highly educational, easily digestible information, beautiful graphics, fun and engaging
What we’d love to see…
it is great as is, but perhaps just a brief description of the sun, moon, and planet parts
A fun astronomy app that helps children get a better understanding and appreciation of the world around us.
Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System by Minilab Ltd is a fantastic app to get children excited about the great outer space. It is based on the book Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, by Dr. Dominic Walliman (quantum physicist) and Ben Newman (illustrator). It teaches astronomy in an a way that is interesting and easy to understand. The graphics in the app stays true to Ben Newman’s illustrations and has a beautiful retro look and feel.
Before playing the game, players must first create their user profile by choosing a cat avatar and entering their name. They will then get a short introduction and tutorial on how to play and navigate the app. While there is no narration or verbal audio in this app, you can play it in eight different written languages: US English, UK English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Portuguese, and Italian.
Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System explores the sun, planets, moon, and space travel. There are four areas of learning. First, on the left side of the screen are what I like to call fast facts. These are bits of trivia that are explained further when you click on the (+) icon beside each fact. Both trivia and detailed explanations contain only a sentence or two, making them easy to learn and remember, never overwhelming. Second, the planet/sun/moon unzips to reveal what it looks like inside For example, the earth unzips to reveal the core, mantle, and crust. This also contains some information about its physical features, such as whether it has atmosphere or not. Third, there is a fun “special featurette” on the right side of the screen. This is an area where one specific feature is highlighted and explored just a bit further. On Earth, for example it explains and illustrates why we have seasons, and on Mercury, it has a computer that allows you to calculate your Mercurian age. Some of these are just illustrations with a little more reading, and some are interactive. Fourth and finally, is the Jetpack Challenge. The Jetpack Challenge is a true or false quiz on the fast facts, unzipping, and special feature sections. It contains 10 questions that change each time it is played. If players get at least 9 out 10 right, they get awarded 3 stars, a medal, and parts to build a rocket. They then get to build the rocket from the bottom up. Once the rocket is complete, players get to ride it and blast off into space!
In addition to these great learning activities, it also has a feature where players can view a model of the solar system. The model shows the rotation and revolution of the planets around the sun, and can be viewed closer or further away. There is also a feature that helps children grasp the differing sizes of the sun, moon, and planets by comparing them to the size they would be if they were fruits and vegetables.
I love this app and my children absolutely enjoy it. My son, in particular, went through it in just two days, and I have been truly impressed at how much information he has retained after playing this app. I watched him take a Jetpack Challenge and pass it with flying colors. At this point there is nothing I can think of that I would like to see in future updates, except perhaps for a brief explanation of what the parts of the planet/sun/moon are when it is unzipped. I believe this app is best suited for children ages 7 and up, and I highly recommend it.
Astro Cat’s Solar System
by Minilab Ltd
Price: $3.99 USD
Apple TV Best of 2016
\\ 2016 Webby Award Winner - Best App, Family & Kids ///
*** Pay once & play forever! No in-app purchases! No third party Advertising! ***
Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.
Kids can suit up and learn great facts about being an astronaut, rockets, shuttles, space stations, the solar system, the universe and get involved using the many interactive points through each learning section.
In the rocket section, they can experience a rocket propulsion, a lunar module taking off, put parts of rockets together or create their own countdown! I know I’ve always wanted to do that!
In the shuttle section, kids can learn about satellites, be a shuttle pilot and play with rockets. In the space station section, they can have fun finding out about how astronauts live on space stations, eat, sleep, cut their hair and deal with zero gravity. This part was one of my daughter’s favourite section by far. She loved playing with her little astronaut friend in space.
In the solar system section, children can learn about the planets, their distance to the sun, their size, how long they spin around themselves and how many years the planets take to orbit the sun. They can understand where earth and the moon fit in the solar system and learn about the sun too.
Last but not least, the universe section is interesting as it goes through the history of scientists, astronauts, animals in space and how old the universe it.
