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Best Science and Nature Apps for Spring

Best Science and Nature Apps for Spring

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Best Science and Nature Apps for Spring

Is anyone else ready for spring?! I’m excited as I hear birds chirping and see more sun and green in the landscape around me each day.

I wrote last year about using my smartphone on my nature walks to learn and explore plants, birds, and wildlife as I walked. Science and nature apps are some of my favorite apps for kids. You can use them to ignite a new interest, or to get kids out and exploring.

Here are some of my favorite science and nature apps for kids.

Science and Nature Apps for Hiking

Toca Nature

Recommended Ages: 4-6

Toca has done it again with a beautiful new app for kids: Toca Nature. Toca Nature is a great app that inspires younger kids to discover more about nature. And, it helps them understand how living things are connected. In Toca Nature, kids can sculpt a landscape with mountains, lakes, and trees. Cute animals appear in the different biomes that kids create: foxes, hares, beavers, woodpeckers, deer, wolves, and bears. The biomes and animals are beautiful and calming! Kids can gather food and feed it to the animals. Feed an animal its favorite food, and it may start to grow!

Cost: $2.99   In App Purchases: No      Ads: No

iOS     Google         Kindle [aff]

 

National Parks By Chimani

Recommended Ages: 10 & up

Do you have a budding hiker? National Parks gives details on each of the 400+ units of the US National Park Service, including national parks, monuments, seashores, historic sites, battlefields, memorials, parkways, scenic trails, and more. Let your child create a list of family hikes. The app includes a photo gallery with thousands of images. And you can collect badges and earn points for each of the parks visited.

Cost: FREE    In App Purchases: Yes     Ads: Yes

iOS     Google         Kindle [aff]

 
Parents Guide to Musical.ly

SAS Survival Guide

Recommended Ages: 12 & up

There are many survival guide apps on the market. But I love the layout of SAS Survival Guide. This guide was written by John “Lofty” Wiseman, a former British Special Air Service soldier and instructor and he covers everything when it comes to surviving in the wilderness. The app contains the full text, all 400+ pages of the SAS Survival Guide book. Plus, it includes 16 videos by Wiseman. You’ll also find an image gallery of animal tracks, knots, and edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants. There’s so much in this app. It’s perfect for older kids.

Cost: $5.99   In App Purchases: Yes     Ads: No

iOS     Google         Kindle [aff]

 

Science and Nature Apps for Gardening

Happy Little Farmer

Recommended Ages: 3-5 years

Young kids take on the role of the farmer in Happy Little Farmer. This fun and engaging app lets kids learn about how food grows, all while playing. Kids can play in the garden, tractor, or monster area. They learn about gardening while planting seeds, watering the plants, harvesting vegetables, and chasing bugs away. Young kids can easily navigate this app. But, kids will benefit from parents interacting with them as they play. Ask questions of your child like “What’s happening?” and “What made that plant grow?”

Cost: $2.99   In App Purchases: No      Ads: No

iOS     Google         Kindle [aff]

 

Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden

Recommended Ages: 3-5

Kids learn to garden as they cultivate and harvest over a dozen fruits and vegetables in Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden. This gardening app for kids isn’t just a fluff app. Kids learn about 30 separate steps involved in the gardening process including digging, plowing, seeding, watering, and harvesting. One thing that makes Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden unique from the other gardening apps is that it incorporates not only the gardening life cycle and the seed-to-table process, it adds the seed-to-consumer element as well. Kids will truly be invested in their virtual garden. And, this can inspire them to start a garden of their own.

Cost: $2.99   In App Purchases: No      Ads: No

iOS     Google         Kindle [aff]

 

Gro Garden

Recommended Ages: 6-8

Gro Garden teaches kids about the importance of composting in gardening. In the app, kids learn how to plant and care for crops, feed hungry animals, and make compost from the food scraps. The game doesn’t move at a fast pace so it teaches kids patience much like a real garden does.

Cost: $2.99   In App Purchases: No      Ads: No

iOS     Google         Kindle [aff]

 

Plants HD

Recommended Ages: 8-12

Plants HD is a great app from Sprout Labs. They make many informative apps covering life sciences that are perfect for older kids (grades 3-5). All their apps are outstanding. In Plants HD kids learn about seeds, germination, pollination, flowers, trees, fruits, and dispersal. Kids can put the knowledge they’ve gained into practice by starting a garden of their own or volunteering at a local community garden.

