Several years ago, the World Health Organisation released its Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020, where one of the recommendations was, “The promotion of self-care, for instance, through the use of electronic and mobile health technologies.” Although the use of digital technologies and smartphones have the potential for negative impact, these technologies also provide plenty of positive opportunities to benefit your son’s life and support a healthy lifestyle. Mobile devices can be a tool to explore passion projects, to provide social independence and offer access to the world.
We’ve put together a list of 10 smartphone apps for boys that support a healthy lifestyle:
Garageband is Apple’s digital audio workstation. Boys can put together a song by recording audio, or by using Garageband’s virtual instruments. Garageband is especially easy for beginners because of its ‘loop browser’ which stores ready-made sequences and samples to plug into a song. It’s easy and fun to use, and gives your son a great opportunity to put his musical and composition talents to use.
Evernote helps your son to organise his projects. He can write notes, take photos, create lists, record voice memos and save content he finds online onto Evernote. It can also be easily synced with other devices, making collaboration much more convenient. This visual productivity tool helps your son to develop the organisational skills to make his learning and daily life much easier.
Through the use of short, instructional videos, the Khan Academy app provides plenty of detailed material on subjects such as Science, Mathematics, Economics and History. It has a large library of information and offers more than 40,000 interactive exercises, giving your son the chance to get the additional support he may need.
This running app created by Nike is a great companion to your son’s fitness regime. It allows him to track his fitness progress, get personalised coaching, connect with other runners and get motivated by elite athletes from around the world. Also, it is worthwhile looking at the accompanying Nike Training Club app, for access to training programs and daily workouts.
VSCO is a photo editing app on smartphones. It has filters and tools that allows your son to enhance his photographs. The camera also has manual settings for your son to explore when shooting. This is a suitable app for boys with a photography hobby or to help explore their creativity.
Wunderlist is a free app and one of the many to-do lists available, but it is particularly handy for homework tracking and study planning. Wunderlist allows you and your son to set due dates and separate reminders for tasks, helping your son to be on top of his responsibilities. It also has a collaborative feature, which allows you to be updated on your son’s to-do list.
Started in 1984, TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to sharing ideas in the form of short and powerful talks. Nowadays, TED has evolved into a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. The TED app gives your son access to its expanding and wide range of videos, giving him the chance to learn and be inspired.
Lumosity is a brain-training program with more than 50 games, designed by neuroscientists to improve cognitive skills when completed repeatedly. Your son begins by taking a test to see how he compares to others in his age group. Lumosity then creates personalised training programs designed to challenge him in the five core areas of their highest-priority cognitive abilities. The app can target a variety of skills including memory, problem solving, speed and flexibility.
Budgeting is a key skill for your son to learn. A budget is an important financial tool to help plan for expenses, cut spending, spend wisely, save for future goals and develop life-long money management skills. TrackMySPEND assists your son with budget tracking, by allowing him to nominate a spending limit, track his spending and saving progress, separate his ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ to identify opportunities to save, view expense history, categorise expenses and create reminders.
Podcasts are a fantastic way for your son to learn new things. From sports, to business, to politics and movies — he can listen to bite-sized or hour-long podcasts to learn more or be entertained.
Christ Church Grammar School is passionate about the health and wellbeing of boys, and you can find a list of more wellbeing apps and websites here. If you are interested in keeping up-to-date with the latest insights on raising boys, subscribe to our monthly enewsletter.