One of the things I love most about Apple’s App Store would definitely be the Kids categories that was introduced along with iOS 7, where you can easily browse apps that are suitable for children of different age groups. Once in a while, you’ll bump into some really great apps like this week’s App of the Week – Disneynature Explore, an educational app that uses augmented reality to make the outdoors and learning more fun.
What is it?
Disneynature Explore is an educational app that allows children of ages 4 to 8 to learn more about animals and the nature. It feature 5 different animal adventures with 4 activities each, so children can learn about these animals and how they hunt, eat, communicate with each other and more.
Using augmented reality, kids can view 3D animals through the lens of the camera on the device – “search your own backyard with the lion to hunt a warthog, view your surroundings through a butterfly’s eyes, follow tracks along with the bear to find its cub, crack a nut like a chimpanzee, and much more”.
- Exciting 3D animated animals with sound effects and play sound recognition (roar to call the lion)
- Target colors and objects in the view of your mobile device – encourage children to learn different colors
- Additional photo missions extend your family’s engagement with nature
- No in-app purchase or any advertisements
I must say, I’m actually pretty glad I discovered the Disneynature Explore in the App Store. It has many different activities for children to play with and best of all, it’s free with no annoying little ads like most free apps.
When you first load up Disneynature Explore on your iOS device, the app will ask for permission to use your camera and when granted, you’ll be greeted with a straightforward interface to access the different animals, using whatever your camera is pointing at as a background.
The animals provided in the app are a bear, butterfly, chimpanzee, lion and sea turtle. Once you pick an animal, the app will ask for you to pick an activity – an instruction simple enough for kids to understand. As mentioned before, each animal has four different activities for you to pick from like how the lion hunts the warthog, how the chimpanzee fishes for termites, how the butterfly discovers flowers with nectar to eat and many, many more.
Watch how the caterpillar turn into a butterfly
Disneynature Journal & Photos
For older children, there’s a Disneynature Journal & Photos book for children to see their photos, view more videos, and even complete missions to earn more animal pins. Parents can also track the progress of their children via this journal. The missions found in this journal encourages more outdoor activities such as taking a picture of you and your family, looking for animal tracks to take a picture of and more.
For each activity you complete, be it exploring each animal and each one of its activities, or complete a mission, you will be given a pin. Collect all the pins to unlock other parts of the apps for you to explore.
I’m aware that many are against the idea of giving gadgets to kids, but hey, kids will be kids and they will want your gadgets, so what better app to expose them to than one they can learn from? Disneynature Explore is a great free app for children to explore wildlife. With augmented reality, you can bring them out to the playground and even a zoo, and make outdoor activities more fun and interactive.
The app definitely look a lot more fun when used outdoors (source: iTunes)
Having tried out many child-oriented apps before, I think this is definitely one of the best out there. It has many different activities for kids to explore, and teaches them about wildlife using AR, which engages children better than traditional teaching methods. All the features are interactive too, which encourages kids to go outdoors, and best of all, it’s free with absolutely no ads at all, not even ads promoting other Disney apps.
Disneynature Explore is currently available for iOS device running on iOS 7 and above. The devices supported includes iPad Mini, iPad Air, iPod 5, iPad 2 and iPhone 4 and above only. Download it now for free from the App Store.