12 Best Apps for Getting Kids Outside

Your family overdosing on sedentary screen time? Yes, screens are the problem, but they may also be a part of the answer. Try these apps that your kids up off the couch and outside to play.

Millions of families have experienced the fun – and benefits – of Pokémon GO this past year. Thanks to this revolutionary phone app, kids have combined gaming with getting outside and exercising. If you’re looking for other apps to keep your kids moving this year, here’s a list to check out.

Zombies, Run!

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: $2.99+

Teens love this interactive app, which has them running for supplies – and their lives – as they avoid the walking dead along the way. Users upload music and their own route. Then the app customizes the rest. Along the path, zombies appear (you’ll know they’re close by the sound of heavy breathing) and motivate kids to keep moving. Bad weather? It even works on treadmills!

Iron Kids

Platform: iphone, ipad

Cost: $2.99

From the American Academy of Pediatrics, Iron Kids encourages kids to “safely build strength, balance, and fitness; prepare to excel in sport; and keep playing by preventing injury.” Along with the app, you’ll receive videos to help kids develop their upper and lower body.

NFL Play 60

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: Free

A collaboration between the NFL and the American Heart Association, NFL Play 60 challenges kids to run, jump and move while an onscreen character mimics their actions. Kids are even rewarded for their efforts by either receiving coins to use for purchasing NFL gear or by receiving AHA hearts and bragging rights.

Endomondo

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: Free

Endomondo turns your phone into a personal trainer that’s always with you. It helps you get the most out over 40 sports including running, cycling, walking, kayaking or mountain biking. It also lets you share information with friends for extra encouragement and fun.

Kids Yogaverse: I am Love

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: $3.99

This popular app won the U.S. Surgeon General’s Healthy Apps Challenge for Kids Fitness. Designed for kids, it walks through 13 simple yoga poses with easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations.

Just Dance Now

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: Free

If your kid loves music, they’ll love this app too. Users copy the moves of the on-screen avatar as it dances to top 40 songs. This is a great app for one or more kids. Bonus: Older kids can record their dance sessions and upload them to Facebook.

Workout in a Bag – For Kids

Platform: iPhone, iPad

Cost: $2.99

Appropriate for kids who are 6 – 10, this app was developed by a mom and personal trainer. It includes more than 50 resistance and cardio exercises (all age appropriate) that make exercise more fun.

SpecTrek Light

Platform: Android (Google Play)

Cost: $2.49

Sppok them into working up a sweat! SpecTrek is a reality ghost-hunting game in which players walk or run to various locations to find virtual ghosts and “catch” them on their phone’s camera. Highly interactive, this app uses GPS and your phone’s camera – and combines them to create a scary awesome fitness game for the kiddos.

Move Like Me

Platform: iOS

Cost: $1.99

A great app for younger kids, Move Like Me incorporates memory and movement skills (think “Simon Says”). Kids select a character and then mirror that character’s movement including marching, clapping, hopping or dancing. Have a friend over? It’s good for one or two players.

Nature Cat’s Great Outdoors

Platform: iPhone, iPad

Cost: Free

Based on the PBS KIDS series, Nature Cat, this app will inspire your child to explore nature – in your backyard, a park or even just looking out the window. Bonus: Nature Cat has a new adventure every day so you kid has a reason to play again and again.

Geocaching Intro

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: Free

From the developers of the most popular app for geocaching (“Geocaching” by Groundspeak) this kid-friendly app is the perfect way to get started into the wonderful world of geocaching. It’s simple, and provides the nearest geocachers, hints, instructions, compasses and maps for guidance.

Geopher Lite

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: Free

Another kid-friendly geocaching app, Geopher Lite is easy to use and navigates users to the caches through its compasses and maps. This is a perfect app to teach basic geocaching and using GPS to locate caches.

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