Getting our kids outdoors

Nature Passport app

An international app designed to get kids and families playing, exploring, and learning outdoors.

Nature Passport is an app that helps kids, families and classes play, explore, and learn outdoors.

Nature Passport encourages and motivates children to have fun engaging with their environment wherever that may be — from backyards and city parks, to beaches and other wild places — it uses simple games and lessons to encourage kids to think, move, observe, collaborate and create in nature.

Nature Passport is an outdoor app designed to guide families through outdoor play, learning, and exploration together – creating fun memories while inspiring lifelong stewardship behaviors. When using the app, kids look up, not down.

Nature Passport has a large, and growing, suite of outdoor activities including scavenger hunts, micro-hikes, a mud-pie food fight, cubby building, and bug hunts. Users collect badges, do team activities, and record pictures, notes, and audio from their adventures in a digital journal.

The app also has a Safari feature that allows users to record animals and species, have them identified by naturalists, and added to one of the world’s largest citizen science projects (iNaturalist).

Research shows that time spent outdoors improves mental and physical health, learning and memory, and reduces stress.  Designed by experts in outdoor play and experiential education, the app uses simple games and lessons to encourage kids to think, move, observe, collaborate and create in nature.

The goal is to engage with the natural world, with the app working as a support. Activities can be enjoyed by children and adults of any age, and can be filtered by type of environment, season, duration, difficulty, and more.

Who is it suitable for?

Nature Passport is designed for children ages 7 to 10, but can be enjoyed by adults and children of any age from the age of 5 up until about 12. It can be used in any environment, from backyards to city parks to beaches and woods, with new content released every two weeks.  The app can be used by families and by teachers interested in taking classroom learning outdoors.

Why has Nature Play created an app?

Nature Play’s mission is to help get more kids playing outside more often, but we know that isn’t easy in the modern technology-infused world.

The Nature Passport app is designed as a tool to help families and schools replace kids’ sedentary screen-time with playing, exploring and learning outdoors.

The app is part of a broader strategy to help families find a healthy mix of screen-time and nature play. Nature Play recommends a three-pronged approach to healthy technology use:

  • Reduce: reducing the time your kids spend on technology, even a little bit, makes a difference.
  • Replace: use active technologies (like Nature Passport) to replace sedentary technologies wherever possible.
  • Balance: balance the time kids spend on sedentary technology with an equal, or greater, amount of time in active play outdoors.