January 26, 2024

Support Family Health with Teacher Approved Apps and Evidence-Based Activities

At the start of a new year, many of us set family health goals, like being active together and getting plenty of sleep. At Healthier Generation, we want you to have the tools to help your family thrive.

Photo by Alice Xue Photography/Shutterstock.com

At the start of a new year, many of us set family health goals, like being active together and getting plenty of sleep. At Healthier Generation, we want you to have the tools to help your family thrive.  

Technology makes it easy and affordable for many of us to access health-related tools. But for many parents and caregivers, technology can make caring for children feel harder, especially when it comes to navigating online content and social media. That’s why we’ve partnered with Google Play to create a list of free* high-quality Teacher Approved apps and evidence-based activities to support the many ways families stay healthy. See our recommended apps below, along with tips and fun, hands-on activities to practice healthy habits together!

*All apps included on this list are free to download, and we note any apps that include optional in-app purchases. Data rates may apply. All app thumbnail images sourced from Google Play.


Photo by Prostock-studio/Shutterstock.com

Food and Nutrition for Kids 

1. Explore the world, one plate at a time 

Developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center, the app Pick Your Plate! A Global Guide to Nutrition helps young people ages 9-12 learn about meal planning, budgeting, culture, and nutrition with eats from all over the world.  

If you like Pick Your Plate!, check out our Explore New Foods & Flavors, a series of activities that encourage families to get creative and adventurous at mealtime: 

  • Snack Switch Up: Introduce a variety of nutritious options and get to know other cultures, while developing curiosity and openness to learn and grow. También en español.  
  • Community Table: Try a food that is important to your community and learn more about your shared history, culture, and where your food comes from. También en español
  • Flavor Remix!: Ready to find out if an everyday dish becomes a new family favorite? Remix your go-to foods into something new and different! También en español

2. Get to know fruits and vegetables 

Kids ages 6-8 can learn about vegetables and fruits while building literacy and language skills with Runner Game by LingoKids. As the character Cowy runs through the game, players identify produce like tomatoes and mushrooms by name and appearance. This is a great foundation for reading recipes (and promoting physical activity)!  

If you like Runner Game, try our tips and recipes for preparing and enjoying healthy snacks with your family: 


Photo by BAZA Production/Shutterstock.com

Staying Active as a Family 

3. Move your bodies every day  

GoNoodle are experts in bringing communities together with technology and play. So it makes sense that the GoNoodle Games app gets kids up to eight years old moving and learning together. We love how young people can play the game while offline too!  

If you enjoy GoNoodle Games, check out Ways to Keep Active Together, created with the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, GoNoodle®, and Griffin Middle School in Smyrna, Ga. This online learning activity is full of tips for making your family time more active with little to no equipment or setup necessary. 

4. Enjoy active entertainment 

Help your children ages 6-12 learn how to navigate and choose kid-friendly videos with the GoNoodle – Kids Videos app. Access several channels of videos that incorporate music, storytelling, and physical activity. It’s great for adults who need a boost of energy too!  

If you like getting your family active with fun videos, check out these activities for all ages, led by professional athletes: 

5. Describe and show off new moves 

New Mexico State University (NMSU) developed Jungle Gym to help young children ages 0-5 develop motor skills and learn how to describe and practice movement patterns. Build their growing vocabulary and skillset with Jungle Gym 2, the next app in a series about foods and moves.  

If you like learning new movements with Jungle Gym, try a few of our fun and creative activities to develop strength, flexibility, and balance:

6. Practice sports safety  

Getting kids involved in sports helps them develop social skills while building strength and coordination. CDC HEADS UP Rocket Blades uses interactive games to teach children ages 6-8 about concussion safety and help prevent real-life injuries.  

If you like HEADS UP Rocket Blades, check out our recommendations for modeling healthy movement in your words and actions in Simple Ways to Be an Active Role Model. También en español


Photo by George Rudy/Shutterstock.com

Social-Emotional Well-Being 

7. Breathe, think, do, thrive 

Young people of all ages can learn to manage their feelings. Developed by Sesame Workshop for children ages 2-5, Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame includes breathing exercises and other activities that help them build important social-emotional skills, like problem solving and self-control.  

