Digital First Media
If you’d like your children to spend less time looking at their devices and more time observing the world around them, the answer may lie in those devices. An engaging science app may be just the guide they need to unlock their inner scientist. From astronomy to zoology, here are some of the best science apps for kids.
Alchemy Genetics: (Ages 9+; Android, Kindle: free -$0.99) This game introduces kids to genetics by putting them in the role of a mad scientist tasked with crossing different species of animals. Start with four creatures and work your way up to unlocking 450 different wacky types of creatures. The game includes links to Wikipedia entries on real world animals.
Bobo Explores Light: (Ages 8-12; iOS; free) Bobo is the children’s robot companion as they learn all about light, featuring 21 topics from the Aurora Borealis to concepts like reflection, refraction, photosynthesis and bioluminescence. Experiments, videos, 3-D holograms and articles bring these topics to life.
Kid Weather: (Ages 6-10; iOS, Android; $1.99) Designed by a 6-year-old boy and his meteorologist dad, this interactive game gives kids real-time weather updates and forecasts, and fun science facts. Kids can choose their own avatar, which they dress for the weather. This app is a Parent’s Choice Approved award winner[MC1] .
Luna Solaria: (Ages 12+; iOS, Android; free) This app will appeal to teens or maybe precocious late-elementary-aged kids. An interactive interface allows you to follow the phases of the moon and positions of both the moon and the sun. Find rise and set times, position in the sky, and more technical data like the brightness.
Project Noah: (Ages 10+; iOS, Android; free) Got a budding naturalist in the family? Discover local wildlife and help contribute to research through this app’s three modes.
n Spottings allows you to learn more about a plant or animal you photograph.
n The location-based field guide shows you which plants and animals have been found near you.
n Field Missions allows users to contribute to ongoing research projects.
Sky Map: (Ages 7+; iOS, Android; free) Point your phone to the sky and this app shows you stars, planets, constellations, moon phases and meteor showers.
Solar Walk: 3-D (Ages 8+; iOS; $2.99) This app is an interactive 3-D model of the solar system and the Milky Way. Navigate through space, explore planets close-up, learn about their trajectories -- and more. Solar Walk is a Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner and a National Parenting Publications Awards Gold winner.
A lot of these sound so much fun, you may want to download them to your own phone. The best-case scenario is that these apps open up the world to your children, and bring your family closer together as you bond over your discoveries.