Cost: $2.99   In App Purchases: No      Ads: No

iOS  

  

Science and Nature Apps for Bird Watching

My Bird World HD

Recommended Ages: 8-10

Kids will learn lots about birds with My Bird World. This app contains four interactive bird games that teach kids about 24 different species of North American birds. Players “earn” birds to place in virtual woodland, marsh, forest, and other habitats by playing Match Facts or Infestation Predation. After winning birds, kids learn more as they earn food for their birds. To win food, kids play Memory or Flight Patterns. Every time a bird is fed, more is learned about the bird. My Bird World HD is fun and engaging for young learners. The games not only teach kids facts about birds, but they test memory, reading, sound, and visual pattern recognition.

Cost: $1.99   In App Purchases: Yes     Ads: No

iOS

 

A Field Guide to North American Birds

Recommended Ages: 8 & up

The original Field Guild book on steroids! This app brings you 3,150 completely new, high-resolution images of birds in their natural habitat, categorized by gender, age, and plumage variations by season. Listening for birds is easy as the app includes sounds for birds. You’ll get insights to where the birds are during any given season with the up-to-date maps. This app is perfect for all ages. It’s easier to carry an app on your smartphone rather than a field guide on a nature hike. And, I’ve found kids often enjoy using the app form of field guides more so than the book form.

Cost: FREE    In App Purchases: No    Ads: No

iOS    Google        Kindle [aff]

 

Merlin

Recommended Ages: 8 & up

Merlin is a great app that makes bird identification simple. To identify a bird, Merlin first asks five questions – when, where, size, color, and activity of the bird observed. Merlin also offers an “identify from photo” option making it easy to identify birds you’re able to photograph. Using eBird data, Merlin then gives the most common species around you matching the criteria entered. This bird app offers 1,000+ photo resources, tips from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s expert birders, and bird sounds from the Cornell Lab’s Macaulay Library. Merlin is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. If you only select one bird app for your kids, Merlin is the one to pick.

Cost: FREE    In App Purchases: No      Ads: No

iOS     Google        

 

eBird Mobile App

Recommended Ages: 8 & up

The free eBird Mobile app will allow you to upload data from anywhere. eBird replaces the former BirdLog app. The eBird Mobile app offers exact location pinning using your phone’s GPS, personal or public HotSpot locations, and easily exported lists to share across media platforms. One feature I love is that eBird Mobile app automatically includes your bird sightings in the Great Backyard Bird Count if you use the app during the GBBC counting period. If you already have an existing GBBC/eBird account, simply log into the app with your account information. If eBird app is new to you, just create a free account.

eBird gives you a paperless way to log your bird sightings. Use this app to track and upload your sightings right to eBird from the field, at home, or on the go. You’ll never lose track of which species you’ve seen and where.

Cost: FREE    In App Purchases: No      Ads: No

iOS     Google        

 

NestWatch

Recommended Ages: 8 & up

Have you found a nest? NestWatch is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s citizen-science project that tracks nesting birds in North America. Kids will love participating in this project. And the app will teach them how to safely observe a nest without causing harm to the birds. I wish I had known about this app last spring when I had a nest of baby mallard ducks in my yard!

Cost: FREE    In App Purchases: No     Ads: No

iOS     Google

 

Science and Nature Apps for Astronomy

Star Walk Kids

Recommended Ages: 6–8

Star Walk Kids is an astronomy app made just for kids. Unlike astronomy apps geared for adults, kids will find colorful images and friendly narrators. Kids as young as four can begin to recognize constellations and planets of the solar system, and grasp the fundamental principles of astrophysics. What I love most about StarWalk Kids is the stars and objects in the sky are in their correct position relative to your time and location. The app also features animated movies so kids can learn more about the night sky. Star Walk Kids really is an app that gets your kids outside and exploring.

Cost: $2.99   In App Purchases: No      Ads: No

iOS     Google

NASA

Recommended Ages: 7 & up

This is the official NASA app. And this free app offers so much! Kids can spend a lifetime on this app and not get bored. The NASA app is packed with information on the U.S. space program and astronomy. New information is added daily from a variety of NASA sources, including NASA’s public television channel. You won’t find ads or in-app purchases. But social sharing via Facebook and Twitter is an option. It makes it easy to share cool NASA facts. But, if you don’t want your kids sharing to social media just yet, be sure to discuss this with them ahead of time.

Cost: FREE    In App Purchases: No      Ads: No

iOS        Google        Kindle [aff]

 

Remember, great apps for kids follow the 4 C’s. Read more about how to select the best apps for your kids. Then apply those standards as you select science and nature apps for your kids.

See suggestions for Best Apps for Science or check out more ideas for birding apps or astronomy apps at The Homeschool Scientist.

Are you ready for spring? What are your favorite Science and Nature Apps for kids?

 

Best Science and Nature Apps for Spring

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