A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Star Walk Kids - Astronomy for Children is a virtual planetarium and education tool that teaches kids about constellations and celestial bodies. Kids can stargaze by pointing their devices toward the sky. The built-in gyroscope follows kids' movements and creates a map of the sky based on their locations. Friendly narrators and short animations teach kids interesting facts about space.
What's it about?
STAR WALK KIDS - ASTRONOMY FOR CHILDREN has a pretty simple layout. The main screen is the virtual planetarium, which is essentially a built-in gyroscope that, when the device is pointed toward the sky, matches the map on the screen to the stars seen from a users' location. Kids can tap on a dial in the top-right corner to rotate the screen clockwise or counterclockwise. A compass in the bottom-right corner helps kids find north, and a tap-able icon in the top-left corner gives kids access to facts about space. A menu has four categories: planets, stars, constellations, and "extra," which incudes information about Hubble and the International Space Station.
Is it any good?
STAR WALK KIDS - ASTRONOMY FOR CHILDREN is a fun, engaging way for kids to explore the night sky. The graphics are appealing to young astronomers, and the information is very kid-friendly. It's a lot of fun to point a device toward the sky and know that the stars that appear on the screen are mapped out from the actual sky. There's a lot of bang for your buck with this great resource, but an assessment or a quiz could make it even better.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about taking the device outside at night and comparing what they see in the sky to what the device maps out on the screen.
Families can talk about constellations and some of the stories that go along with them. It could be fun to read more about them online or in books.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Science: astronomy
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: investigation, memorization
Self-Direction: academic development
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Price: 2.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: September 16, 2014
- Category: Education
- Topics: Science and Nature
- Size: 297.00 MB
- Publisher: Vito Technology
- Version: 1.1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.