Tag Archives: green ipad apps

12 Apps That Encourage Kids to Get Out and Explore

Kids get out and explore

As a mom or dad, you probably grumble sometimes about how much time your kids spend in front of one screen or another. And it’s true that kids spend way too much time in front of screens. However, there are some apps you can put on your smartphone that will encourage your kids to get out and explore.

Obviously, you need to decide how much supervision your kids need with each of these apps, depending on location and your child’s maturity level. Some of the apps mentioned here are free; others you have to buy.

1. Geocaching

If you haven’t heard of geocaching yet, the idea is simple. It’s called the world’s largest treasure hunt. The app helps you find geocaches in your area and navigate to them. People hide small things in the cache, and if you find it, you can take it and put something of equal or greater value in, or put the item back where you found it.

Geocaches are all over the place. The website tells me there are more than 8000 geocaches near my town. That’s not just in my town, of course, but in areas surrounding it. Still, I looked at the map and could see quite a few within a few miles of me, and a huge number along a popular local hike.

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2. iNaturalist

Share your observations of plants and animals you observe to contribute to biodiversity science. You can use crowdsourcing to identify plants and animals you don’t recognize. You’ll connect to other naturalists who share your interests in the world around you.

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3. Audubon Bird Guide

Do your kids love birds? Make it easier to identify them as you wander outdoors with this guide. You can log sightings and share with the community, as well as get help identifying birds you can’t quite identify on your own.

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4. Nature Cat’s Great Outdoors

Based on the PBS Kids character, Nature Cat’s Great Outdoors offers daily adventures for kids. The app may have the kids use the compass, camera, microphone or sketch as they create a nature journal.

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5. DIY Lake Science

DIY Lake Science is helpful in learning about lakes and freshwater ecosystems. There are hands-on activities, requiring supplies that are generally easy to get. There is also an “Under the Lake” simulation which allows students to explore what happens as temperatures change for different lakes.

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6. Star Walk 2

Build an interest in astronomy with Star Walk 2, a stargazing app which helps you identify objects in the night sky where you are. Move your device around and it updates as you go.

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7. Redshift

Redshift will also help you identify astronomical objects in your area, and guide you to ones you’re trying to find. It also offers 3d “flights” to go to the surface of other planets and moons in the solar system.

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8. Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go hit it huge when it came out. There have been problems with people not really watching where they’re going as they seek Pokémon. Some have played the game in inappropriate places, although the developers have put in some effort to keep the game out of such places. You have to walk to hatch your Pokémon eggs, guaranteeing that the kids will get some exercise.

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9. Ingress

Before the Pokemon Go app, there was Ingress. Like Pokemon, you will need to be aware of the potential safety risks as kids visit waypoints and how they chat with other players. Forming alliances with other players is a part of the game, so that your alliance can control more areas.

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10. Zombies, Run!

This app will encourage walking and running. You start out on your walk or run, your music playing as you get your mission. When the zombies start chasing you, it’s time to run. It’s a fun story combined with exercise.

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11. Fit For Battle

Another app that makes walking or running into a game. Shia the elf and Keg the dwarf will let you know when to speed up or slow down as they take you through the game.

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12. Monkey Spot Scavenger Hunts

Make exploring your area more interesting with photographic scavenger hunts. The first four hunts are free, then you have to buy further scavenger hunts. Sometimes you can get an addon hunt free.

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13 Great Apps for Green Living

While iPhones, iPads and other such things have their own problems in an eco friendly lifestyle, they can also help you do better. Here are some apps that may help you, whether you’re looking for environmentally responsible food or want to take a hike.

1. AllTrails Hiking & Mountain Biking Trails, GPS Tracker, & Offline Topo Maps – AllTrails, Inc.
Are you ready to get out there and enjoy a nice hike or a challenging ride on your mountain bike? You can find trails near you or plan a trip elsewhere, or even submit your own hike to their listings by using GPS.

2. GoodGuide – GoodGuide, Inc.
Want to know if you’re buying safe, healthy products? What about how it rates on an environmental or social scale? The GoodGuide app has more than 170,000 products in its database. Scan the barcode and see what comes up.

3. EWG Sunscreen Buyer’s Guide – Environmental Working Group
The great part about the EWG’s sunscreen guide is that they’re so thorough in gathering the information about the many products they rate. They went through a variety of databases to come up with the health hazards from various products. They’ve reviewed more than 1,800 products, so you have a good chance of finding your sunscreen here.

4. iRecycle – Earth911, Inc.
Want to know where to recycle something? The iRecycle app might just have the answer for you. When you’re done with that, it goes beyond recycling to current green news.

5. Eco Chef 10 Minute Meals with Bryan Au – The App Company
Chef Brian Ayu shares simple raw, organic recipes in this app. The app includes HD videos showing you exactly how to prepare the recipes and use the recommended tools.

6. EcoChallenge – Raureif
Are you ready to take on an eco challenge? This app gives tips on ways to make your lifestyle more environmentally friendly. Some may be easy because you’ve already made changes, but others might make you think.

7. vegLookup – Josh Highland
Want to know if a food is vegetarian or vegan? This app can help.

8. Healthy Child Healthy World Pocket Guides – Spirit Quest World
This app may be a great resource for parents. There are a variety of guides to help you choose the right products for your children.

9. Locavore – Hevva Corp.
Want to know what’s in season in your area? This app knows. It can also help you find local farmer’s markets so you can buy that local produce. Not all farmer’s markets are listed, of course, but it’s a help.

10. Garden Tracker – Portable Databases
Planning a garden? This app can help you plan it out. It has a variety of vegetables preloaded, and you can set up a schedule of caring for your garden.

11. Skeptical Science – Shine Technologies
Ever get tired of arguing with climate change skeptics? This app can help you deal with many of the common claims made by such skeptics.

12. Label Lookup – SmartTools
Just what do the claims on the label mean? This app can help you figure out which claims mean anything.

13. The Recycler – Square One
A fun little game about recycling. Looks like a nice way to teach kids about recycling.

What are your favorites? I know I must have missed some.