Nature Cat's Great Outdoors

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Nature Cat's Great Outdoors App Poster Image
Multitool TV tie-in for capturing outdoor adventures.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Prompts encourage kids to notice nature and reflect on their experiences in it. The activities are well-rounded, with writing, drawing, speaking, and observation activities.

Ease of Play

Some features get stuck, and moving in and out of them isn't intuitive. Load screens are frequent and sometimes lengthy.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

A small icon links to other PBS Kids apps, but there is a parent gate that involves reading.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nature Cat's Great Outdoors is inspired by the PBS show and encourages kids to get outside and observe nature. Kids are reminded to always check with an adult before going outside, after they're directed to check the day's weather. They can snap photos, record audio, and journal about their nature observations. Their work is automatically saved but can be deleted. Work is saved locally on the device, but no account setup is requested. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 8 years old October 26, 2019
Teen, 15 years old Written bypawpatrolfanatic October 15, 2019

this app is awesome.

anyway, this app is awesome.

What's it about?

NATURE CAT'S GREAT OUTDOORS introduces kids to the great outdoors with a backpack full of fun -- specifically, a journal for recording observations, a camera for capturing photos, a compass for finding direction, and a microphone for recording sounds. An audio/visual tutorial guides kids through each feature, or kids can choose to skip it. In terms of the tool choices, kids can draw or write in their journals, as well as add photos from their media gallery. Pictures they take are automatically saved to the gallery. Recorded sounds are classified as animals, insects, people, weather, birds, plants, water, or mystery and can also be added to journal entries. The compass feature teaches kids about directions, if location data is enabled. Though there's a small icon linking to other kids' apps, actual downloads are protected by a parent gate.

Is it any good?

Playing outside without a device is optimal, but linking the great outdoors and the digital world may lead some kids to appreciate nature in a new way, though the navigation isn't always smooth. Themes all relate to nature, but kids could just as easily use the tools indoors as out, making it more of a creation experience. While a paper-and-pen nature journal is simpler, Nature Cat's Great Outdoors gives kids options they could only have with a device. The interface is easy to use at first, but then it gets iffy, especially when you're moving from one feature to another. Because it starts with lots of selections (about what the current weather's like), kids may go looking for those selection choices again but will be unable to find them. There are also load screens between each selection, and the wait might be just long enough to frustrate some kids. Though the navigation is a bit clunky, kids can do a lot in one app, and it's all for free!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what kids choose to record in their Nature Cat's Great Outdoors photo journal. Ask questions like "What made you take a picture of this?" or "What do you like about this picture?"

  • Give kids an outdoor mission, such as recording the sound of an animal or taking a picture of an insect. Look over what they've captured and encourage them to journal about it in the app.

App details

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