I’m looking for an app about… Space
Every month, I link up with the brilliant children’s book blog Playing By the Book written by Zoe Toft. Zoe hosts a monthly thematic round-up of bloggers’ book reviews under the title “I’m Looking for a Book About…” This month, it’s the turn of Space. Do head over to Playing by the Book to check out the links to reviews of traditional books.
Yes, it’s That Pig. This app will be very familiar for any fan of the Peppa Pig TV series. In this story, Peppa and George have a night-time adventure to see the stars in their garden and then look through Grandpa Pig’s telescope. Interactions are limited, which makes it a little on the expensive side. But it is high quality and a lovely long story, so for the price of some of the Peppa magazines this is a good alternative buy. My two love to sing the (very short) North Star song. On the downside, you may find yourself singing it on the bus, in the bath…
Compatible with iPad, available from http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/peppa-pig-stars/id403997434?mt=8 priced at £2.99 at time of writing.
This is a simple and bright board-book-style app, suitable for very young children. Little Miss Chatterbox absolutely loves it for one reason – she is the astronaut! She loves taking a trip into space, deciding what to pack, playing with the controls, and meeting aliens. It’s a short book, but the use of your child’s photo makes it special.
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Available from http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/i-am-an-astronaut!/id502489014?mt=8 priced at £0.69/$0.99 at time of writing.
Jimmy’s jammies are covered in stars, planets and moons. One night, he turns into an astronaut, and heads off to explore outer space. But it isn’t quite what he expects… I had heard good things about this app, and I do really like the concept, the atmospheric music and the painted illustrations. Unfortunately I was a little bit disappointed by some of the writing, with some of the rhymes feeling forced. Do have a look at the sample pages on the app store to see if it is for you.
Compatible with iPad. Available from http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/astrojammies/id408466505?mt=8 priced at £2.99/$4.99 at time of writing.
This is a fantastic reference book app which is easy to use and looks great. You can explore the solar system through pictures, text and short films which really bring all the different parts of our solar system to life. We loved the way the planets zoom in and out, and as you rotate Earth you can see how it looks in day and night time. The app is full of facts and information presented simply enough for older children, while also being visual enough for parents to share with younger children. I would recommend snapping it up while it is on sale.
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Available from http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/solar-walk-3d-solar-system/id347546771?mt=8 priced at £0.69/$0.99 at time of writing (for a limited time)
This is not a book, but I have included it as an extra because it is one of our favourite activity apps. Little Miss Chatterbox loves matching cute aliens to their spaceships using colours, numbers and letters. She practises her listening skills by pressing a button to hear the match rather than seeing it. The jigsaws and dot to dots are well done, and the sticker pages are fun. The interface is really smooth and easy for young children to use by themselves. It’s one of those apps which are so much fun your child won’t realise they are (*stern face ready*) Learning.
Compatible with iPhone and iPad. Available from http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/alien-buddies-preschool-learning/id469461540?mt=8 priced at £1.49/$1.99 at time of writing
Finally, I should mention The Solar System by Touch Press, an amazing-looking app recommended to me by two lovely people on Twitter, @damyantipatel and @Pollylwh. Unfortunately at £9.99 I couldn’t justify the investment for research purposes, but if you have space-obsessed children you may want to check it out at http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/solar-system-for-ipad/id406795422?mt=8 Also, @pollylwh recommends the Star Walk app made by Vito Technology (who developed the Solar Walk app above).
Do you have a favourite book app about space? I’d love to hear your suggestions below.