Advice & Features Articles

Apps To Keep Your Kids Mentally And Physically Fit from Home

By Tanni Haas, Ph.D.


As families are hunkering down at home, parents are looking for ways to keep their kids meaningfully engaged. How about encouraging your kids to download some apps that can help them stay mentally and physically fit? Here are some of the very best ones available, and the best part is that they’re all completely free.

Eat & Move-O-Matic

(Available: Apple Appstore; Age range 9-18)

If you want your kids to understand the consequences of their food choices, Eat & Move-O-Matic is the right app for them. Created by the Learning Game Lab at New Mexico State University, the app teaches kids to be aware of what they eat or drink. It lets them compare the calories in their food choices with the type and length of time of physical activities like biking, running, or walking needed to burn of those calories.


Nature Melody

(Available at: Apple Appstore, Google Play; Age range: 5-18)

If there’s one thing kids need to in order to lead healthy lives it’s a good night’s sleep, and the app Nature Melody can help them get that. It functions like an alarm clock and has more than 30 soothing, nature-inspired sounds to wake your kids up slowly and gently in the morning. The app can be used in the afternoon and evening, too, using the nap and a sleep timer function, for a stress-free end to their day.


NFL Play 60

(Available at: Apple Appstore, Google Play; Age range: 5-18)

If your kids love sports, especially football, but it’s hard to get them to do any actual exercise, NFL Play 60 is just the right app for them. Created by the NFL, in collaboration with the American Heart Association, the app lets kids pretend that they’re professional football players. But instead of simply making their on-screen avatars run and jump, they have to get off the couch and actually run, jump, catch and turn to make their avatars move. The app lets kids count the steps they’ve taken while playing the game.


Space Chef

(Available: Apple Appstore; Age range: 5-12)

If you want your kids to learn to eat well, encourage them to download Space Chef. Created by the Lawrence Hall of Science, maker of the Monster Heart Medic app, Space Chef teaches kids important facts about healthy foods. And it goes one important step further: it has more than 60 easy-to-make and kid-friendly recipes that encourage kids to eat healthily and to take responsibility for their own diets.


Super Stretch Yoga

(Available at: Apple Appstore; Age range: 9-18)

Besides meditation, a great way for kids to relax their minds and bodies for optimal health is to practice yoga. Super Stretch Yoga, created by a well-known yoga instructor, Jessica Rosenberg, teaches kids yoga through video demonstrations by other kids, with a focus on breathing and movement. It’s narrated by a character named Super Stretch and features 12 different poses with different skill levels. Kids can use the built-in camera to take pictures of themselves doing the poses.


Three Good Things: A Happiness Journal

(Available at: Apple Appstore; Age range: 5-18)

It’s a well-known fact that mental health is impacted by a sense of well-being. If your kids need a little boost and happen to enjoy writing, encourage them to download Three Good Things: A Happiness Journal. The app helps kids think more positively by writing daily about three good experiences they’ve had. The app has a feature that lets kids upload and share their writings on social media.


Editor’s Note: Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College.

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