Get your kids off the couch this summer with help from an app that turns their steps into meals.
With no school to fill up their time, it can be difficult to keep kids active and busy during long summer days—especially when they’d rather be in front of the TV or iPad playing Call of Duty or Angry Birds. Of course, there’s summer camps and summer sports. But if you’re having trouble keeping them active, or want to take advantage of their movement and encourage them to put it toward a good cause, there’s an app for that!
Earlier this year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) created a program to connect kids and movement with saving lives around the globe. The UNICEF Kid Power App (available at the iTunes and Google Play stores) is easily downloadable, and syncs to the Kid Power Band—a activity tracker for kids that turns their steps, skips, hops and jumps into food for malnourished children around the world.
Target and “Star Wars: Force for Change” have teamed up with UNICEF for this global movement—and you and your family can be a part of it, too. Simply purchase a Kid Power Band (they come in supercool colors including blue and orange), download the free app and start tracking your family’s activity to help children in need receive food packets from UNICEF. Kids can also use the app to go on “missions” with sports superstars like professional soccer player Alex Morgan and learn more about the impact they are having on people in other countries.
So, how do you motivate your kids to participate? Perhaps you set daily step goals, with small celebrations when those goals are met. Or, consider making it a family competition, with a prize for the winner with the most steps. (A little healthy competition never hurt anyone, right?) You can even suggest daily family walks or weekend bike rides to track your own steps, too.
If Kid Power is not your thing, there are plenty of other ways to encourage the kids to be active and engaged this summer. For example, DoSomething.org, which is focused on activating young people, created the DoSomething app. It summarizes current issues and immediate ideas for making a difference, from organized a walk-a-thon to writing songs. And CharityMiles.org offers an app that lets you and the kids raise funds for charities you choose from a list of options, even when you’re out walking the dog.
No matter how you do it, getting the whole family off the sofa and feeling good—in more ways than one—is a win-win, in our book.
Photo credit: GeorgeRudy, Thinkstock