4/13/15

If You Have A Kid Obsessed With A SmartPhone Or Tablet, READ THIS!

My friends, I have found an awesome learning app for the whole family to enjoy TOGETHER!

**I promise this is not a sponsored post. I'm stoked about a type of app FTD showed me, so I'm listing a couple free ones at the bottom to not play favorites. And this is relevant for worldwide readers**

Ok, back to the show...

While laying in my zero gravity chair (LOVE IT!) in the backyard, after a particularly busy Sunday, I looked over at FTD and asked if he knew what star was so bright over my head. He said it had to be a planet because it was so bright, then guessed it to be Jupiter

I was floored. How cool to lay in my backyard and look up at a planet! Then he says, download a star gazing app and see which one it is. 

Huh? Star gazing app?

He told me to download this free app that all I had to do was point my phone at the star and the app would tell me what planet it was.

So I did it.

HOLYMOLYCRAP!

Sure enough, he was right, it was Jupiter! The app is so cool All I had to do was move my phone over a star and the app would tell me about it.

First, I clicked on Jupiter, then I moved my phone over to a star next to it, and learned about the constellation cancer! (Below are screen shots from my phone)



Naturally, I got giddy with excitement and started moving my phone all over the sky. The app showed me stars I couldn't even see! When I would move my phone over a constellation, the app would connect the stars to draw out the constellation then give a little info. SO SO SO SO COOL!! (More screen shots below)



There is even a feature that's called 'Augmented Reality' that lets me point the phone at the ground and see what the people on the other side of the earth see. (Believe it or not, for me it's Perth Australia. So I can actually say my husband is from the opposite side if the world. FYI: I found that out with another app.)

By the time we were all stared-out, we had walked all around the house to see all the night sky had to offer.  I can honestly say, I learned more with that app in twenty minutes than I've learned with any other app.

I cannot wait to show Ollie one night before bed. I have this wonderful dream of him, FTD and I laying in the backyard pointing a tablet at the sky. Then, picking one constellation or planet to read and learn more about at bedtime. What a freaking awesome way to spend a family night!

I've done a little research to find the best star gazing apps, and found the one that FTD pointed me to is one of the best free apps in the iTunes store for stargazing; SkyView Free, Android users try, Night Sky Lite. For paid I found StarWalk and SkyGuide and SkySafari. I'm sure there are tons of apps like those out there, free and paid, but those where the best across a few different review articles I read. (I used SkyView Free.)

I can't recommend enough that you download a stargazing app if it sounds even remotely interesting. Kids will no doubt LOVE it. I know I sure do, you know, being a big kid and all. You can use the app during the day, no visible stars needed!

Remember when I wrote about how FTD and I go out on the porch at night after Ollie is asleep, just to talk and reconnect at the end of the day, and quite a few of you commented about how you wanted to do that with your spouse too?  Well, download the app and invite them outside for a little informed stargazing! Think: Backyard date night with a blanket, a bottle of wine and the beautiful night sky...

Do you have a stargazing app you love? Have you ever stargazed with your child(ren)?

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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