Junior Astronaut app on Cool Mom TechWhat kid hasn’t dreamed of rocketing off into outer space to see what is out there? The problem is, that cardboard box in the living room isn’t going anywhere so fast.

Junior Astronaut – Breaking through the space barrier is a standout educational iPad app that doesn’t feel like any science lesson I ever had in school.

Junior Astronaut Solar System lesson | Cool Mom Tech

Junior Astronaut gravity lesson | Cool Mom Tech

Nor does it look like any lesson I remember: One of the most charming aspects of Junior Astronaut is its retro illustrations by British illustrator Chris Madden who was inspired by kids’ space books from the 50’s and 60’s. (And clearly from luchadore wrestlers.)

Junior Astronaut oxygen lesson | Cool Mom Tech

However don’t let the kid-friendly illustrations fool you: While young kids may have fun playing around with this app, it’s grade-school kids who will get the most out of the discussion about force, mass, gravity, and thrust. With content that was written with the help of Adam Mann, Wired magazine’s space and physics correspondent, this is one app that I feel good letting my kids spend time with since it’s introducing them to some pretty hefty concepts at an early age.

One thing I like about Junior Astronaut is that the touch-screen features almost always have a purpose. Instead of just touching things for no reason, they’ll be asked to fight wrestling star El Gravatino in a discussion about force, or try to toss a paper airplane to the moon to demonstrate gravity. 

With so much to absorb, I’m glad that there are no in-app purchases or advertising to distract the kids as they interact with the story. I also like that my kids choose to play on this app over more mindless games. Because while other apps may have them shooting asteroids in space, this one may help them someday actually get there. Christina

Junior Astronaut – Breaking through the space barrier kids’ app for iPad is available for purchase at iTunes.