At the moment, the children are really into Geography, where places are etc. This has been fuelled by my parents’ recent travels as well as their recent Slovakia project. I recently had the opportunity to review a Smart Globe from Oregon Scientific and I knew it would be well received by the children.
The globe isn’t too big – in fact probably the right size for a household – it can be easily placed on a shelf without taking up lots of space. The writing is really clear and the colours are bright. I like that the names of the continents are also overlayed too.
We opted to give this to Mr D for his birthday this month and instantly he was desperate to look at it. We do a weekly group where we look at ancient geography so, at the moment, he is pretty good on places like Egypt, Turkey, the Mediterranean etc. We looked at the globe to locate the UK and then from there some of the places we have been learning about at our group.
The Smart Globe is really neat and with bright colours depicting each land mass. It’s a shiny surface too (rather than a matt finish) and that makes it a very touchy feel item. What the children found most amazing was the night time mode – when it is dark if you press the button on the base of the globe then it displays the various constellations. This is pretty impressive, and, if I am honest, much better and effective than I thought it would be.
There is also an AR app that works alongside the globe, it shows animals, landmarks, dinosaurs and weather. I’m left a little under whelmed by the app if I’m honest – it doesn’t seem to be very ‘complete’ – for instance, it doesn’t show any landmarks for the UK and I only managed to get it to show something in Russia once. The best of the four elements of the app is the animals one – and when it works it’s neat, but for me, the globe is fine as it is without the added AR use. I think there is a lot to be said for just sitting and turning the globe and getting that sense of the vastness of the world.
The Smart Globe Starry has an RRP of £39.99 and is recommended for children aged 5+.