It’s great when you find a toy that’s educational but also a lot of fun. The Oregon Scientific Smart Globe fit the bill on that for us!
Most children are curious to find out about the world and my kids are no different. They enjoy learning about other countries and picking up interesting facts, and the Smart Globe makes it really easy to explore this area of learning in an interactive way.
The Oregon Scientific Smart Globe is a large electronic globe, which comes with an attached smart pen, and has three panels on the lower part of the globe which allow you to select different modes and games to play. These three activity panels are packed with 19 exciting activities, providing hours of informative audio content, including amazing facts about planet Earth.
The panels are:
- Touch: with lots of categories to switch between like naming the countries and continents, or more specific details like currency, language and even national anthem (my kids really enjoy listening to the national anthems!)
- Find-Compare: This panel has the Find section, which includes games and challenges asking you to find as many countries, countries or capital cities within a set time frame – or try the Ultimate Challenge, which mixes everything up. This was one of our favourite interactive elements of the globe, and the kids enjoyed trying to beat their previous scores. If they’re trying it for the first time, then doing the continent category is normally the easiest and once they’ve spent time playing with the globe, they’ll soon be able to master the ultimate challenge! This panel also has compare, which allows you to touch two countries and here about the differences in their area and populations.
- Britain and Ireland map: This panel has a more detailed map of the UK and Ireland, showing all the major cities. Since the UK is quite small within the overall globe, this section is a really good idea to let kids explore the UK in more depth and easily find the cities where they live, or friends and family live.
One of the panels also has a volume control on it, which comes in handy too. The sound quality of the Smart Globe is decent and clear enough to understand all of what is being said – but do listen carefully during the challenges to make sure you hear which place you’re looking for as it won’t be repeated!
As you can see, the Smart Globe is quite large, so two or three children can explore it together, and there’s space to adequately show even the smaller countries. To see different parts of the world, you can rotate the globe to access all of the areas easily and the place names are all printed clearly in capital letters. Major cities are shown with a black dot, and a star for capital cities which makes it easier for the kids to find those more quickly.
The facts about the countries include information on all different aspects, including the animals that are found there, which my kids were interested in.
One of the great things about this globe is that it allows them to take control and explore whichever places or topics they’re more interested in, with their own self directed learning. Since one of their friends recently moved to Australia, my boys were keen to find out more about that country, and they also have school friends who come from Poland so they wanted to find out what the national anthem would be there – and other similar facts.
As the smart pen is so easy to use, all of the information they want is at their finger tips and they can happily spend time touching different sections and taking part in the challenges. The Smart Globe runs on 3x AAA batteries, which are included so the globe is ready to go as soon as you take it out of the box.
This is a great learning toy which would suit a wide range of children, from around 4+ up to much older children. My three boys are 5, 6 and 8 and all enjoy playing with the Smart Globe. Even the grown ups of the family have been tempted to get involved in the ultimate challenge too so it’s something that the whole family can get involved with together.