Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review: NatureTap for iPad

NatureTap is a really fun app for kids as well as adults. Green Mountain Digital loaned me an iPad and asked me to have my kids test it out and review it. The app includes great profiles of birds, spiders & insects, reptiles & amphibians, and wildflowers.

Now its hard to get a professional review from elementary aged kids, but here ya go:

Anne, age 9 - "Tell everyone that I love it! My favorite game is the State Bird Game. I got 45 right and I kept playing it until I got all 50 right."

Victoria, age 7 - "I like the matching games. I'm really good at it."

Claire, age 4 - "My favorite is the matching game. Daddy, can I play the nature games on the iPad again."

Kyle, age 10 - "I want to play the games too, but my sisters are hogging it. Give it to me! It's my turn. Daaaaad! The girls aren't sharing."

Since that was so enlightening, let me share with you my observations of my kids using NatureTap:

Claire, my four year old and Victoria, age 7 were able to navigate their way around the app effortlessly. Watching them play the Bird Sound game was amazing. More often than not, she was able to intuitively select the right bird from four choices based on the sound alone...even some that I, the experienced birder, would have gotten wrong...all based on their gut instinct about the type of sound and associating it with a picture that just seemed right to the girls. Interesting that our brains have that ability, but perhaps get a bit clouded with time and experience. There is some human mind power I need to tap into. What a great learning tool the bird sounds game is too.

Anne, age 9, aside from the State Bird game, she also enjoyed browsing the spider pictures and showing them to their arachnophobic mom. She would curiously peruse the details profiles of the various species, she is after all, my super-reader child.

Kyle, age 10, seemed to enjoy all the games, but gravitated toward the game where you match the name to one of four images. He commented about how cool the different critters were and how he didn't even know they existed.

Dad, age 34, also enjoyed playing all the games. I can see that prolonged and regular playing would certainly increase the knowledge base of the amateur naturalist. The bird sound game had a lot of great potential to help birders tune their ears; strikingly similar to Larkwire, which I will also review in the near future.

I was most impressed with NatureTap due to its innate ability to engage users, both kids and adults. Learning by way of games is fun. The beautiful images of the sundry species are themselves captivating.

The app itself is free and it is currently only for iPad on iTunes. (Will it be available for Kindle Fire coming soon??? I got one for my wife for Christmas!) Once you have downloaded the app, you then purchase the additional features like more birds, and the reptile & amphibian pack, etc. The prices are very reasonable and very worthwhile.

Here are a couple more screen shots so you can see how cool and pretty this fun app is:


  1. Happy New Year Robert! This app looks and sounds like fun!

  2. P.S. are you going to be doing a Big January Bird count? Larry of the Brownstone Birding Blog is and I have joined him. I already have 27 species for today!