Apps to help kids get active

From healthy lifestyle to outdoor play apps, we’ve created a shortlist of age-appropriate apps that combine the magic of the online world with the offline world to get children moving and exploring the outdoors.

Apps to help kids get active

From healthy lifestyle to outdoor play apps, we’ve created a shortlist of age-appropriate apps that combine the magic of the online world with the offline world to get children moving and exploring the outdoors.

Making screen time active with great apps

From our research, we know that more than half of parents are worried that screen time is causing children to spend too much time sitting down. However, the following apps offer ways to make tech work for children and families as a whole. Navigate the guide to see which apps you can download today to help your child no matter how old they are.

Plant Nanny

Teaches children to drink water

Habitz 

Helps children form good habits

Push2Play

Game finder for outdoor play

Sworkit Kids 

Customised exercises for kids

Charity Miles

Moving for a good cause

Rebecca Plants Curiosity Cards

Resource for outdoor games

Walkr: Fitness space adventure

Strategy and exploration game

Habitz 

Helps children form good habits

Charity Miles

Moving for a good cause

Plant Nanny

Teaches children to drink water

Push2Play

Game finder for outdoor play

Walkr: Fitness space adventure

Strategy and exploration game

Charity Miles

Moving for a good cause

Sworkit Kids 

Customised exercises for kids

Zombie, Run!

Running adventure for kids

It can be hard to get kids to pick up certain healthy habits such as drinking water, eating fruit etc. these apps are a great way to incentivise good habits and make it fun and engaging to stick with them as they grow.

Habitz app

Using reward tokens app teaches kids to learn good habits
Suitable for: 0 – 5s, 6 – 10s

Habitz allows you to set goals for your children to motivate them to develop good habits.

How does it work?

Your child can log into the app on their own device and check off goals that they’ve completed on that day and post a photo. You’ll see this on their activity log through their own account.

You can choose from a list of pre-set goals or create your own. The Eat Healthier section includes options such as: Eat fruits, eggs, drink 2 cups of water a day etc. And also “Avoid junk food. avoid sweet snacks.” There are other options to help them manage screen time, i.e. “2 screen time limit” and “Brush your teeth” and also a 7-minute workout that kids can choose from.

Every time the child completes a task they earn “Coinz”, that they can trade in for rewards such as buying actual products on Amazon or having a day out.

The Automated lifestyle coach avatar Vicki on the app also offers health tips and facts through fun and kid-friendly chat stories and videos to keep children engaged.

How it can help your child?

  • Develop a healthy lifestyle
  • Change bad habits
  • Make healthy choices
  • Improve overall health

Rated: +4
Available on: iOS
Cost: FREE

Plant Nanny

Encourages kids to grow virtual plants to stay hydrated
Suitable for: 0-5s, 6-10s

The app gives children a fun little nudge to help them get into the habit of drinking water regularly throughout the day by combining it with the process of growing a plant.

How does it work?

You can pick from a selection of virtual plants and enter basic information like your child’s weight and how much water they should be consuming.

When you’ve set this up your child will be prompted to water the plant throughout the day in order to keep it alive and they’ll have to drink water at the same time.

Once the plant has fully grown it can be planted in a digital garden and you can generate new seeds to start the whole process over again.

How it can help your child?

  • Stay hydrated throughout the day
  • Build on good habits

Rated: 4+
Available on: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE

Screen time can also be used to get kids moving – these apps encourage children to set and achieve fitness goals and generate ideas on what games they can play to make screen time active.

Step Buy Step: A pedometer adventure

Turns walking into an adventure game
Suitable for: 6 – 10s, 11 – 13s

This is a pedometer app that tracks your child’s steps and turns each step into currency which they can use to buy a range of animals to walk with you as you make a journey around the world.

How does it work?

Created by makers of Zombies, Run! the app automatically tracks how many steps you take a day and gives you a weekly break down of how many steps you’ve taken.

Every time you reach a certain number of steps you can buy an animal companion to continue the journey with.

How it can help your child?

  • Encourages children to enjoy walking
  • Incentivises children to reach goals

Rated: +4
Available on: iOS
Cost: £1.99

Walkr: Fitness space adventure

Offers children space exploration with every step they take
Suitable for: 6 – 10s, 11 – 13s

This is yet another pedometer app that encourages children to walk with the incentive of exploring space and distant galaxies the more they walk.

How does it work?

Using “walking energy” you can fuel a spaceship to allow you to discover 50 amazing planets like Heart of Flames and Octopus Cavern.