If you like Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame, print and use the Feelings Chart (también en español). Try our online learning activity, How to Foster Self-Awareness when Challenging Emotions Arise, created with AAPI Youth Rising and Act to Change. Together, you’ll learn to identify, understand, communicate, and navigate feelings and experiences.  

8. Build your best bedtime routine  

Bedtime routines can help young people practice healthy habits every day and prepare for a good night’s sleep. Goodnight Caillou (free with optional paid upgrade) invites kids ages 3+ to go put on their pajamas, brush their teeth, and relax along with recognizable characters.  

If you like Goodnight Caillou, read Super Sleep Spaces for our evidence-based suggestions to create healthy sleep spaces and practice sleep hygiene at home. También en español.  

9. Activate your imagination 

The PBS Kids Games app combines learning and playing for kids ages 2-8 (with fun for older elementary students too). Take a virtual nature walk, practice math and science skills, develop literacy in English and Spanish, and more!  

If you like PBS Kids Games, try a few of our activities and get curious about the world with Nature-Based BINGO (también en español) and At-Home Summer Camp-Inspired Family Activities. También en español

10. Connect your mind and body 

Developed for children of all ages, Moshi Kids (free with optional paid upgrade) supports physical activity, curiosity, and relaxation through stories and activities. Your family can play, think, and meditate together to support learning and sleep.  

If you like Moshi Kids, explore our Virtual Me Moments Hub in English and en español. Me Moments are practices students (and adults!) can use to address their needs at any moment in school and at home.  

11. Improve memory and motivation  

Improving memory isn’t just about memorizing what we learn. Memory is important for learning and applying new skills and knowledge, and it helps us connect with others. Elementary school students can develop their memory with Match It – Kids Memory Game.   

If you like Match It – Kids Memory Game, check out our 5 Strategies to Promote Motivation developed by psychologists to help young people feel motivated and improve cooperation. También en español

12. Build social-emotional skills 

If you’re curious about social and emotional learning at home, Wisdom: The World of Emotions (free with optional paid upgrade) can help your family get started. This app includes activities that foster the five core competencies of social and emotional learning (SEL), aligned with experts at CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning). These include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.   

If you like Wisdom: The World of Emotions, try these tips and conversation starters: 


Photo by Peakstock/Shutterstock.com

Checking in with Your Body 

13. Prepare for routine checkups  

Keeping up with regular doctor appointments is important for children’s health,  and previewing what to expect can reduce feelings of anxiety and nervousness. Caillou Check Up (free with optional paid upgrade) helps toddlers and preschoolers ages 3+ visualize what will happen when they go in for a routine checkup.  

If you like Caillou Check Up, read our Ask a Doctor blog post to learn more about routine and recommended vaccines from our on-staff pediatrician Dr. Jessica Reggi. Our Vaccine Checklist for Parents can help you track which routine vaccinations the CDC recommends for school-age children, including Tdap and Meningococcal. También en español.  

14. Manage stress and anxiety about hospital visits 

Kids ages 3-7 (and older) can learn about doctor visits too! Mina and the Land of Dreams uses games to help children prepare for hospital visits, anesthesia, and medical procedures. This can be helpful for young people who have an upcoming medical treatment or who want to understand the experiences of a loved one. 

If you like Mina and the Land of Dreams, help your family prepare for stressful situations by Making a Feel Good Plan to identify feelings and address them with healthy, calming strategies. También en español

15. Encourage dental hygiene at every age 

For kids (and adults) who get distracted or lose track of time while brushing their teeth, Pokémon Smile might be a helpful tool. Using the selfie camera on your mobile device, this app turns dental hygiene into a fun game and keeps kids brushing while they rescue familiar friends.  

If you like Pokémon Smile, try our Healthy Day Checklist to help your family practice healthy habits every day. También en español

Did you see your favorite apps and activities? We’d love to know how you’re welcoming a healthy new year!