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San Antonio Mom Blogs is jumping on the Pokémon Go bandwagon! Not sure what Pokémon Go is or how you can play it with your kids? Guest contributor Amanda Espinoza*, a blogger and local mom of three, breaks it all down for us and she shares important tips for staying safe and having the most fun while playing Pokémon Go.
If you go to a local park and see children, teens, and adults walking around with their eyes glued to a phone, then chances are they are playing Pokémon Go.
What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game created by Nintendo and Niantic. A player finds fictional characters in the real world using a phone’s camera and GPS signal. Then players can use these Pokémon characters to win battles!
To login to the game you either need a Google account or Pokémon Trainer Club account. Niantic has updated its Permission Policy so they shouldn’t have access to all your Google data, but it’s still safer to create a Pokémon Trainer Club account using an email. It took me several tries for the Trainer Club page to load and to let me create my account. Keep trying!
Playing the game
Once you have an account you can select your trainer character and do a little customization to the design. The real fun is finding your first Pokémon and tossing the red and white ball to catch it. There are at least 250 different ones to catch! If you see a Pokémon you’ve already caught that’s okay. Keep catching them because you will need the Stardust and Pokémon-specific Candy you get with each catch to evolve your Pokémons.
Pokéstops and Gyms
Pokéstops are all over San Antonio at monuments, restaurants, churches, and shopping centers. When you get close enough to a pokéstop you’ll see a kiosk-style icon on your screen. Click on the kiosk and a disc will appear that you can spin with a swipe. You’ll receive items like more Pokémon balls, eggs, gems, and potions to help you battle. You can incubate an egg to get another Pokémon. The stops are fun, because many Pokéstops can be reached while staying in the car.
Gyms are also located at real world places like restaurants and churches. Once you’ve reached level 5 you can go to a gym and choose which team you want to be on – Blue, Red, or Yellow. It doesn’t really matter which team you are on. This article has a lot great tips about how to play a Pokémon Gym.
Is the game fun?
My three kids ages 9, 7, and 5 think their parents are the coolest, because we are official Pokémon Trainers. They love going out hunting for pokémons with us. We give them our phones and let them toss pokéballs and spin the discs at pokéstops.
The worst part of Pokémon Go are the connectivity issues. The servers are overwhelmed by the game’s popularity so they go down at random times. The latest app update on July 12th is supposed to help with the server issues.
My family is having fun together getting excited over catching a Meowth or a Bulbasaur. The craze will definitely wear off, but for now it’s something we get to do as a family.
Pokémon Go Safety Tips
- Always watch your surroundings! It’s easy to walk into a street or be in someone’s way.
- If you have small children, then head to a park or mall where there are not a lot of cars.
- Don’t trespass for the game. Most city parks are closed at night.
- If your let your kids use their own account, then the app will know the age and the GPS location of your kid. Talk with your kids about staying in public places or traveling as a group.
Pokémon Go Game Tips
Use Pokémon Go while shopping and your kids will be too distracted with the game to ask for anything from the store.
The game uses tons of data, so be sure to keep an eye on the data usage.
San Antonio has a Pokémon Go subreddit page to keep up with all the local news.
Pokémon Camp is a great, free app for kids ages 4 to 6. They learn about different types of Pokémon and get to hunt for them inside the game.
You can catch up with Pokémon cartoons on Netflix. Start with Season 1 of Pokemon XY.
PokémonTV app is also free with a ton of Pokemon Cartoons.
What do you think of this Pokémon Go craze? Have you or your kids played?
Amanda Espinoza writes about books, faith, and life at her blog, Amanda.so. She also homeschools her three kids and loves to go on adventures with her family. Amanda and her family live in San Antonio, Texas.
* San Antonio Mom Blogs occasionally invites guest contributors to write for our site about topics of interest to our readers. All contributors are financially compensated. For more information, contact San Antonio Mom Blogs.
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