disclosure: we received the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review
I’ve written before of my love of maps, atlas and globes. From a young age, I’ve been fascinated with all three mediums and I’m sure that’s where my love of travel stems from. I’ve been eager to share this love with my son from an early age and with family dotted around the world it’s been a great way to show him visually where people are living in relation to ourselves in England. We’ve taken this learning to a whole new level thanks to the SmartGlobe Explorer AR from Oregon Scientific which arrived here recently.
The SmartGlobe Explorer AR from Oregon Scientific has a number of different learning elements to it, along with three different age-related learning levels. Not only is it a globe, it opens up to reveal the solar system and earth’s core, as well as using augmented reality to bring everything to life in a different way.
As well as the globe itself, the set comes with a Wireless Talking Smart Pen, charging lead, instructions and a pull out section focussing on the United Kingdom.
Once you’ve charged the Wireless Talking Smart Pen (you see a red flashing light when it needs recharging) you are able to explore the Interactive Activity Panel which contains over 42 fun and educational activities and games. There are over 2 and a half hours of educational content included. You can also select difficulty levels based on the age of your child, from 5-15+, making the SmartGlobe Explorer AR from Oregon Scientific something that can grow with your child and be used by different aged children within the family.
It’s also worth knowing that by connecting the Smart Pen to your laptop via the USB cable you can keep the information it uses completely up to date (you get one year’s worth of free updates included). So if leaders change or there’s some interesting news from a certain country, the SmartGlobe Explorer AR from Oregon Scientific will provide children with that knowledge.
Since this SmartGlobe has arrived, both my 7-year-old son and I have been glued to it. There are so many elements to it that I can see this being well used for years to come. Once the Smart Pen has been charged, turn it on, and you can adjust the volume on the side, there’s also a headphone socket if you’d prefer your child to listen to the commentary by themselves with your own headphones. The Smart Pen has a special storage position on the SmartGlobe stand. There isn’t anywhere specific to store the charging cable though, although I’ve found by wrapping it inside the pull out section, we can store it there so it doesn’t get lost.
Using the Smart Pen is easy, and my son loves it because apparently, it looks like the space shuttle. Turn it on, point the tip against the category you are interested in on the Interactive Panel and then point it on the relevant part of the globe to listen to all sorts of information or even the national anthem of a specific country.
My youngest niece is moving to New Zealand for a couple of years next week and my son and I have been learning about the country by using the SmartGlobe Explorer AR from Oregon Scientific. He’s learnt how far away the country is from us, their language, currency and national anthem, amongst other things. It’s been a really good educational tool.
There are also games to be played with 1-4 players and my son has loved seeing who can find the most countries, and he’s learned so much about where the countries actually are placed on the globe. Capital cities have always been a favourite of mine, and whilst my son knows a few, the SmartGlobe Explorer AR from Oregon Scientific has really helped him to learn what capital city belongs to a country and then, whereabouts in the country it’s located.
You can see some of the fun we’ve been having in this video.
When you’ve finished having fun with the world at large, you can pull out the tray and learn more about the United Kingdom in the same way. Then we’ve you’ve finished you just pop the tray back inside the stand.
The pull-out tray can also be opened up to use the SmartGlobe Explorer AR from Oregon Scientific in another way. There’s a release button at the top of the globe housing, to release the globe from the stand. You can then open the globe to reveal the earth’s core on one side and the solar system on the other. Place the opened globe on the inside of the tray for more fun and learning potential.
Just when you think that you’ve seen everything the SmartGlobe Explorer AR from Oregon Scientific has to offer, you realise that there’s also a SmartGlobe Explorer AR to download to open up the Augmented Reality side of this device. We’ve tried it out on my iPhone (also available for Android) and it adds to fun elements. I have to say that some of the writing when looking on my phone is unreadable as it’s so small and my iPad Mini 2 isn’t new enough to work with the app. But for those of you with newer tablets, I’m sure the writing won’t be such an issue. The features include landscapes, animals in different countries, landmarks, dinosaurs and the solar system. We’ve even seen the weather in different parts of the world and made it rain in our living room. There are some fun games to play as well.
Priced at £129.99 I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link below for your reference. I can see the SmartGlobe Explorer AR from Oregon Scientific being a great addition to any home, as well as a wonderful tool for home educators and within a school environment. If you’re looking for a Christmas present for the kids, I can thoroughly recommend this.