Pokémon Go: A how-to guide for all Poké-Parents

July 20, 2016

As parents, keeping up with the growing list of activities kids get involved in these days is a challenge. One you’ll want to know more about is Pokémon Go, a new mobile app that allows players to catch Pokémon in the real world and then train them for “battle.” Here's an overview.

[Photo credit: Pokemongo.com]

Pokémon Go: A how-to guide for all Poké-Parents

For some kids, hunting for Pokémon in their neighbourhood is so compelling that they can become oblivious to their surroundings, but your child can still play the game successfully without becoming a Poké-Zombie. With a little understanding and a few ground rules, exploring the city for Pokémon is something you and your children can have fun doing together.

Pokémon for parents explained

If you didn't already know, Pokémon are those cute monsters from Nintendo's smash-hit '90s video game and TV series.

  • These super-powered “Pocket Monsters” are captured by trainers (players) in Poké Balls.
  • Pokémon evolve to more powerful versions of themselves when they battle someone else’s Pokémon.
  • The goal is to catch as many Pokémon as you can and to win as many battles as possible.

How to play

Pokémon Go brings the game to life by using a smart phone’s GPS, camera and gyroscope to turn your community into a real life Pokémon playing field.

  • To find Pokémon and other items, players must walk the streets of their city to locate real points on the game's virtual map called PokéStops – where players are likely to find Poké Balls, Pokémon eggs and gyms.
  • Gyms are battlegrounds where players can battle other Pokémon trainers.
  • PokéStops are always real monuments and landmarks in your community.
  • When a Pokémon appears on the map and you try to capture it, the phone's camera will fill the screen and you'll see the virtual Pokémon through the camera’s lens.

 Mixing the virtual with reality is part of what makes the game so engrossing!

  • Some Pokémon are exclusive to select countries. What’s more, certain types of Pokémon are only found in specific environments. For example, water types are found near lakes or oceans.


Check out more Pokémon Go content from YP:


Rules to keep kids safe

  • As when driving or crossing the street, it’s always important to watch where you’re going. Pokémon Go is so engaging that players – especially children – can easily forget to pay attention to their surroundings. The result? They find themselves in dangerous situations or at risk of injury. It’s important that children understand to excel at this game they don’t have to watch their phone constantly.
  • PokéStops and gyms are fixed destinations so they will always be there. Once your child discovers a PokéStop, tell them to put away their phone until they reach it.
  • In many cases, you don't need to enter the PokéStop or gym boundaries in order to battle a trainer or get items – you simply need to be nearby. So if it's inappropriate for your child to enter a particular location, tell them to try to get the items from a safe and reasonable distance across the street.
  • When a Pokémon appears, it's very exciting and can lead to a mad dash for the creature. Remind your kids that the Pokémon is going to stay put, which gives your child enough time to calmly approach and catch them.
  • Set boundaries so your children know where they can and can't go without you.

Pokémon Go…more than just a game!

Once you get the hang of it, why not join the hunt and do some Poké-bonding?

  • Catching Pokémon with Pokémon Go is a unique opportunity for you and your child to see the world in a new way, get everyone off the couch and into the fresh air, and notice places you were once inclined to ignore. 
  • It’s a chance for your kids to teach you about the evolved forms and different types of Pokémon in their Pokédex, while you teach them the history behind the various monuments and heritage buildings you encounter.

As a family activity, searching for Pokémon is also the perfect excuse for a day trip or staycation in your own town or city.

  • Take a trip to a local museum, art gallery or park where you can come for the Pokémon and stay for the fun of experiencing what it has to offer not just you, but your children!

Do you know reckless Pokémon Go players or parents trying to catch up with the craze? Do them a solid and share this article using the social buttons!

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