We cannot fault the app really, you can tell that the creators of this app spent a great deal of time thinking about an easy way to navigate, some great graphics and fun facts about science. The only tiny thing is that some parts of the app have a lot of text some of which isn’t narrated!
Overall, we love this beautifully illustrated, nicely narrated, fun and educational app! Mums and dads can learn a thing or two about space and the universe using this app. The app is very easy to use and kids can go click happy through each section all while learning a great deal about science.
Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.
realistic camping app that encourages kids to leave no trace and provides a variety of mini games to play which reinforce real word like dousing a fire, finding an animal via tracks
What we’d love to see…
a game that includes the stars or evening sky, trail safety tips and ability to make vocabulary words harder or easier depending on the age of the child.
Fun app aimed at preschool and early grade school. My Cub Scouts enjoyed using the app as we talked about a hiking trip and prepared for it.
Camping with Grandpa from Fairlady Media is a universal app for iOS featuring Grandpa as he heads out on a camping trip. There are a variety of activities that include object identification (find the xx tree), word searches (you pick out the words and highlight them with your finger), identify animal tracks from a field of four animals and after you have completed your activities for the day you earn a badge as well as setting up camp for the night. This was the perfect app to share with my soon to be Cub Scout Camper as we used it to talk about what it was like to go camping and the items we would need to bring!
There are seven educational mini games which include
Read a compass – which way to go down the path
Hiking – find an object like a type of leaf or what type of tree
Animal food – what types of foods do the animals like
Animal Tracks – what shaped track do the animals make when they walk on the beach
Word find – can you find the forest words and highlight them with your finger
Tent Shadows – which pocket knife makes the shadow
Hiking Gear – which items should we pack in our backpack
I loved that the app encouraged “leave no trace” and to pick up your litter as well as having a variety of things you would actually do on a camping trip like finding a specific type of tree or learning how to read a compass to find the direction we were going in. It also taught you about foods that animals ate as well as different animal tracks. My son had fun looking at the tracks and trying to figure out which animal made which track. We also talked about which objects should go in his bag when we go hiking. He loved roasting the hot dog and marshmallow like we do at home some nights in the summer. He also liked dousing the fire before Grandpa went to sleep at night. The graphics are clear and realistic and the activities rotate in a different order so kids don’t get bored with the content. My son also loved the different educational videos. I liked that when you doused the fire every last bit had to be out – just like in real life. It was a nice way to reinforce with my son that we can’t leave even a little bit alight.
In terms of enhancements – I would love to see an avatar to represent the child in this app. My son was also sad a few times when he had finished some of the tasks and reopened the app and had to start over again – for us I just minimized the app rather than closing it so we could go back to it. I’d also like to see some sort of star activity included like finding the big dipper or evening sky to learn or educate about how we used to use the stars to navigate. It might also be fun to have a way to follow the trail with trail markers as well as some safety pieces included – i.e. if you get separated from your parents do this. I also liked the vocabulary words – but some of them were hard for my first grader so perhaps a way to choose the types of words or complexity via a parental control would help to reduce frustration especially for younger readers.
Overall, this is a fun and realistic camping app suited for preschool and early grade school children. I found it was a great way to prepare my Cub Scouts for their hiking badge and give them an idea of what to expect before we went. This is a great real world type app that incorporates education about what we should and should not do when camping with some fun learning activities that encourages kids to explore the outdoors!
Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Even more quizzes, a way for users to suggest future quizzes
Seterra Geography is a fun way for quiz lovers to improve their world geography knowledge.
Do you know where in the world Surinam is ? Can you identify the flag of Laos or the find Chisinau on a map? You can learn all this and 1,000’s more world geography facts with Seterra Geography, a new iOS app from Swedish developer Marianne Wartoft. It is based on her online and desktop based map quiz that has been in use for nearly 20 years. Designed for ages 8-adult it contains over 100 quizzes covering a wide range of world geography facts. The app allows users to play offline and it records local high scores so you can challenge family and friends.
