Court: From Nerds on Call.
Ken: Yep nerd alert! Nerd alert! Court, I’m already excited about one of these gadgets, this thing right here. Ryan what is this thing?
Ryan: So this is called The Leap Band, this is kinda like a FitBit for kids.
Ken: Oh, my son would love that.
Ryan: One of the coolest parts about this is the kids put it on, and you get a little virtual pet there. You can see our little panda here, and you can make them do little
Ken: Panda, panda, panda.
Ryan: And he’ll work out with you, you can do all kinds of little fun games with him, there’s a section here where you can feed him, and it teaches kids about healthy eating, and there’s another section where it’s…you can groom him, and it teaches you how to, you know, make sure that you stay nice and clean for school.
Ken: Now as a FitBit, does it also have anything that counts the steps?
Ken: Because my son would love to see, like, every step he takes.
Ryan: Yeah, what it does, it has little different workouts. It does little challenges, so it’ll say like, “Oh, hop like popcorn.” And so you hop a bunch of times and it’ll give you a little, “Hey you did it! Good job!” And it’ll say, “Hey, let’s hop like a bunny,” or “Walk in a straight line,” and different things like that. And then you can go online and you can kinda see how well your child is doing on your own, but you can also set schedules, because obviously having a little band on your hand while you’re at school or maybe at quiet time, it’s not a good time, so you can set schedules and say, “Hey, during that time you just can’t interact with anything, and it won’t make any noises or beeps or anything.”
But it’s just a really great, fun way to get a little three-year-old, four-year-old, or whatever it is to just jump and go and have a little fun.
Ken: Got a price point on that?
Ryan: Sixteen bucks, that’s it!
Ken: That’s it?
Court: What! That’s great!
Ryan: We got, we got one of these and we thought, “Man, we gotta get another one,” so we got two now so our kids can compete. That’s the cool part, is you can also kinda have the kids compete with each other so they can say, “Oh, look how far I went today, look how much…”
Ken: I want one for myself.
Ryan: “How much calories I burned.”
Ken: Can I have one too?
Ryan: Sure, why not!
Ken: It says 4 to 7 but I’m 47, so that’s close enough, right? Just get rid of the dash, it’s for 47.
Ryan: It also has a great little app that you can use online, and it’ll give you little fit facts, it’ll also allow you to interact. It unlocks games, so as you do more exercise it unlocks games online that you can play on your iPad or your iPhone, so it makes it even more fun.
Ken: Oh that’s awesome. I love that, man.
Ryan: So here’s another fun little thing you can do. So let’s say your kid’s a little bit older, and he’s not ready for, he doesn’t want to play a LeapBand. This is called S-workit, or Sworkit for kids…
Ryan: What this does is it has little, little games that you can do, let me begin a workout here. You can see this little kid working his butt off.
Ken: Oh, nice!
Ryan: So it gives you different workouts, lets you set a timer. This is exactly like the adult version but it’s all the exercises are done by kids.
Ken: Oh cool.
Ryan: And it gives you little challenges and ways to keep up and so you can stay fit, get off the couch, maybe every time a commercial comes on, say, “Do your workout!” Right? Because that’s another fun way.
Ken: Love that!
Ryan: Now, let’s say they’re a teenager. Of course everybody’s talking about Pokemon GO.
Ken: I’ve heard of it, yes.
Ryan: The cool thing about Pokemon GO is that actually you go out and you have to move in order to interact with anything in the game. So if you want to go to a gym, or if you want to go to a Pokestation, or if you want to catch the little dude, you can’t just sit in your house. And so this thing, one of the guys at work said the other day, this is kind of funny.
Ken: What’s that?
Ryan: I’m gonna get a little political here. Said that Pokemon GO has done more for child obesity than Michelle Obama did in eight years.
Group: Oh! Wow! Wow!
Ryan: All right, so let’s say your kids aren’t into either one of those. There’s another cool thing you can get, and oh, I just lost it! Oh, come back, come back, come back.
