Ready, Jet, Go! Space Explorer from PBS Kids will allow children and parents to explore the night sky with interactive activities, fun facts, and games. The app includes information about planets, constellations, and more.
Includes over 300 planet and constellation facts to explore
See real-world positions of the stars overhead by pointing and tilting the device
Create vivid “space art” by coloring and painting a masterpiece
Earn badges for playing games
See and hear facts and jokes about space
Ready, Jet, Go! Space Explorer is a very high quality app that works as intended. The app is fairly intuitive to use and will be enjoyed by preschool children on up. It includes a handy parents corner that has detailed explanations about how to use the app, which many will find helpful. The app uses swipe motions to move the view of the night sky around, and it can get quite confusing because things can rotate in unusual ways. It would be nice to have some way to reorient the screen when desired so users could get their bearings if they become lost.
This app is highly educational. Younger children are likely to enjoy it most if they have an older partner or mentor, though, because it can get a bit confusing and frustrating. Some constellations have the outlines drawn and explanations of the meaning of names, locations, and fun facts available, but not all. Also, there is not a lot of indication about where to find specific constellations relative to one’s position on Earth. Locations are given solely in terms of proximity to other constellations, which may or may not be helpful to users.
It would also be very useful for the app to distinguish between constellations typically visible to the user and those that are only visible in other parts of the world, such as the Southern Cross.
Ready, Jet, Go! Space Explorer is a lot of fun to use. It will make exploring the local night sky a snap since it uses location and device positioning to show exactly what is up above, with explanations and illustrations. The app includes a painting section, where users can create their own constellation illustrations, which is an enjoyable pastime. There is also a hide and seek game where the main character, Jet, takes off into space and hides, giving clues related to constellations and planets to help users locate him. This activity is quite challenging, especially for younger users. In fact, I was not able to successfully locate him on several different trials, I suspect because of my lack of familiarity with the constellations. It would be a good idea to use the app for a bit in other ways before trying this activity, particularly if the user can be easily frustrated.
This app is free in the App Store, so it’s an outstanding value! It provides comprehensive information about the stars, constellations and planets, it’s engaging and fun to use, and it has several different play modes.
This app is very child-friendly. The parents’ area is not protected, but it does not have any links or other troublesome material.
Ready, Jet, Go! Space Explorer is a free app from PBS Kids that will get kids interested in the stars, constellations, and other aspects of the nighttime sky. With four modes of play, there’s something here for everyone, but the most exciting part is the app’s capability to “see” what is in the sky above the user and allow users to learn about objects in the sky that they can really see right now.