I really enjoy using iPad apps to help the children explore the world around them. In particular, the TinyBop apps (available on ios, android and google play) are excellent for unravelling layers of understanding. Although these apps are not free, they do come in bundles which reduce the overall price of each app. TinyBop have produced apps which cover aspects of each of the three scientific domains: Biology, chemistry and physics. I will cover a brief run down of one app from each domain in this review. In total, there are 11 TinyBop science apps in the ‘Explorers Library’, and a further 7 in the ‘Digital Toys’ collection.

Each Explorer’s Library app is an interactive model that lets kids explore the invisible and awesome wonders of our world. Kids ages 4+ develop foundational science literacy.

Each Digital Toys app is an open-ended construction kit that lets kids build, test, and play with anything they can imagine. Kids ages 4+ develop creative-thinking, problem-solving, and storytelling skills.


Biology – The Human Body

This app lets you take a look inside the workings of the different body systems, including the skin, nervous system, muscular system, digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system, skeletal system, and immune system. Each system allows you to see a different ‘layer’ of the human body, and you can apply stimuli to the system you are exploring to investigate the effects. Some of the systems have sub-categories, such as with the digestive system. When in the digestive system tab, for example, you can then narrow down to explore some aspects more closely: the mouth, the stomach, and the small and large intestine.

Chemistry – States of Matter

In this app, you can explore the different freezing, melting and boiling points of a variety of substances. This is surprisingly entertaining, and you can further explore the properties of the different states of matter – if you melt the ice, for example, and then refreeze it, it takes the shape of the container. You can also condense substances which have been evaporated, and separate mixtures. It is possible to investigate the properties of a variety of different substances including water, fizzy drinks, bromine gas, plastics, oil, helium gas, honey, and many more!

Physics – Machines

In this app, you can explore and use different simple machines such as levers, wheels, pulleys, inclined planes, screws, and wedges. Within each simple machine, you can investigate changing different aspects of the machine to explore the effect. Some of them do need a bit of fiddling to get to grips with, but they are largely fun and informative.

Best for: Developing basic scientific literacy and early investigative skills

Age Range: KS1 – KS2

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