Looking for a way to encourage your child to explore the great outdoors? While playing outside without a device is optimal, apps are a great tool to educate your kiddo on the outside world.
There are so many available apps to help encourage outdoor play that it can be overwhelming. There are apps to help educate children on bugs, constellations, survival skills, and so much more. While the following list is not exhaustive by any means, it is a great place to begin.
4 Apps to Help Explore the Great Outdoors:
Nature Cat’s Great Outdoors is an app based on the Emmy-nominated PBS Kids series, Nature Cat. Nature Cat’s Great Outdoors introduces children to the great outdoors with a backpack full of fun!
- The app teaches kiddos about the outdoors with a backpack full of tools:
- A journal for recording observations
- Camera for capturing photos
- Compass for finding direction
- Microphone for recording sounds
- Audio/visual tutorial guides children through each feature (children have the option to skip tutorial)
- 100+ Daily Nature Adventures – whether rain or shine, at home or on the go, there are nature adventures for any kind of day!
- Filter by rain, snow, sun, and indoor to play any time
- Unlock Nature Badges for Nature Explorer sash as you complete Nature Adventures
- For children ages 5 and up!
Disneynature Explore is an interactive app that combines augmented reality (AR) technology with the great outdoors. Children will have fun seeing what the world looks like through a butterfly’s eyes, following bear tracks, and so much more!
- Exciting 3D animal animation, sound effects, and player sound recognition
- Players will explore the habitats and lives of five realistic, animated animals
- Sea turtle
- Additional photo missions extend your family’s engagement with nature
- Children will receive virtual Disneynature pins while exploring
- No in-app purchases or third-party advertisements
- Ages 4 and up
Check out our blog on the popular AR app: Pokémon Go
3. Nature Passport:
Nature Passport is an app that motivates children to have fun engaging with their environment – from backyards and parks to beaches and other wild places. The app features activities designed by experts in outdoor play and experiential education, making it a “robust tool for both families and classrooms.”
- An international app designed to get kids and families playing, exploring, and learning outdoors
- Access the Nature Passport Web App on your tablet, laptop, or desktop computer through your web browser
- Also available for free on both Android and iOS devices
- Activities can be filtered by type of environment, season, duration, and difficulty
- Ideal for children ages 7 and up
Another fun app brought to you by PBS KIDS is Plum’s Photo Hunt! This app is part of PLUM LANDING, an “environmental science media property designed to get kids excited about exploring the wonders of our planet.” The app sends kids on missions outside to photograph things found in nature (e.g. weather, plants, bugs, etc.)
- Take photos that include Plum and her Earthling friends Brad, Clem, Gabi, Oliver, and Cooper
- Photo assignments include specific items like birds, rocks, or leaves
- Each step is stated verbally and is easy to follow
- For children ages 6 and up