With the 2017 solar eclipse as a primary topic of conversation everywhere, your children may develop, or renew, an interest in space. These wonderful space-related apps can extend their learning about space to infinity and bey-…oh, apparently we can’t say that, but, well, you know!
Star Walk for Kids (iOS, Android)
A fascinating learning tool for your kids, Star Walk™ for Kids brings the solar system to life. Each planet has a fact card and a short video to explain key facts about the planet. There are extra movies as well that explain space-related ideas, such as the Hubble Spacecraft. A wide variety of constellations and stars turn the sky into an imaginative area for kids. The most amazing feature of Star Walk™ for Kids is that children can take an iPhone or iPad outside and point it to the sky to guide their exploration, and the app will map the stars seen from your location. This is a great activity for parents and children to do together. The app does not collect any personal information but is able to use the location features of your device. This app would be a great complement to any unit of study on the solar system. The app is $2.99 and appropriate for children 5-8.
KIDS DISCOVER SPACE is an excellent app for sparking and fanning the flames of a love of space and science. This very large app but is filled with brilliant image, facts, timelines and videos. Kids move through the pages with a simple swipe, but there are elements on each page for digging deeper. Some pages have a read aloud feature, but there are many areas where a parent needs to support a younger child by reading and explaining the text. Check out the Teacher’s Guide for more great learning ideas. The app is $5.99 and appropriate for children ages 5-8.
Space by TinyBop (iOS only)
Space by TinyBop is set up for free discovery of the world of space through your own spacecraft which navigates with you through the app. Each planet is represented and children can explore different parts of the planet. Don’t miss Jupiter’s Great Red Spot where children can drag various items into the spot to see what would happen on Jupiter. Check out the well written parent guide for ideas about how to direct your child through the app and questions to ask them. The app does not include explanations or narration so engage your child in a conversation about what is taking place as they navigate their own discovery. The app is $2.99 and appropriate for children ages 4-8.