Top 10 apps to get your children outdoors

Top 10 apps to get your children outdoors

by motherandbaby |
Updated on

If your children can't be torn away from their phones and tablets, why not use an app to get them outside to play?

With so many apps on the market, there are plenty to choose from that will combine your child's love of technology with their natural enjoyment of the outdoors.

Here are 10 of the best smartphone apps to get your children outdoors and learning all about the big wide world.

Meet the Insects: Forest Edition

Creepy-crawlies are fascinating, and your child can find out all about the life cycles and habits of these garden friends with this interactive app. There's loads of information, videos and photos about common beetles, ants, butterflies and moths, a quiz for them to test their knowledge, and even an observation journal so kids can add their own discoveries.


Is your kid crazy about birds? Help them catalogue and learn more things about warblers, swallows and finches with this clever app, which uses image-recognition technology to identify birds from photos with incredible accuracy. The app needs quite close shots to work – but that's all the more reason for them to practice their bird-watching skills quietly!

Star Walk 2

Get your children excited about the wonders of the planets with Star Walk 2, an interactive chart of the night sky. Point it up at the heavens and get a virtual view of what's there, along with a galaxy of information on the constellations, stars and other celestial bodies you can see - the perfect late-night activity on camping trips.

Plum's Photo Hunt

If you want something to help your child see their back garden in a whole new light, Plum's Photo Hunt is here to help. Guided by a friendly, animated plum (just go with it), this educational app gives kids 36 "photo missions" to complete, such as snapping leaves and flowers – as well as the chance to get "photobombed" by Plum.


You're never too young (or too old) for a bit of geocaching. It's essentially a giant digital treasure hunt, using your phone's GPS to locate containers placed by other players. The containers could be in parks, under bridges, or on top of hills – it's a great activity to join in with your child, and an excuse for a good walk!


Trees PRO HD

Make a walk in the woods a learning experience with this app, which has detailed information on trees from all over the world, as well as explaining why trees are so important to the ecosystem. Kids can discovering names and facts about the trees in their garden or park, and test their knowledge with the in-app quiz.

DisneyNature Explore

Sure, you might not have a jungle or a wildlife park nearby, but this app gives your animal-loving children a pretty good substitute: a selection of 20 animals that can magically appear on the camera app! As well as getting their photos taken with monkeys, bears and lions, kids can explore a number of fun facts about their favourite beasts.

Birds of Britain

This bird watching app doesn't have the imaging identifier of Birdsnap, but it's much more UK-centric – and even has audio recordings of bird songs and calls, so even if your child can't see a bird, they can still identify it. Packed with authoritative information, it's a great way for older bird watchers to take the hobby up a notch.


Are you an outdoorsy type who loves going on hikes with your children? Next time, bring along this clever compass app to teach them all about navigating in the wild. As well as a full-featured compass, the app includes maps, binoculars, waypoint tracker, rangefinder, star finder and more – they'll have no excuse for getting lost.

OutDoors GB

One probably more suited for older kids, this collection of apps is nevertheless a great way to encourage any child who's recently taken up running, trekking or cycling. With high-quality Ordnance Survey maps and the option to record routes, view current speed and altitude and a handy built-in compass, it's the perfect companion for the great outdoors.

Courtesy of Park Resorts

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