In a world that is highly digitized and technology dependent, very few people venture outside their homes. This is particularly endemic among the children and kids below the age of fourteen. Almost everyone stays glued to their computers and phone screens. It has led to a multitude of problems both in terms of physical and mental health. It is almost like our children have become prisoners to technology and virtual environments.

However, it is a widely known fact that the natural world is among the best teachers. It is packed with wonders and adventures way beyond our wildest imagination if we dare to step outside.

Companies understand the need to expose children in their formative years to nature. This has allowed the possibility of seamlessly blending technology and nature. Therefore, they have been developing apps to lure children into taking a keen interest in the outside. There has been a flurry of apps, especially on the Android platform, which is GPS enabled.  In this post, we discuss these apps which can combine the wonders of technology, education and nature.

Quickpedia

This free app is the quickest way to have unlimited access to Wikipedia from an Android device. It automatically searches for entries as the search name is typed. Additionally, it also imports tables or pictures related to the search from the Wikipedia page.

It also makes the viewed page collapse for easy browsing. The pages are optimized for the ultimate mobile experience. This comes in very handy as viewing an entire Wikipedia page on a mobile screen that is relatively small can be tedious. Apart from displaying popular and featured articles on the search content, it also pulls up appropriate news stories related to the search.

But perhaps the most excellent feature of Quickpedia is that it displays all the entries for the best and exciting locations in the vicinity. Using this app is an effortless way to plan a field trip for the kids. Every child, irrespective of whether they are studious or not, love to go on a field trip. It is a great way to foster education and overall development. The app can be used anywhere during the trip as well. This allows you and the kids to take a break in an interesting location on the way.

Sky Map

This Android app from Google will transform your kid’s phone into a magical astronomy class. It works by making use of the data from the compass as well as the GPS. It also uses the date and time on the phone to pinpoint stars, planets and other heavenly bodies.

To use the app and learn about the night sky, aim the phone in the direction on the celestial object. The app displays the entire map of the area on the phone’s screen, which are clearly labelled. The phone’s screen can be switched to manual mode to learn about other parts in the sky or alternatively change the phone’s direction.

The app also can be used to search for and learn about the location of a planet or a star. Type in the name of the planet or the star in the search bar and the app will locate it for you. You have to move the phone in the direction of the arrow the apps show you.

Learning about the mysteries of the sky is no longer limited to the astronomers at NASA. With the Sky Map installed in your child’s phone, the entire sky is literally in his or her palms.

My Maps Editor

Although Google Maps is hardly a new app on the scene, this feature is not used to its full potential. This tab on Google maps is a fascinating way to embark on a GeoPhoto challenge with the kids. It is free for download on the Android market.

The app can be customized and modified according to the user’s preference. As you use the app, map out a specific route with markers posted along the way. The points can be an important place such as a mall, historical place and so on. When the children go out, they will use the GPS coordinates on the phone and locate the markers. To prove that they found the place or markers, they take a picture at the location and send it to you.

Using this app and undertaking this GeoPhoto adventure can be a marvellous way to get your kids to venture outside for fresh air.

Geocaching

It is not strictly an app, but geocaching using Android apps such as c:geo, takes the treasure hunt to the next level of fun. It is essentially an activity where adults stash a packet or box of treasures, and kids hunt for it using the GPS coordinates. Hints to the location may or may not be provided depending on the complexity of the game as well as the children’s age.

Every parent dreams and aspires to spend the best time with their kids. And geocaching is an excellent way to achieve this while having fun.

My Tracks

This app is also from Google Corporation. Users use it to keep and record their tracks as they undertake a trip somewhere. Using this app is also a way to pique the kid’s interest in the outside environment. You can play a digitized version of following the leader game.

To make it more interesting, hide a treasure at the end of the track. This could be anything from gifts to a treat to their favourite food.

Conclusion

Taking the children out for an outdoor activity in this generation is a massive challenge that most parents endure. Remaining in the background and grumbling about their lack of interest in the outdoors isn’t going to help. Therefore, it pays to keep up with the latest technology and how you can use it to enrich their lives as well as yours.

The above apps are all free on the Android market and relatively easy to use. Download them and use them to combine the best of education, adventure, fun and some precious time with your kids. Also we can see our guide track your child’s phone on NEXSPY