Nature Exploring Apps for Families

Nature Exploring Apps for Families

Do you use apps to explore the outdoors with your kiddos? Check out some of our FAVORITE nature-exploring apps that work well with young children!

Let's start with a couple overall notes:

  • First off, all of these apps are FREE - yay!
  • Second, they ALL encourage outdoor learning and exploration 
  • Third, they are safe, from reputable organizations, and VERY easy to use (for grownups and kids)
  • And lastly, they all work on a wide range of devices (i.e. Apple, Andriod, Amazon...)

Now that we've got that covered - here are our top favorite outdoor-exploring apps:

1. Nature Cat's Great Outdoors App: Based on the PBS KIDS show, this app has on-the-go toolsets that will inspire kiddos to explore nature - in the backyard, at a local park, or even looking out the window. There are over 100 daily nature adventures that let kids use tools and think about the nature they observe. The app has built in nature tools: Daisy's camer, Hal's microphone, and a nature journal to record observations (with photos, stickers, sounds, drawings, stamping, etc.). Download and learn more:

2. Outdoor Family Fun with Plum App: Does your family have a few minutes at the bus stop or 15 minutes to play outside? Try a mission from Plum and start building a healthy habit! Spending time outdoors has many benefits and nature is all around you just have to look! This app offers daily activities that will get your family outside, exploring your neighborhood and learning about nature. It's part of PLUM LANDING, a PBS KIDS project that helps kids develop a love for this amazing and beautiful planet we call home. Download and learn more:


3. iNaturalist App: iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 750,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! What’s more, by recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. Fun fact: WXXI is hosting an ongoing Backyard Observation Challenge using iNaturalist! All you have to do to participate is download the FREE iNaturalist app, which works on all devices - Android version and Apple version, and follow the directions on the Backyard Observation Challenge page. Need help learning how to use iNaturalist? Check out some of the video tutorials. Teachers: there's even an iNaturalist educator guide to help with use in your classroom instruction!


4. Seek by iNatualist App: Take your nature knowledge up a notch with Seek! Use the power of image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals all around you. No registration is involved, and no user data is collected. This is a great app for families who want to spend more time exploring nature together. Download and learn more:

5. Ready Jet Go! Space Explorer App: Kids can explore the solar system and visit planets, stars and constellations with Jet and his friends. This app let's kids and grownups dive deep into 300+ planet and constellation facts! Plus, you can point your device to the sky and explore to see real world positions of constellations and planets. Download and learn more:

6. Molly of Denali App: Go on adventures with Molly of Denali from PBS KIDS! In this app, kids ages 4-8 can play with Molly and friends in her Alaskan village, Qyah. Children can go on dog sledding missions (to learn about sledding and caring for the dogs), fish (to learn about fishing and respecting nature), create beading projects (to learn the tradition of Alaskan Native beadwork with simple patterns) or help run the Denali Trading Post (to fill oders and interact with customers). Download and learn more:

To explore more PBS KIDS apps, visit: