Our #FamilySquad parents have been exploring the great outdoors with their kids, their tech, and a whole bunch of apps...

Have you met our Vodafone #FamilySquad? They’re our team of super parents, each one tooled up with the latest tech, and ready to find out how the right devices, apps and attitude can make all the difference when it comes to bringing up young ones.

And, with summer having drawn to a close, our intrepid parents are already properly stuck into their mission; their first challenge saw them venture into the great outdoors to see how Vodafone 4G and a raft of cool apps could help their kids learn, play, and enjoy nature to its fullest.

Got kids of your own? Read on for some great outdoorsy ideas…

Making the great unknown, known

Our #FamilySquad parents are no strangers to tech. But how can the devices in their pockets help fuel their kids’ imagination?

To find out, they’ve been heading out and about. How can you transform the garden into a young explorer’s paradise? How can you spark imagination in your backyard? Here’s how they got on:

Fritha Quinn

65,000 followers
@tigerlillyquinn

Fritha and family have been out and about recently, exploring the UK countryside and getting creative. Here are her top app picks:

Bug Art | iOS, £1.99
Draw your favourite bugs (or dream up brand new ones), and watch them come to life before your eyes as Bug Art animates them creepy-crawling across your screen.

Leaf Snap | iOS, FREE
Created by the Natural History Museum, this app lets you identify any leaf you find in the wild simply by snapping a photo of it on a white background.

Alex Lewis

92,000 followers
@daddy_to_triplet_girls

Alex and his son Henry took to the garden to take snaps of the frogs that regularly pass through. But with over 4,000 known species, it was time for the world of apps to help identify their amphibian visitors…

Reptile ID | iOS, £3.99
Created by the UK Field Guide, this app will help you classify any reptile or amphibian found within the British Isles, complete with bags of info about every species.

Vicki Psarias

130,000 followers
@honestmum

 

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We’re lucky to live in the Queen’s fave: Windsor with its sprawling parks, playgrounds and pretty countryside the kids luckily get to spend every day exploring, and playing in. We’re part of @vodafoneuk’s #FamilySquad 📱 and have been using apps: Insect ID 🐞 and Plant ID 🌹 to discover bugs, butterflies, plants and flowers on my phone (check out the video) because those kids have ALL of the questions ALL of the time and sadly I don’t have ALL of the answers 🤔(ask me about movies 🎥 though and I’m your girl). Which apps/ tech help you mamas and papas out? #ad #childrenofig #themagicineveryday #pbloggers #mummyblogger #dadblogger #dadlife #mumlife #mama #mamabear #capturedmoments #parentblogger #parenthood #parenting #parentlife #theordinarymoments #happylittlebuttons #developinglife #candidchildhood #heartfluttermoments #mbloggers #capturingtheday #whatevertheweather #preciousmoments #mytinymoments #amomentinmotherhood #treasuringlittlemoments #dailyparenting #celebratingmotherhood

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Vicki knows kids are full of questions, but it’s difficult to be a walking encyclopedia. That’s why she’s been getting a helping hand with a couple of top learning apps:

Insect Identification | iOS, £4.99
Use your phone’s camera to instantly identify any insect, before learning everything there is to know about it via info embedded from that species’ Wikipedia page.

PlantSnap | Android and iOS, £1.99
Another great plant and tree identifying tool, PlantSnap uses your camera and its clever AI smarts to recognise 90% of the known species on Earth!

Zoë de Pass

130,000 followers
@dresslikeamum

 

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If you go down to the woods today… you’ll find us tree spotting.🌲🌳🌴Armed with the @woodlandtrust Tree Identification app my daughter and I set off on a tree treasure hunt to see how many different species we could find, what we could learn about them and the different ways they could be identified. 🕵️‍♀️👧🏼 As part of my ongoing collaboration with @vodafoneuk i’m trying to think creatively about ways to incorporate tech into my kids learning and play. This was was a success because it kept my daughter engaged and excited to discover things on the walk plus we both learnt a thing or two. 🕵️‍♀️🌳Has anyone else done anything like this? or do you have any suggestions of similar apps? #AD @VodafoneUK #FamilySquad #dresslikeamum

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Zoë and her daughter headed deep into the woods to see how many different types of tree they could spot, with the help of a reliable 4G connection and one very handy app:

Woodland Trust Tree ID | iOS and Android, FREE
Another top tree-spotting option, this time from the Woodland Trust. The cool thing about this app is that it’ll recognise everything – from leaves, right down to specific types of twig!

Gregory Stanton

55,000 followers
@london_dad

 

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In case you were wondering the petal is from a Pansy and now we see them everywhere. I am going to be honest with you, its always been a struggle to do the whole flowers, trees and inspects thing as I was always left not knowing the answers and if you’re like me and have a little girl who adores you, it’s pretty tough to hear “but daddy why don’t you know? you know everything! you’re my daddy!” Like with all things don’t bury your head in the sand, embrace the quest for knowledge that is so strong within your mini’s, don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know the answer as it’s not a sign of weakness and a valuable lesson to pass on to your minis.The second valuable lesson to teach the minis, is how to actually learn. Their present and future are different from our past, so learn with them, embrace fun and innovative ways to learn WITH them. With the help of @VodafoneUK’s reliable network, you can access apps, online encyclopaedia’s, and google goggles to feed your children’s imagination and aid their learning experience. Are there any apps that you really like using? #Ad #FamilySquad

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Greg’s mission to identify a very specific leaf was looking like a lost cause after Google and Wikipedia came up short. Thankfully, his Instagram community was able to help him and his inquisitive daughter solve the mystery!

So there you have it: a bunch of awesome ideas around using tech in the garden to help your kids learn to love nature! Stay tuned for more from our friendly #FamilySquad soon.

Get more great apps… Check out our pick of this month’s must-have digital downloads.