My son has been into Pokémon since he was 5.
For almost as long, I’ve been searching for Pokémon educational activities!
Now age 9, he’s still a big fan. (Pokémon has outlasted Ninjago and Bey Blades!) He plays Pokémon games on the Nintendo Switch, collects the cards (but doesn’t play the card game), dressed as Ash for Halloween, watches the movies and TV show, reads the books, and of course quizzes me on which Pokémon evolves into which.
It is with great shame that he will tell anyone who will listen that I thought Mewto was an evolution of Meowth.
My daughter is 6 and is starting to get pretty into this imaginary world, and the twins, even with their speech delay, will say “key-mon” when they want to watch Pokémon on Netflix. At least I already know a bit about this world since my brother was also a fan back in the 90s!
Here are three Pokémon educational activities my little Pokémon fans love to do:
Listen to the Pokescience podcast
On our road trip to Vancouver, we loaded up my old iPhone with podcasts for Cub. He tried to play Switch games on the route, but that quickly made him car sick, so it was podcasts that passed the 13-hour drive.
He asked me to find some podcasts about Pokémon, and I stumbled upon Pokescience. When I heard him giggling in the back seat, turns out it was this podcast. When he started spouting random animal facts that I no longer remember, it was because of this podcast.
I have not personally listened to a single episode, but the premise is that they take inspiration from different types of Pokémon and then bring in real-life biology and even social sciences and relate them back to the fictional universe of Pikachu and company.
An episode that talked about ants planted the seed that has led to our springtime goal of starting an ant colony. (I agreed to this until I learned that this is a lot different than the plexiglass ant farm I imagined … stay tuned for that in 2022.)
If your kids enjoy podcasts, here’s a list of ones mine enjoy!
Play Pokémon Go… for birds
For as long as I could, I held off on letting my son play Pokémon Go.
For one thing, I didn’t want him wandering around our neighbourhood with an iPhone. For two, I didn’t want him wandering our neighbourhood with an iPhone.
He begged and begged, and when I upgraded my iPhone we agreed he could bring my old iPhone on the occasional outing. He lost interest relatively quickly because I guess you need friends in the game or to spend money to catch more Pokémon.
One night he said to me: “Mom I wish there were Pokémon in real life.” So I was like … “Well I mean there are animals!” So he elaborated that sure there are animals, but there isn’t a Pokédex for animals! (For the uninitiated, a Pokémon trainer carries a Pokédex around with him like a smartphone—or more like a PalmPilot back in my day—and it identifies Pokémon in the wild, keeps track of what you catch, and then tells the trainer different stats about it.)
I suggested that maybe there’s not an app that can identify every living creature you see, but there might be one for birds!
And guess what? THERE IS! I literally googled “Pokédex for birds,” and very quickly came upon the free and truly wonderful Merlin All About Birds App.
This app can identify a bird based on a photo or its call. And it works! It will keep track of what you spot and where you spot it. And now my son and I are amateur bird watchers, and it is so much more fun than Pokémon Go!
Quite truly, thanks to this app, I have a budding ornithologist. He loves birds and he loves learning about birds, and the great news is that birds are everywhere for us to observe. I honestly think that his love of Pokémon has led him to a lifelong hobby—one that we can share.
Do Pokémon Crafts
I love doing crafts!
My son is not a craft kid but these two Pokémon crafts were a hit for him, and my daughter has recently rediscovered them now that she is older and quite into colouring and, of course, Pokémon.
These crafts from Red Ted Art are fun, and the end result is super impressive. Once the colouring is done, I have to watch the YouTube tutorials to assemble them properly, but hey, that’s good for my own brain!
@carseatcubsDo your kids love Pokémon?! ##kidcrafts ##pokemon ##gottacatchemall
My three boys struggle with fine motor skills so any craft that they will buy into is a win. As for Miss Cub, I just need to keep supplying her craft addiction, and the more intricate colouring details on these ones at least slow her down!
Pokémon Educational Activities Turn their passions into progress
I love finding ways to incorporate my kids’ passions into other activities they can do that also have an educational benefit. Even if it’s just reading books about Pokémon, there are lots of fun ways to learn while they catch them all.