You can also create your own galaxy and work out how to increase the population in it and go on missions to help lost creatures find their homes.

How it can help your child?

  • An engaging way to get them walking
  • Allows them to be creative and problem solve

Rated: +4
Available on: Android
Cost: Free

Charity Miles app

Allows kids to get active for a good cause
Suitable for: 11-13s, 14+

Not just for kids, this app is a great way to use tech for good as the app
donates money to charities depending on how much you walk, run or cycle.

How does it work?

Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of
charities and then with the help of GPS and motion sensors on your device, the
app will start to track a range of movements from dancing to cycling. For every
miles you move, you can help to earn money for your chosen charity and friends
can also sponsor you.

How can it help your child?

  • Helps with overall fitness
  • Gives children something to work towards
  • Encourages children to give back while keeping fit

Rated: +4
Available on: iOS and Android
Cost: Free

Sworkit Kids

Fitness game app for kids with customised workouts
Suitable for:  6 – 10, 11-13, 14+

Features over 200 fun video exercise routines for all parts of the body, making
it easier for kids to follow.

How does it work?

Once you’ve set up an account you can search through the variety of video
workouts – 5 to 30+ minutes – and follow along.

How it can help your child?

  • Improve overall fitness

Rated: +4
Available on: iOS and Android
Cost: Free

Dungeon Runner: Fitness Quest

Keep fit gaming adventure app
Suitable for: 14+

Challenges teens to play dungeon crawling game by performing a series of real-world fitness exercises.

How does it work?

Through motion tracking gameplay your movement is converted into punches to fight enemies. You can open secret passageways while doing squats and avoid traps in the game with star jumps. There are five levels in the game that challenge you to defeat minions in hopes to defeat the Dungeon Lord.

How it can help your child?

  • Improved physical fitness
  • Encourages problem solving and creativity

Rated: +4
Available on: iOS
Cost: Free

Zombie Run!

Takes kids on an immersive adventure to get them running
Suitable for: 14+

With over 1 million players Zombies, Run! is a popular app that tracks your GPS movements to allow you to play the game. As you run with your headphones in, you can hear the zombies approaching encouraging you to run even further.

How does it work?

You can walk or run as you become the main character in humanity’s struggle for survival. It tracks your speed and distance as you collect virtual supplies to save yourself from the incoming zombies. The app keeps a record of all your runs and you can share your runs with your friends.

How can it help your child?

  • Improves their fitness level
  • Encourages problem to solve and creative thinking

Rated: 12+
Available on: iOS and Android
Cost: Free

Push2Pay app 

Offers a range of games to help children make screen time active
Suitable for: 0-5s, 6-10s, 11-13s

Features a large number of games to games that you can do with a specific number of person, the app customises game suggestion to keep kids entertained and active.

How does it work?

Has a game finder that helps children find games based on where they rae and how many player they have. It also offers an option to log all the physical activities that children are doing.

How can it help your child?

  • Encourage creative play
  • Logs physical activity

Rated: 4+
Available on: iOS
Cost: Free

Rebecca Plants Curiosity Cards

Suggests outdoor activities that the whole family can play together
Suitable for: 0-5s, 6-10s, 11-13s

It is a great tool to make the most of family time as the app features 50 open-ended questions that help you find out more about each other and can take the boredom out of a car journey.

The cards are inspired by Rebecca P. Cohen’s books “15 minute outside: 365 Ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids”.

How does it work?

You can choose from the 50 simple questions on the app to start a conversation such as ‘If you could fly like a bird, where would you go or What do you like about being outside?”.

How can it help your child?

  • Encourages creative thinking
  • Improves communication

Rated: 4+
Available on: iOS 
Cost: £1.99

Persil and The Wild Network

Helps children think of creative ways to enjoy the outdoors
Suitable for: 6-10, 11-13

How does it work?

Persil and The Wild Network have teamed up to create an app that has more than
100 ideas for outdoor activities.

Once you download the app you put in where you are, either doorstep, woodland
or coastline, how long you want to play for, and then how old your children are.

It then creates a list of activities to do, e.ge.g. “Take a Moon Walk” to try  and see the moon, “Build A Wormery”, “Start a Wild Journal”, “Tree Hugs”,  “Nature in Focus” where your child uses their phone camera to explore the  outdoors. Once you’ve completed your task your “Wild Time” is tracked and kept
as a record on your profile.

How can it help your child?

  • Improves fitness level
  • Encourages creative play

Rated: 4+
Available on: iOS and Android
Cost: Free

More to explore

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