When it starts to get warm, it is time to move the learning outdoors. There are so many misconceptions that apps are just for indoor learning. In fact, many apps are designed to invite kids going out, explore and learn everything about the wonderful nature. Today we share some apps we used for outdoor science exploration.
9 Apps Making Outdoor Science Learning Fun
SkyView: kids will be fascinated with this free app. If you point your device to the sky, you will see the stars that you are supposed to see on your screen. The view on the screen changes if you move the device. You can look up the information about the stars and the constellations by a quick tap on the screen. It is a great tool for kids to enjoy the evening sky and star gazing.
Star Walk: similar to SkyView, but with more information on the stars and constellation. It also has a calendar of celestial events like planetary alignments, full moons, solar eclipses, and meteor showers. A wonderful tool to keep track those events in the sky in your area.
Peterson Feeder Birds: a handy and free bird guide from Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America. It covers 160 common North American backyard birds. It is a great app to have while playing in the backyard or walking on the trails in parks.
Audubon Birds: it is a little pricy compared to typical kid’s apps. But it is totally worth it with the rich data and functions it carries. It has pictures and sound files for each bird. You can look up a bird by name, size, shape, wing shape, song pattern, and more. You can keep a journal of your own discoveries too.
Meet the insects – Water and Grass Edition: it is an encyclopedia of insects living near water and grass. The multi-media materials are beautifully put together. Kids can go through the insects one by one, or look up a particular one. Even those who don’t like bugs will like this app.
Meet the insects – Village Edition: is in the same series of the Water and Grass Edition app, this one focuses on bugs more often to be seen close to our living areas and parks. All apps in the series has a journal section, where kids can record insects they found with names, pictures, brief descriptions. It is a learning tool, as well as a researching tool.
On Beyond Bugs: All about Insects: is an app from The Cat in the Hat Learning Library. It is a fun and gentle introduction of insects for kids. Kids will enjoy following The Cat in the Hat and learning many interesting things about insects.
Noisy Bug Sing Along: a beautifully illustrated book for kids, teaching kids different kinds of bugs and the sounds they make. It is interesting see where the sound is from, and hear the sound at the same time. It will be interesting to take the app with you when you and kids are out, and compare the sound you hear with the sound from the app and try to identify bugs nearby.
Camera on Your Device: we use camera a lot for fun moments. Have you tried to use it as a learning tool? Why not take a hike with kids, give them a research topic before the hiking, like the types of trees on the hiking trail. Ask them take pictures along the way. When you get home, print the pictures out or put them into a collage app, and ask kids to write a report about their discoveries. Kids learn scientific data collection, record keeping and organization, and science reports.
Kids don’t have to sit in the room to use the mobile devices for learning. There are so many ways to encourage them to go outside. These apps are wonderful tools to encourage outdoor learnings. Enjoy!