We Reviewed Dozens Of The Best Outdoor Apps For Kids So You Don’t Have To. Here Are Our Top Picks.
No matter what season of the year, there are tons of great reasons to get outside. Coax your family out into the great outdoors to make some momentous memories. Here are some apps that might help! These are our best picks for informative, educational outdoorsy apps. Enjoy!
Distant Suns (Max)
Price: $3.99 with in-app purchases on iOS App Store; $5.99 on Google Play Store
Next time you are out under the stars, take this app along with you. Just point the screen to the sky and get set for learning. Distant Suns pulls the best of your device’s capabilities to create a star map in the palm of your hand and gives added information when you tap each item.
One of the neatest features of this night-sky app is that it uses special lighting to preserve your night vision. You can learn about the things you see in the sky above, and also what’s out in that direction even farther than you can see. The app incorporates info from NASA, weather satellites, and more.
Ever wonder what you are seeing as you wander the great outdoors? This app lets you snap a photo of the unfamiliar wildflower or plant and will instantly fill in the gaps in your knowledge. This particular app is focused on plants of the North Eastern United States, but companion apps exist for all areas of the US, as well as for trees, birds, and many other topics. They are all powered by Sunbird Field Guides, so you know the pictures are accurate as well as gorgeous.
The app includes thousands of images of 333 different species, so you can identify your mystery plant in any season or stage. It also shows the entire plant: leaves, flowers, stem and all. This will also help you learn to recognize it wherever you may find it.
From our friends at PBS, here’s a great free app that will get your whole family involved with outdoor missions. Spun off from the favorite show, Plum’s Landing, this app offers over 150 missions to get the whole group outside doing some learning. Missions involve observing and learning about the world around us. Players can earn badges, unlock surprises, and more, so the developers have managed to “gamify” outdoor time. Sometimes that’s all the incentive needed!
The app is completely free to use, and includes tons of tips to help parents make the most of outside time with the kiddoes. And since it’s from PBSKids, you know the info is reliable and the activities are sound.
This app offers dozens of outdoor activity ideas suitable for all ages, for families, youth organizations, and classes. The activities can be filtered by a number of different attributes, including difficulty level, environment, and more. Nature Passport is set up to support citizen scientist activities by offering a handy journal built right in.
The app’s Safari mode will encourage budding outdoorsmen to observe their area closely and to note their observations in their journals. The app is free to use, but includes an in-app purchase to sync other accounts and to get access to a handy field guide.
Message Hunt- Xnote
Price: Free limited version with in-app purchase to unlock features and content
Get your techie children outside by making their devices an integral part of the experience. Message Hunt picks up where real geocaching leaves off! The app allows users to create personalized scavenger hunts for any number of players. In addition to listing the usual hunt items, you can hide virtual messages, greeting cards, and other digital goodies anywhere in the world. Players will need to be on their toes, use their GPS and map skills, and more to get all the way through this game.
Best of all, anyone can play! Set up your note, card, photo or other digital treasure, then invite friends and family to enjoy. They won’t need the app, but can play right from their browsers on any device with GPS and data enabled.
Monkey Spot Scavenger Hunts
Price: Free with in-app purchases to unlock additional content
Monkey Spot Scavenger Hunts offers four free scavenger hunts that will appeal to children of all ages. Get ready for some creative, story-telling fun!
When you are ready for more, the developers have a library of other hunts available through in-app purchases of ninety-nine cents each. There are currently six of these add-ons and the list is growning. Check back often for new content.
Zombies Run 5K is a beginner’s workout program that offers 8 weeks of training (with the subscription). It requires a headset. Users are told when to walk, jog, run, and so forth throughout the training course, and the commands are embedded in a gripping zombie story that stars YOU!
Zombies Run has a series of apps designed for different levels of experience, so be sure to find the one that is right for you or your child. It is rated 12+ for some mild violence, crude humor, and so forth, so parents may wish to screen the app before allowing younger children to use it. Subscription costs range from $3.99 to $89.99 for various levels and features.
Nature Cat’s Great Outdoors includes over 100 nature prompts that will not only get the kids outside, but also get them doing active things that will help them learn and grow. Users can filter activities by weather conditions and fill out a dedicated journal to keep track of their experiences and memories.
Kids will love the connection to the PBS hit series, and they will get even more excited when they discover they can earn badges and other incentives for completing activities. It’s a great way to get them up and moving outside!
Head out for an AR-assisted treasure hunt, me matey! This app will send the kids traveling all over their desert island (or their yard if you prefer) looking for that elusive buried treasure. They will even have the help of a handy parrot on their shoulder!
This is a great app to use with family or friends- take off on an exciting pirate treasure hunt today!