Ken: Michelle Obama just did that.
Ryan: Yeah, she did.
Court: Straight from the White House.
Ken: The FLOTUS just reached out.
Ryan: This is the Nikon Coolpix camera, ah, and it’s gone now. Michelle Obama is really getting me. Anyway, there’s a Nikon Coolpix… This is a Nikon Coolpix camera, and it’s $129, it’s waterproof and kid-proof. And so what my daughter loves to do is she takes her little iPhone or her little iPad, and takes pictures of the dog a bunch of times but I get nervous, like, “Oh my gosh, she’s gonna drop it in the pool, or do something,” so this Nikon CoolPix camera for $129, they can go all over the place, drop it in the pool, and you can set little challenges in the morning and say, “Hey, take pictures of flowers today,” or, “I wanna see a picture of the dog, a flower, the pool, and maybe get some underwater shots,” and it gets them out, moving and being creative.
Ken: That’s fantastic ideas. And you have some more coming up. It’s a progressive, progressive morning for Nerds on Call, got a lot more coming up.
Ryan: Yeah, this one was ‘Get ’em off the Couch’, the next one’s gonna be, ‘Get ’em Outside’. We got drones, we’re gonna play in the studio, and I almost hit my wife in the face with a drone last night…[inaudible 00:04:02]
Court: Oh my gosh!
Ken: But that’s what it’s for!
Court: What is with you today?
Ken: All right, always good to see you.
Ryan: Good to see you.
Ken: And of course, all of this stuff’s linked to our site, gooddaysacramento.com. Court?
Court: All right.
If your kids have spent just a bit too much of this summer zoning out to TV or video games, we are here with some tech games and gadgets that can actually get your kids off the couch. It is so important to keep your kids active both physically and mentally for so many reasons, the summer is a hard time for kids to succumb to lazy habits, spending way too much time indoors on their tech toys. We have some amazing tips for you to use tech games and gadgets to encourage kids of all ages to get active.
Let’s start with the little ones, get them jumping and moving by using LeapBand. This is a virtual pet gaming device and an activity tracker for kids. Designed for kids aged 4 – 7, LeapFrog is pre-loaded with activity challenges. Like hop like a popping popcorn or crawl like a turtle. Kids are rewarded with points for completing these activity challenges. These games teach kids about healthy living, Pet Chef has you choose healthy snacks for your virtual pet and Pet Salon teaches good hygiene. Games and energy bar functions are locked during school hours, the device still tracks your child’s activity but doesn’t allow interaction. Kids can compete with each other which encourages more activity.
For kids between the ages of 7 and 14, be sure they have the FREE app Sworkit Kids. Available on iOS and Android, this Shark Tank featured app has an easy to follow, customizable series of workouts designed for kids. The videos are performed by kids so the exercises are highly relatable and appropriate.
If you teenager needs an excuse to play outside, Pokemon Go will keep them occupied for hours, maybe even days! The game uses GPS to overlay Pokémon characters onto your actual environment. To find and “catch” all the characters you have to wander around with the game which uses your phone’s GPS and clock to determine which Pokémon appear. By the river or ocean, you’ll see more water-type characters, more nocturnal creatures show up at night. You quite literally cannot play inside with any success. Pokemon congregate in public areas such as Nature preserves, public interest places, community buildings. The game is encouraging players everywhere to explore their neighborhoods. Just make sure that kids play safely, only kids mature enough to remain aware of their surroundings should be encouraged to play.
Last of all, engage artistic kids with a Nikon Cool Pix S33. This waterproof digital camera is inexpensive at $130. It’s easy to use, durable and widely held to be a great “first” camera for young photo enthusiasts. It takes a real SD card, so can store many many photos and can transfer easily to any device with an SD card reader. The best thing about having a real camera is there are no distracting games and apps like on a smartphone, tablet or iPod. Encourage your kid to make a nature montage, a collection of underwater action shots, or simply engage them in your summer vacation.
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/.