Space apps for kids

Space apps for kids: It’s been a huge year so far for the space industry, with significant developments and innovations emerging across the science and technology sectors. 2023 saw some of the biggest space events ever, from the highest-energy gamma ray ever seen coming from the sun to the most distant fast radio burst.  The space industry shows no signs of slowing down and this year, NASA announced star-studded plans to send astronauts to and land on the lunar South Pole. With so many out-of-this-world developments happening, the spotlight is on the next generation of space enthusiasts. Experts say that learning about planets and stars can help children develop a love of learning in mathematics, science, technology, engineering, and more. With that in mind, we looked at some of the best space apps for youngsters and their parents to enjoy from infinity to beyond!

My Spacecraft

Designed for aspiring astronauts, My Spacecraft is a clever app that teaches children about our solar system, the planets, and space travel and empowers them to create their space missions. What’s unique about this app is that it enables users to choose and dress their astronauts, build a space station and record their instructions. A more endearing element is the ability of the app to include images of the user’s favourite teddy bear to accompany their astronaut into space. Although it’s a paid app, it provides narration to guide kids and pop-up trivia questions to keep them entertained and educated about the universe. My Spacecraft is available on the Apple Store and is suitable for ages 4 and up.

Spacecraft AR

Available on both Android and iOS and created by NASA, Spacecraft AR aims to bring the wonders of space into your home. Voted one of the best educational space apps on the planet, it uses AR to create graphics of rockets, space stations and more in spaces throughout your house. Users simply need to find a flat surface, open their cameras and let NASA do the rest, with computer-generated 3D models appearing instantaneously. You can also take screen grabs of the different space crafts in and outside your home whilst reading about each one and the missions they have endured. The app is free to download and suitable for all ages, making it a perfect tool for family learning and fun.

Space apps for kids

Solar Walk Planets Explorer

Solar Walk Planets Explorer, renowned for its lifelike 3D graphics, is an educational powerhouse. It delves into the intricacies of planets, satellites, comets, moons, and more, providing comprehensive information on each element of the solar system. With detailed illustrations of what lies beneath the surface of each celestial body, educational movies, and images from observatories worldwide, this app is a treasure trove of knowledge. Its unique feature allows children to create their own virtual flights between planets, fostering their curiosity and understanding of space. The app’s immersive technology, available for ages four and up on iOS and Android, sets it apart. Additional space mission packs can be purchased, offering insights into space telescopes and a plethora of animations.

Starwalk Kids

Starwalk Kids, a playful adaptation of the popular Star Walk app, is a space adventure for every young astronomer. Designed for ages 4 and up, it combines education with entertainment, making learning about stars, planets, and constellations a joyous experience. Its interactive tools, funny videos, and engaging artwork captivate children’s interest, while the time machine feature allows them to journey through centuries of space exploration. The app’s virtual planetarium, narrated by professional actors, and a series of interactive games add to the fun. Best of all, it’s free to download on both Android and iOS, making it accessible to all.

Solar System for iPad

Designed to cater to the curiosity of parents and kids, the Solar System for iPad app is not just a digital book but a gateway to the wonders of the solar system. Its rich blend of animation, photos, videos, and text offers hours of interactive exploration. Users can delve into the mysteries of planets, the sun, asteroid belts, and more, all narrated by the esteemed Marcus Chown. Every image is meticulously detailed and based on accurate scientific data, ensuring an educational experience that is both engaging and accurate. Exclusively available on the Apple Store for a small fee, this app has set a new standard for interactive books worldwide.

Sky Map

Imagine the joy of the whole family coming together under the starry sky, exploring the universe’s wonders with the Sky Map app. Powered by Google, this app is a free ticket to understanding astronomy and identifying constellations in the sky. While currently only available on Android, it offers a wealth of celestial knowledge, from planets to stars and galaxies. Acting as a portable planetarium, it allows you to search for stars and planets by name and even includes an arrow to guide you towards your point of interest. With features like an image gallery, night mode, and the ability to’ time travel’, this app is a treasure trove of learning about the universe.

What’s in Space?

Explore the wonders of space with the ‘What’s in Space?’ app, available for free on Android and iOS. This interactive tool is a comprehensive guide to space, from the basics to life on the International Space Station. With its captivating music and narration, children can delve into the world of astronauts, the solar system, and the planets. The app offers a variety of games and animations to keep children engaged for hours. Parents can join the fun, helping their kids build astronauts and spaceships and explore constellations. The app’s narration makes it accessible to children as young as 4, even those who can’t read.

JFK Moonshot

The ‘JFK Moonshot’ app is a treasure trove of knowledge for older children and parents. This app, available for free on Android and iOS, is a detailed retelling and recreation of the Apollo 11 mission and President Kennedy’s role. It’s been praised for using the latest AR technology, which transports users back to 1969. The app features a full-scale recreation of the Saturn V rocket and a 5-day real-time tracking simulation of the mission and the moon landing. Launched on President Kennedy’s 102nd birthday in 2019, the app has garnered hundreds of thousands of users. It’s a must-have for kids interested in the eight years of research and science that led to the first moon landing.

Rebecca Lee is a journalist and broadcaster of over 23 years. She also works in tech communications with ClearStory International. To date, she has written for and continues to contribute to The Business Post, The Irish Times, The Irish Daily Mail, The Sunday World, and, most importantly, European tech publication 4i Magazine. Rebecca also worked as a radio presenter for 13 years with leading Irish stations Q102 and FM104. Alongside balancing her PR and journalism work, Rebecca moderates events, WebSummit 2022 and Dublin Tech Summit being the most recent.