Educational Places Kids Can Play Pokemon GO
Pokémon GO has taken the world by storm. You’ve almost certainly heard about the wildly popular game by now, but do you fully understand what it is? Pokémon GO is a free, downloadable app for your phone that uses GPS and “augmented reality” to allow players to “catch” creatures to add to their digital collection. The player can use their Pokémon to level up and evolve, then progress to take over “gyms” within the game to give one of three teams more prestige and bragging rights. It requires players to walk around and visit landmarks to find the adorable pocket monsters, forcing generally more sedentary gamers to get up and move.
Some educational landmarks and tourist attractions have embraced the game, using it to bring in more visitors and patrons. If you or your child have been swept away by the craze, consider bringing an educational aspect to the game by playing at these types of locations. Here are a few educational destinations that are already playing along. And read on to get some Pokémon safety and user tips to keep in mind for your kids:
The Museum of Modern Art, or MoMa, in New York City shared this tweet announcing they have PokéStops in the museum (PokéStops are waypoints where players can collect items needed to play), and they made a clever reference to the Pokémon character Mew.
— Museum of Modern Art (@MuseumModernArt) July 13, 2016
I love this Instagram share from The Brooklyn Museum in which they hilariously used the camera function in the game to make a slight adjustment to a Maurice Sterne work of art.
The Sacramento Zoo hosted a Pokémon GO Day, promising to “have lures going ALL day long!” (“Lures” are digital bait that can be dropped on PokéStops to increase the chances of Pokémon appearing in that area.)
A photo posted by SacramentoZoo (@sacramentozoo) on
The Cincinnati Zoo shared this screenshot from the game, showing their high number of PokéStops. The smaller blue squares are the PokéStops that are only accessible when you’re close enough, and the larger tower structures are Pokémon Gyms. The Gyms are colored based on which team currently has dominance (Valor is red, Mystic is blue, and Instinct is yellow).
HOT SPOT! The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has 25 Pokéstops, two gyms and countless #Pokémon roaming the grounds. Our new, #ZooFREEWifi will make your experience even better! Don’t forget to look up so you can see the real animals around you :). And, please stay on the paths for the safety of our visitors and animals. Have fun! #CincyZooGO #pokemongo
The Washington County Public Library system (with locations in Virginia) shared this photo of a young Pokémon “trainer,” also promoting a high level Pokémon named Dragonite that library visitors have caught in the building. They also implemented a board where people can share what they caught while in the library.
A photo posted by washcolibrary (@washcolibrary) on
The New York Public Library snapped a shot of a certain common Pokémon lurking deep within their shelves of books, encouraging followers to tag the library in their “Pokéfinds.”
Liz Hooker is a member of the K12 marketing team and a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff. She's always had a soft spot for working with kids, stemming from growing up the oldest of six children. Her youngest brother is on the autism spectrum, so she feels very strongly about learning tailored to the needs of the child. Liz's love of literature and writing has followed her through her stints working at bookstores and she hopes to one day be a novelist—if she can just put down the video game controllers long enough to write her masterpiece.