Do your children like the outdoors? Maybe they do but you can’t get them away from their technology? Well why not let them try these apps by themselves or with you, their family and friends. They are fun, competitive and really cool! Let them experience all the new and exciting things that could be found in the local area.
Pokémon Go is a free smartphone app that combines gaming with the real world. The game uses location tracking and mapping technology to create an ‘augmented reality’ where you can catch and train Pokémon characters in real locations.
If your child is 13+ then they can sign up and enjoy seeing who they can catch. If they aren’t, you will have to sign up for them on your behalf. Permission permitting for all ofcourse!
What is Pokémon?
Pokémon (short for pocket monster) is a franchise owned by Nintendo and began life in the mid 90’s as a game for the Game Boy. The game is centred on fictional characters known as Pokémon which you can catch and train to battle each other.
How to sign up?
There are two options for signing up to the game. You can use a Google account to sign in, or you can create a Pokémon Trainer Club account. On the sign up screen, tap the Google icon, Enter your Google username and password. If you don’t already have an account, tap Create account and follow the instructions. From there, you can learn about Pokémon Go from Professor Willow, and choose a starter Pokémon. Once the account is set up, you can give yourself a cool username and then you’re ready to play.
How to play?
You have to walk around the real word and find the Pokémon characters that appear on the game map. When you come within a close enough range the Pokémon will appear on the device screen and then you can throw Poké Balls at them to capture them. The aim is to collect as many different characters as possible.
The map is an anime-style version of Google maps that replaces real street names and landmarks with Pokémon specific buildings so don’t get confused if your child comes home saying that their mates house has turned into a battle club or a mystery dungeon because it hasn’t!
Another feature of the game are Poké Stops which are real life locations where you can collect free Poké Balls. You can also find Pokémon eggs that hatch into Pokémon which can be added to your collection.
What would Pokémon want?
When playing Pokémon Go, it is advised that all users remember to be sensible when going to places new or meeting new people. Pokémon would want everyone to have fun but not get hurt so do ensure that you and your children stay safe!
If you or your child has any concerns regarding safety, please visit https://www.pokemongolive.com/en/faq/.
When you are out with your children, have they ever wondered what that strange looking building is? If you download the Buxplore app and take it with you on your walks, it can tell you all about these things and more! There is even a whole dedicated route for primary age kids, great right? Heritage for Kids is a fantastic trail to get you and the rest of your family out exploring. Starting at the Chantry Chapel, explore the oldest parts of Buckingham – find, touch and imagine icons from Buckingham’s thousand-year history. This short route passes by Chandos Park which is great to stop and have a sweetie break!
The app has clear maps, flagging locations to explore and audio options which make these routes really easy to follow. Simply use your mobile phone to access the app (don’t forget to turn on your mobile data and location tracking) then head out to the first stop on your chosen route.
Learn and explore Buckingham’s wild spaces from Bourton Park to Buckingham Canal. Connect with nature and learn more about Buckingham parks and the river Great Ouse. The explorer route is designed to be explored a little at a time, it is the perfect way to find some of the hidden green spaces you might not know about. Most of this trail is well away from roads and has lots of activities to try at every stop so you, mum and dad, don’t have to worry.
There’s been a murder! Can you solve the puzzles and find the culprit?
Buckingham murder mystery trail is a totally free interactive detective mystery. Start on Moreton Road at the Old Police Station and meet Sergeant William Jeeves! Solve puzzles to unlock new locations and discover clues as you take a tour around the scary side of Buckingham’s history. Don’t worry – hints are available if you get stuck.
Did we mention it’s free? No pocket money needed! Thanks to a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Buxplore is completely free to use and will remain live for the next five years, with new routes added throughout.
How to download the app and start using Buxplore?
Start by visiting Buxplore.web.app on your mobile phone and click the white box at the bottom of the screen to download the app. Then simply pick a route and visit the first location to get started!
Apps not your thing? How about you try playing games that don’t require devices or added platforms but rather just your imagination. The games that I am inferring here are I Spy, Stop and Go and Spot the Swan – a safer alternative to Yellow Car! There’s no time like the present to try these out, what can beat good old fashioned fun anyways? Let’s see how they work;
First you need to designate who is going to be the spy. Then they will need to select an object that everyone can see but they mustn’t reveal what it is. The spy will then hint at what the object is by saying something like "I spy with my little eye something beginning with B."
Tip for the spy: Try not to look at the object when you are hinting at what it is. That would be a big giveaway!
Depending on how many people are playing, take it in turns to guess the object the spy has hinted so everyone gets a fair chance at guessing. Finally, once the object has been guessed, change the spy to the first person who guessed the object correctly and repeat the previous steps. To make it more fun, why not try changing the characteristics of the clues. For example, have your family guess objects that are a certain shape or begin with a certain colour.
Stop & Go
If you have a family of fairly small children, why not teach them their stop and go commands? It won’t be like home-schooling, it can just be an imaginative way of letting them pretend to be everyday objects like cars, trains or buses. They can even pretend to ride a pony if in desperation! All you have to do is act like a signal and shout ‘STOP’ or ‘GO’ when you want to change direction etc.
Spot the Buckingham Swan
Like the game Yellow Car, Spot the Buckingham Swan is where you have to tap another person in your group when you spot the Swan statue in Buckingham. The force of the tap should only be hard enough to ensure that the intended person knows that they have been hit, we don’t want any tears or bruises!
Remember to always be aware; the game is always on, unless otherwise agreed by everyone that you are taking a well-earned break.
If someone calls out ‘Swan’ the Buckingham Swan must be in view otherwise the tap will not count. Therefore, if you call out ‘Swan’ and tap another player but the statue is not in view, that player can tap you back. This also means that you cannot call ‘Swan’ before you see it even if you know where it is!
Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet
To help brighten up your daily bit of exercise and to recognise Children’s Mental Health Week this year, which runs from February 1st to February 7th, Buckingham Town Council has put together a Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet for young children. Download and print the spotter sheet and see if you can spot some or all of these seasonal nature signs on your walk today. Please take part responsibly and follow government guidelines on social distancing. For more fun, we've added some extra activity sheets to be completed at home.
Getting outdoors has taken on added importance in recent weeks and most people would agree that a walk in the fresh air is a sure way of clearing the head. The weather may be rubbish but encouraging your children to get back to basics and have fun playing outdoors can make a huge difference to their overall mental health and wellbeing. Even in winter, nature is still alive and there are lots of green spaces to see and explore within our lovely town. The spotter sheet can easily be completed around Bourton Park and Chandos Park and we hope it will make your daily walk even more enjoyable.
For more information about Buckingham walks and maps, visit our Walks and Maps page. Here you can download pdf copies of local walks and maps to help you explore beautiful Buckingham.
We would love to see some photos of you out and about completing the Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet! Please send your photos to us via private message on Facebook, or tag us on your post using #WinterWellness #SpotterSheet @BuckinghamTC and don't forget to tell us what you thought to be entered into a prize draw to win a reusable water bottle. We will do our best to share as many of your photos as possible. Happy hunting!