9 Apps for Young Scientists

October 3, 2012

Playful Learning: 9 Apps for Young Scientists

I am thrilled to have Rebecca from ThirteenRedShoes back with us today. She has a great list of app recommendations for the young scientists in our lives.

Mariah asked me to put together a post on science apps available for children. Here are some great new apps that I have encountered recently. Please do leave the links to new applications in the area of science that you have found, as I would love to see more.  This is an area that Master R loves and therefore we are always on the look out for new and engaging applications.

Here are my top science finds for little ones ages four and above:

  1. Planets – This application, which is universal, therefore available for both iPhone and iPad, is very clever. You can manipulate the globe and see where different parts of the world are in sunlight or darkness in real time. Very engaging as a hands on application, which has so many different levels. You can set location by latitude and longitude to see what the night sky is like and also see the visibility of the planets in the night sky.
  2. Smithsonian – This is company creates so many great story book apps, which contain fiction stories filled with factual information. The Smithsonian apps cover a large number of animals such as polar bears, penguins and dinosaurs. The apps are also supported with an educators guide which can be downloaded on the website.
  3. Britannica Kids Solar System – Britannica has an entire series of scientific applications. Earlier in the year we downloaded a few different apps on the planets and space, as it was a huge area of interest for Master R. This application in particular was too advanced for him at age 5 but would suit an older more mature audience. The immigration however was amazing for discussion points and plain visual enjoyment and awe.
  4. Wilderquest – Although this application is developed in Australia and specifically for the state of New South Wales it can easily be incorporated in any location. This app requires headphones and space as you need to walk around listening to the sounds, using the iPad as a large interactive display panel in which creatures in the bush land are hiding. You need to listen and try to find them by moving the iPad around. A wonderful way to learn at Australian wildlife.
  5. Cosmic by the American Museum of Natural History – A beautiful application full of amazing images and information about the universe.
  6. ABC wildlife and ABC Go – Peapod labs create some really engaging application based and the alphabet and different scientific ideas such as animals and transportation. Each letter of the alphabet is linked to a topic in which safe you tube links may be available to watch as well as facts and images.
  7. Brain Pop Jr. Movie of the Week – This free app has some amazing movies. A new movie is available everyday covering a wide range of topics. There are additional levels, which can be purchased, but the daily science videos app is free.
  8. Bobo Explores Light – This app is delightful. It is based on the concept of light and how it has developed over the passage of time. It covers conecpets such as lightening, electricity, photosynthesis and sunlight. I would love to see an audio version in future updates. There is a lot of amazing information included in this app, however it would require an adult read it to Master R, who is a non reader (aged 5).
  9. Ansel and Clair with Cretaceous Dinosaurs – Master R adores this application. It is full of interesting facts about dinosaurs and has been developed with intensive reviews of books, scientific publications, and articles about the Cretaceous period. I think it is the sense of adventure hat really is really engaging about this app, while interesting facts are gathered along the way! There is also an African application based with the same characters. The Cretaceous period is the first in a trilogy to be released.

Make sure to check out Rebecca’s other app recommendations in the posts below (click on the photo)…

Playful Learning: 8 Literacy Apps for the Little Ones

Playful Learning: 10 Math Apps for the Litttle Ones



The name Thirteen Red Shoes came about a few years ago when Rebecca needed a business name quickly for some tutoring she was doing. She was a fan of red shoes at the time and her husband’s favorite number is 13, so Thirteen Red Shoes was born. Rebecca and her husband, along with their two little boys live in Australia—The island state of Australia to be precise, so it is not always glorious sunshine, and days at the beach. The climate is rather rugged and fresh and made up of four fabulous seasons, which Rebecca and her family would not exchange for anything. It is the perfect place to raise little ones.

Latest posts by Rebecca (see all)


  1. becky said on October 3, 2012 #

    i love this list – for the first time we have a set curriculum this year and dinosaurs and space are on it…so those apps are a must. we’ve found that apps are such a great balance to all the hands on work we do. and if i’m really honest – luke learns WAY better off of apps. sigh.

    • Krissey said on December 26, 2012 #

      Becky can you share what cirriculum you are using? please email it to me TheBrowns1210@Yahoo.com thanks so much 

  2. CE said on October 3, 2012 #

    Awesome post.  Thanks for sharing.  I already downloaded a few and will keep this bookmarked for later!

  3. Sarah M said on October 3, 2012 #

    I love these app posts…we don’t have an ipad but my in-laws do, and I’d so much rather have the kids look at aps like this rather than ones that are just games and brain junk. Thanks for sharing!
    Sarah M

  4. rebecca said on October 4, 2012 #

    Thanks Sarah, CE and Becky
    I am so pleased you enjoy my application posts.  
    Make sure you pop on over to my blog thirteenredshoes as i often have promo code giveaways.  I have a math code giveaway at the moment.

  5. Holly said on October 5, 2012 #

    Thank you for your lists. I like this Science list. We have an ipod (no ipad) so some of the apps we aren’t able to get. The ones we did download are great. We downloaded ABC Zooborns, Britannica Kids Solar System, and a different Ansel and Claire app. I see lots of apps for ipod/ipad. We have an android tablet. I wish we could see wonderful lists like these for us android users!

  6. Emmalina said on October 7, 2012 #

    I can’t wait to try these out with my science loving son!

  7. [...] 9 Apps for Young Scientists [...]

  8. Liz Heinecke said on December 9, 2012 #

    Please check out KidScience (one word) app for iPhones and iPods! It’s set up like a recipe app so you can search for experiments based on what’s on hand, kids’ ages, available time, or type of science. 
    Both the free and premium version have photo illustrations of experiments and the premium version includes how-to videos. Designed for ages 3 and up!

  9. [...] 9 Apps for Young Scientists I don’t know about you, but we can always use more ideas to use our iPads and more ideas for STEAM [...]

  10. Kelly said on April 4, 2013 #

    Thank you for this roundup! I just pinned it, and I’m going to try a couple of these this weekend :-)

    • rebecca said on April 10, 2013 #

      i am so glad you like the apps i shared in this post, Kelly. Keep your eye out as there will be more app posts in the coming months.

  11. melanie said on May 5, 2013 #

    Cool post. the link for Wilderquest goes to the planets app – http://www.wilderquest.nsw.gov.au/

  12. 9 Science Apps for Budding Einsteins said on August 22, 2013 #

    [...] Is your youngster fascinated by astronomy, chemistry, biology or other science? Then encourage their educational interests with the great science apps for kids on this wonderful list compiled by Playful Learning. [...]

  13. Brad Ward said on November 21, 2013 #

    You might be interested in “Fireballs in the Sky”, an iphone/android mobile app from Curtin University that allows young scientists to view recent meteor sighting reports, and submit their own sightings, along with star maps, animated reconstructions, photo gallery etc. http://www.fireballsinthesky.com.au/download-app/

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