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Looking for a more exciting way to entertain your child with your smartphone? You should try an augmented reality game.
Augmented reality (AR) titles are the perfect way to wow children. They allow you to seamlessly mix fantasy and reality together using your phone or tablet. Just point your phone at a real-life surface and a 3D dragon, alien, or robot—you name it—will appear.
We love AR games, and here we’ve compiled some offerings for kids. Here are the best kid-friendly AR games that you can download today on Android or iPhone.
1. Magical Park
Going out to a park with your family? If so, it’s a great idea to bring your phone with a copy of Magical Park installed. Magical Park is a slick AR offering that transforms any ordinary park into a fantasy playground.
It allows you to place 3D augmented reality models anywhere you see fit. And it has missions designed for outdoor play, like collecting eggs, trapping little critters, and fixing robots. Monsters, dinosaurs, and aliens all come to life in this super-cool AR experience. Your kids will surely be amazed and entertained.
2. Thomas & Friends Minis
Thomas & Friends Minis lets kids design and build their own Thomas the Tank Engine train sets. This awesome train set simulator places a virtual toy in the room and allows you and your child to build virtual train tracks any way you see fit.
You can create a calm track and relax as you watch it unfold, or try making twisty roller-coasters with lots of dizzying stunts. There’s no limit to what your child can make.
The app offers lots of toy trains to play as, like Thomas, James, Hiro, and more. You can take your character through the game’s several varied worlds. While it’s free to start, you’ll need to unlock much of the full game via in-app purchases to see everything.
However, the relatively small cost is well worth it for something that’s sure to keep kids engaged all day. It’ll also save you some money, too—no more trips to the toy store.
3. Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs
In Rovio’s Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs, the classic Angry Birds game turns into an epic AR adventure perfect for entertaining bored kiddos. Just like in the 2009 classic, you have to launch birds at the evil army of pigs so you can recover their stolen eggs.
This time, though, there’s a twist: the battlefield is in your living room, the park, or anywhere else you see fit, thanks to AR.
Angry Birds AR is perfect for kids, thanks to its bubbly bird heroes like Red, Bomb, Chuck, and lots more. It also packs the fun, wacky Angry Birds gameplay that takes skill and strategy. And its super-cool AR elements are sure to surprise the little ones.
Avo is a lovable, inventive game where you control an adorable walking avocado that loves mystery and solving puzzles. As Avo, you can jump, play around, and solve puzzles alongside Billie, a young scientist.
Your kid will surely love this adventure, consisting of eight awesome episodes where you fight crime and solve mysteries. There’s also an AR photo mode, in which you can take cool shots of Avo in the real world. Basically, Avo is a kids’ TV show that your kid can play!
Download: Avo for iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
5. Color Quest AR
Stayhealthy’s Color Quest AR lets your children learn as they color fun characters that come alive. And they can pick up tons of fun health facts along the way.
Once your child has finished coloring in their character, he or she can see the new creation come to life and pull off some slick dance moves in front of the whole family. You’ll want to bring out the camera and say cheese.
Keep coloring and unlocking characters to win lots of trophies, play more minigames, and become the Magic Health Master in this charming AR odyssey.
6. Pokémon GO
Pokémon GO, despite being released a while ago, is still relevant today. It receives updates with new Pokémon every once in a while. Notably, one of those updates also added an enhanced AR game mode. It makes this game full of cute critters even more perfect for kids.
Not only is it a cutesy game, but it’s also a great way to keep your kids active. In order to collect Pokemon, you must look for them in the real world. It’s like the Pokémon version of hide-and-go-seek, and we think your kids will absolutely adore it.
7. AR Sports Basketball
Another way to keep your little ones active is to play some basketball. But what if it’s stormy outside? Don’t worry; AR Sports Basketball is here to fix that.
Just take out your phone or tablet, point the camera at a flat surface, and a virtual basketball hoop will appear. You can throw virtual shots and three-pointers all from your phone. That’s truly awesome.
AR Sports Basketball is the ultimate virtual basketball experience for the whole family, and a great way to keep kids physically active even on days with poor weather.
8. AR Dragon
Say hello to the ultra-cute AR Dragon. Like Pokémon GO, this game from Playside places mythical creatures in the real world all from your smartphone’s camera. Just point at the floor and an adorable dragon will appear.
The game lets you interact with your virtual pet dragon in many ways. You can play with it to your heart’s content, buy it cute outfits, and even have it chomp on some virtual snacks. Simply put, AR Dragon is the adorable antidote for a child’s boredom.
More Great Options for Entertaining Kids
Thanks to the magical world of augmented reality, a whole new way to teach, entertain, and surprise kids has emerged. We think that these AR games are a great way to spend some quality time with your children and keep them glued to the fun.
But too much screen time isn’t healthy, especially not for children. That’s why you should take a look at our list of the best brain-boosting podcasts to entertain and teach kids. Or if you want to boost your child’s creativity, why not check out our list of the best sites to find DIY craft projects for kids?