• I love getting my kids outside in nature and learning about all the things we find.

    My daughter has a journal where we keep pictures of bugs and plants that we have found, photographed, then identified. Sometimes identification of plants can be hard. Pictures on the Internet don’t always exactly match what we find. So I have been searching for an easier way to identify what we find so we can keep the fun in our outdoor excursions.

    That is when I stumbled upon Leafsnap.

    Leafsnap is a Smartphone app designed by Columbia University, the university of Maryland, and the Smithsonian. The app is full of beautiful photographs of tree leaves, flowers, bark, and berries from thousands of trees. Grab a leaf, snap a photo, and let Leafsnap identify it for you. Plus the app is full of fantastic information about all the trees in its database. Even if it didn’t have the picture identification feature I would still use this app. There is so much information to be found.

    And if that isn’t enough, my five year old daughter is capable of operating and navigating the app herself. Leafsnap is the first of its kind, but there are plans for more like it. I can’t wait for the Bugsnap, or Fishsnap apps!

    The largest drawback is that the current database is focused on trees and plants from North Eastern America. That does not mean that you can’t use it elsewhere, but it does mean you may not find what you are looking for. Don’t worry too much though, the next update is sure to expand the database to other parts of the county. At least that’s what the website says.

    The best part, this educational and fun app is completely free. Go download it, get outside and discover your world with your kids!