Keeping Kids Busy with PokemonOn April 6, 2020 by Calgary's Child
by Trista Arney
All classes in Alberta are cancelled and self-isolation is the new normal – what’s next? While many of us are starting to adjust to new schedules, there are still a lot of hours to fill! We’re so lucky to be living in a digital age with resources available to anyone who can get to a computer or web-enabled device! Sifting through the many free resources which have emerged in the past few weeks can be a little overwhelming, even if we’re lucky to have them.
I’ve done some of the leg work for you and compiled some fun resources and ideas to keep Pokémon-crazy kids (like mine) entertained! There are many more resources available by searching the web, Pinterest, or education-specific websites like TeachersPayTeachers.
Sadly, physical libraries are closed – however, the Calgary Public Library (and many others) have eBook resources freely available to anyone with a library card. There may be a waitlist, but the library does have the Pokémon Adventures Graphic Novels (#1-5) available in eBook format.
If you’re interested in purchasing new books for your child, Chapters is currently offering free shipping on all orders until April 12. Alternatively, call your local bookstore to see if they have delivery options or curbside pick-up.
Another option is using books or digital resources like National Geographic Kids and virtual zoo tours to learn about real animals and compare them to Pokémon. How do animals relate to Pokémon characters? Can you guess what animal a Pokémon may be based on? Can you create your own new Pokémon species based on a real-life creature?
Fitness / Movement
Cosmic Yoga has a wonderful YouTube channel with many themed exercise routines aimed at children. For your Pokémon trainer, there is a 25 minute Pokémon yoga story incorporating a variety of poses – all you need is an internet connection and some floor space. The poses are easy enough for children to follow, but still enough that parents will also feel like they’ve gotten in a good body break as well.
HoneyBee Kids is another YouTube channel aimed at children, but they provide guided mediations. While this is less active, it can still be very helpful in calming and focusing children and adults during this time of uncertainty. Try out their Pokémon themed mediation.
Several websites have Movement Cards that are freely available and can be printed. Try making a deck of these cards, attaching them to a large dice if you have one, or using them as a starting point to make up your own Pokémon movements based on your own children’s favorite creatures like “roll like a Jigglypuff”, “hop like a Spoink”, or “crawl like a Caterpie.”
Extending the movement card idea, you can also challenge your child to create their own Pokémon-themed obstacle course – add in Pokémon themed movements!
Many parents are concerned that their child’s in-class school year has been cut short. There are many options online to support at-home learning – choosing themed options can help with motivation!
For younger children try this Roll & Color worksheet which helps children to recognize colours and numbers and work on their fine motor control.
Another fun activity, combining scientific inquiry and writing is using a Venn Diagram template to compare and contract species of Pokémon, trainers, or Ash and his friends versus Team Rocket.
Pokémon lends itself very easily to practicing math skills, especially if your child is interested in the Trading Card Game. If you have Trading Card on hand try this math game.
It will come as no surprise that there are many ways to make art with Pokémon! With somewhere over 800 species, these creatures are colourful and engaging, which is likely why so many children love them.
There are many free, printable, coloring pages dedicated to Pokémon. I particularly enjoy these basic coloring pages as well as the more complex mandala coloring pages. I find that the mandala coloring pages are very relaxing and an activity that I can do alongside my child.
For a challenge these Pokémon Evolution Cards will keep children entertained. They are a more complex coloring project and the assembly can take a bit to get right (I highly recommend using the video tutorial), but the end product is very satisfying.
If you have supplies on hand, you can even try making your very own Pokéball out of some balloons and a tennis ball.
Challenge your child to come up with their own fun using LEGO, Playdoh, the drawing and crafting supplies you may already have on hand. Or even get brave in the kitchen and see if you can create Pokémon themed snacks or cookies.
- Build your favourite Pokémon
- Make a mosaic image of a Pokémon
- Create your own Pokémon or trainer
- Create a Pokémon habitat
- Create a Pokémon scavenger hunt using pictures or toys
- Make a Pokémon or trainer costume using that clothing/costume items you have or create them from cardboard.
Screen Time (Apps)
Even when we try to avoid it, some screen time is inevitable with social distancing and self-isolation. Here’s some of my favourite Pokémon themed apps that are intended for children. Remember to always try out the app for yourself and make sure it is appropriate for your child.
Pokémon Playhouse – Through a series of mini games children raise Pokémon eggs until they hatch. Mini games include puzzles, stories, grooming, music, hide and seek, and dot to dot. The app has been created so that children do not need to be able to read to utilize it as a friendly narrator will give them all needed instructions. A simple but very enjoyable app for young children. Available on iOS and Google Play
Pokémon Go – This very popular app uses an augmented reality system to interact with Pokémon in the real world. A device that can connect to public Wi-Fi or use data and has GPS enabled is required. This is a great app for encouraging walks outside, but make sure that you and your child remain aware of the world around you. If you are in isolation, Pokémon Go has made it easier to find Pokémon in home locations. Children under 13 should not play this game unsupervised. Available on iOS and Google Play
Pokémon TCG Online – I have yet to personally use this app, but there are many online who recommend it. This app allows children to play a digital version of the original trading card game. While the game is recommended for children 9 and up, it does contain interactive online elements which should be supervised. Available on iOS and Google Play
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