The world has never been so immersed in technology. There is a lot of temptation for kids and adults to stay at home and play video games or simply browse the internet instead of going outside to play or interact with others. To encourage kids and adults to move and explore nature more, technology companies are introducing exciting new tools, games and apps that integrate with the real world. Check out these 7 ideas for how to balance technology with outdoor activities.
- Go on a Virtual Treasure Hunt. If you haven't heard of Geocaching before, it's time to get up to speed. Turn an ordinary walk into a treasure hunt with ease. All you need to do is create a free account, login and hunt down a cache (an object that varies in size and shape). The app will help you navigate to the cache you choose to pursue. Once you find it, add your name to the cache list and check it off as a completed cache in your account.
- Play Pokémon Go. We love this popular new app as it brings the fun of Pokemon into the great outdoors. You may have seen large groups of kids (and even adults) wandering through public spaces holding their phones - they were probably playing Pokemon Go! Try it yourself to enjoy an enormous free scavenger hunt that weaves in a healthy dose of augmented reality. Players use GPS on their phones to locate, capture, battle, and train Pokémon creatures.
- Map Out Day Trips with Google. If you're planning on taking a vacation or a day trip this year, use the Google Maps app on your phone to discover the new area you visit. Using the Search Nearby feature of the app, you can find nearby restaurants, stores, activities and more to enjoy during your stay.
- Play with a GoPro. Finally, a camera that can go everywhere you go! What we love about the GoPro camera is that it's designed for rough and tumble conditions. Capture footage of your ride through a muddy bike trail by attaching your GoPro to your helmet, or dive with it into the unknown during your next beach vacation.
- Go Bird Watching. If you or your little one loves birds, Audubon is an amazing free to download. The app includes an extensive list of species for you to learn about, an intense library of bird sounds, and even a handy search feature that helps you find birds that have been spotted in your area.
- Fly a Drone. We love drones! They offer a great new way to see your neighbourhood or a new-to-you location. They can soar high above the trees and record every minute of it. If you or your child likes to make movies, renting a drone is a great tool to use for aerial footage. For some drone inspiration, check out this Canadian landscape video on YouTube.
- Try a Fitness Tracker or the Leapband for Kids. If you're concerned or clueless about your activity levels (or your child's activity levels), consider a fitness tracker. Products like the FitBit for adults offer wearable technology that tracks everything from the number of steps you squeeze into your day, to your sleep quality. The FitBit comes in a ton of fashionable styles so you can wear it pretty much anywhere, anytime. The Leapband is a great alternative for kids as young as four that turns physical activity into games, and movement into points for your child to earn. It's a safe and adorable way to encourage your kids to stay active.