Yesterday we reviewed the myTREK heart rate monitor and have done a few pieces on fitness gadgets for Moms and Dads. I thought we were doing a good thing, but then it hit me – we were guilty of ageism! What about the kids? They don’t get any cool fitness gadgets? Fear not little ones, you too can be motivated to get up and move with technology.
The GeoPalz ($25) is a pedometer made for kids. Kids attach one of the cool GeoPalz (there are 26 different kid friendly designs) to their shoe or hip and then just get moving. At the end of the day, they enter their steps on the GeoPalz.Com website. The GeoPalz site offers real prizes for hitting certain activity thresholds. Yes, parents finally have the technology that will allow them to bribe their children to get moving!
Let’s take a look at our video review of the GeoPalz pedometer and website…
The GeoPalz is The Right Amount of Technology For the Job
As we have repeatedly stated, we believe that gadgets should have just enough technology to get the job done. The GeoPalz is just the right amount of technology for a kid’s fitness gadget. By NOT having a sync process where you use bluetooth, wireless or USB – the GeoPalz is much easier for kids to use and it has a very long battery life.
Once a day, kids enter in the step count from the GeoPalz pedometer on the website. They can then see their progress toward different goals and prizes, as we show in the video. Worried about your kids trying to game the system? You can choose to have the GeoPalz display a code for kids to enter on the website instead of steps. The site knows how to translate the code into the correct steps, but it eliminates the ability for kids to enter in more steps than the pedometer shows.
While the GeoPalz is not over designed, it still contains enough technology to be a very accurate and useful pedometer. The GeoPalz uses a 3D Tri-Axis Accelerometers (98% accurate), it can gauge MVPA (Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity) and it tracks 21 days of steps. Did we mention it also comes in 26 really fun designs that kids will love?
Really Want to Get The Kids Moving? Get the Whole Family Involved
If there is one thing that really gets kids motivated, it is the ability to beat their brother, Mother, Father or Grandparents in any game! As we show in the video, the GeoPalz website has a Family area. You can have everyone in the family track their activity. The kids use the GeoPalz, but Moms, Dads and Grandparents can also get into the fun by importing data from the FitBit or Nike Plus.
One quick glance of the Family area of your Dashboard and you can see who has the most steps, who is burning the most calories and more. Here is a bit of advice from one Dad to another…don’t let your kids out walk you for a week, you will never hear the end of it!
The Best Bribe is a Custom Bribe
Most of the prizes offered by GeoPalz are little foam balls, frisbees or water balls with the GeoPalz logo on it. Kids don’t need a ton of points to collect these prizes, so younger children will be happy to win something after only a week or two of walking. The prizes are not the highest quality stuff, but still very cool that kids can win these prizes with no cost to you (parents do have to pay shipping). From time to time GeoPalz gets prizes donated by other companies, these are of higher value and do require my points to win.
The real value of GeoPalz as a motivation device comes in by the custom prize feature. If your son really wants that latest and greatest video game for the Nintendo Wii you can add it to prize shelf via an Amazon link. You set the points he needs to hit to win the prize and of course you do have to pay for it. Let me tell you, you feel like one genius parent when you get your kid to walk 50 miles for a video game that you were probably going to break down and buy for him anyway! Then you just need to get a T-Shirt for him to wear for when other parents are over and he is sitting glued to the video game that says “Don’t Judge My Dad, He Made Me Walk 50 Miles So I Could Sit Like a Blob Now!”
For Parents, The GeoPalz Is The Solution to A Modern Day Problem
Our kids are incredibly technology savvy – this is both a blessing and a curse. It is great that they can help us use our DVR but it also means they spend a great deal of time online. With so much information and entertainment available online, it can be very hard to get the kids excited about going for a walk, taking a hike or just running around like fools, as we all did in our younger days. Simply put, endless technology keeps kids living online rather than spending time in the sunshine.
In a previous article I stated a New Year’s Resolution to get out and be more active with the family this winter. As our regular readers know I am a big fan of camping and hiking and over at the KOA Campfire (a great discussion group you should all check out) we are constantly talking about how to get kids more excited to get unplugged and spend time outside. The GeoPalz might be the middle ground kids need. Go hiking and have the kids wear their GeoPalz. They are still “plugged in” in the passive sense of having the GeoPalz on and earning points, but they are outside, moving and not actively using any technology.
The GeoPalz turns being physically active into a game – complete with prizes. Kids completely understand concepts like topping your best score, beating your brother and leveling up by reaching a new personal best. Somewhat ironic that it took technology to solve the problem of inactivity caused by technology.
Visit the GeoPalz website to learn more
Order the GeoPalz Pedometer at Amazon.Com ($17.50 – $25)
Watch our video review of the GeoPalz Pedometer
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