When kids fall back into their school-time routines, it’s vital to leave free time for some family fun! Each of these 10 “outdoors adventure apps” can give your children a release from daily demands of homework, sports, and more—whether they’re in a toddler program, grammar school or high school.
Besides the phenomenon of Pokémon GO ™—an app that’s getting 21 million kids up and outside daily to “catch” Pokémon—here are others that can get kids moving and jazzed about the outdoors. Many of these apps also let them in on autumn adventures without having to leave home!
To get stoked about exploring the wild… even if it’s just the wildlife seen in your yard. With the Project Noah app (free, iOs), your kids can discover local plants and animals. Then, they can upload photos to reveal more about what they found.
To inspire kids to reach for the stars… A stargazing app, Sky Guide ($1.99, iOs) is remarkably beautiful—it’s an Apple Design award-winner! It’s also easy-to-use and helps kids identify stars and constellations just by holding it overhead and pointing it to the sky. It even makes stars clearer on overcast nights and can work without a GPS or Wifi.
For finding snack shops and sights… If you’re on the way to a school event and need to make a quick snack stop, this Along the Way app ($2.99, iOs) can help you find them. It points out places right on your route instead of taking you out of the way!
To get off the beaten path… Kids and mommies need a break from technology from time to time. Research studies found that time spent in nature helps alleviate depression and lower stress levels. Get the RootsRated app (free, iOs) to get info on trails, bike routes and other outdoor activities.
To savor some great memories… Get the app “CameraBag2.” ($19.99, iOs) As stated by Leander Kahney on the Cult of Mac blog, it’s “stunningly fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any photo app quite as elegant and easy to use.” This photo editing app is great for the older kids in your house (high-schoolers) who simply have an interest in photography, or who have a photo elective class. Maybe they’ll get extra credit!
If your kids love gazing at clouds… Try the MyWeather Radar app (free, iOs). This award-winner has a bunch of easy-to-read base maps, StormWatch weather alerts and animated clouds with falling rain!
To get going on more trails… Find them on AllTrails–Hiking & Biking app (Android, iOS, free). This app has the lowdown on more than 50,000 hiking, biking and other trails. It has everything from reviews to photos to topographic maps.
For the tree-hugger or plant-lover… Kids love this cool LeafSnap app (iOs, free). It was created by the University of Maryland, Columbia University and the Smithsonian Institution. It acts as a field guide to many types of plants. It comes with pictures of leaves, trees and fruits—to help kids identify them. Or, try Florafolio ($3.99/iOs). The latter offers a guide to North American trees, shrubs, ferns vines and grasses. It’s perfect for identifying species anywhere in NE United States to Canada—from the wild to your own garden!
For budding bird watchers… The Audubon Birds Pro app (Android, iOs, $3.99/$9.99). This app offers and stunningly detailed field guide that describes over 800 species of birds. It also provides bird calls and migration maps for certain species.
For a modern-day scavenger hunt… Try Geocaching.com (Android/iOs, free), which uses your smartphone’s capabilities. It works by having players hide small items and tokens (caches), and then post the GPS coordinates.