The app is divided into two parts- maps and flags. Each of these parts is sub-divided into seven sections- one for each of the six continents (excluding Antarctica) plus world geography. Both maps and flags have a similar format, within the section you pick which quiz to take and decide if you wish to learn the facts or take the quiz.
This includes: North, Central & South American flags, U.S. State flags, Eastern & Western European Flags, African Flags, and Asian Flags. In the “Learn” mode you see a selection of flags from your chosen region, tapping on the flags gives the name of the country the flag belongs to. In “Play” mode you see the same set of flags in a different order, you are given the name of a country and asked to click on the corresponding flag. If you get it incorrect you will see the name of the country whose flag you touched. You can try again but if you keep getting it wrong the correct flag is highlighted.
Each section has a variety of quizzes based around maps of the region. They include identifying countries in the region, major cities, country Capital Cities ; plus State Capitals for the U.S.A. and Province Capitals for Canada. Some continents are sub-divided to make learning easier e.g. Africa can be studied as a whole or divided into North and South of the Equator or divided into Northern, Eastern, Western, Central and Southern Africa. Some countries in a region have their own more detailed quizzes, but it wasn’t always clear why certain countries were included but others not e.g. Belgian Provinces and Norwegian Counties are separate quizzes, but Irish Counties were not (Ireland doesn’t have any individual quizzes.)
For each quiz you can first learn the facts by studying a map and tap on an area to see it labelled. You can then take a quiz where you need to identify that location on a map. If you get it right the area fills in in white, if you have taken more than one try to get it correct it shows as yellow, after multiple incorrect tries the name is shown and when you tap on it the region turns red. At the end of the quiz you are scored as a % based on number of questions answered correctly on the first attempt and your time to complete the quiz is also shown. For each quiz the top 10 scores (locally on that iPad) are recorded, so you can compete to improve your score, or play head to head against family members or friends.
As well as learning about geography of different continents you can also learn world geography facts. Quizzes include: continents, large countries, islands, mountain rages, mountains & volcanoes, oceans, seas & lakes, rivers, the 25 largest cities and latitudes & longitudes. There is also a solar system quiz to name the planets.
North American Geography
The app also contains 13 different quizzes on US. geography plus 4 Canadian quizzes. These include quizzes on identifying the 50 States, their abbreviations, Rivers, Cities, The 13 colonies, Canadian cities, Provinces and territories and Provincial Capitals.
Seterra Geography is a quiz based geography app that lets you learn a wide range of world geography facts and take timed quizzes to test your knowledge of those facts. It is not an app that has lots of interactive features or rewards, so probably will not appeal to young children, but it is a great choice for older children and adults who want to improve their knowledge of geography facts. I would recommend it for ages 10 to adult or for younger children have have a particular interest in geography. It covers a large range of facts from U.S. State flags through world rivers, Chinese Provinces, Norwegian counties and African Capital cities. I can see this app being used in many ways- from students learning specific geography facts for class or exams, for those wishing to brush up on their general knowledge for quizzes, and for adults and kids who enjoy learning and want to improve their world geography knowledge. It can also make for a fun and challenging geography quiz game at home or in the classroom. I know I certainly learned some new things from playing, and it can be quite addictive trying to improve your scores and perfect your knowledge of a particular topic. I’m proud to say I can now place Djibouti on a map and score a perfect 100% on Eastern African country locations which I certainly couldn’t before! There are still some areas I would like to see more quizzes on- and I’m sure this will vary from user to user. A fun future addition might be to incorporate an option for users to request quizzes they would like to see added in future. The developer could then use this feedback in further expanding the app in future updates. The app contains no adverts, in-app purchases or external links.
Seterra Geography (Full version)
by Marianne Wartoft AB
Price: $1.99 USD
------------------- This is the full version of Seterra with no ads or in-app purchases. -------------------
Seterra Map Quiz - What's Your World Geography IQ?
Whether you're studying.
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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
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