokemon Go is a free app for Android and iOS that can motivate your kids to spend time outdoors.
The app makes use of the GPS to place Pokemon characters in your natural surroundings.
Just fire up the app and use the camera feature to collect Pokemon from around the neighborhood, local park, area landmarks, or even the haunted place over on the next street.
Recent updates have added more characters and in-game challenges.
Just make sure you take the necessary precautions to ensure safety. You don’t want your kids to wander too far and get lost.
Get them going
Don’t let your kids laze around all summer and ponder how times have changed.
Gadgets can help you inspire your kids to get up and moving.
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About The Author: Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.