Developer: GR/DD
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Storytelling/Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Intuitiveness Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Science Museum Splash! is a new interactive app for iPad and iPhone that young children will find quite engaging as they explore this water-themed activity by filling a bathtub full of water and having lots of fun dropping different items into the tub to explore whether they will float or sink. A few novelty animals are included, as well as the ability to change the color of the water and also to customize the background colors seen within this app.

I appreciate this application because, universally, children really enjoy playing with water. Yet parents can sometimes do without the wet mess that comes along with this type of exploration. This app also gives children the vantage point of being able to see the toy or other object’s effect within the water – be it popping back to the surface or falling to the bottom, which children can’t visualize as well when they are in the bathtub themselves. Although this app is no substitute for playing within a water table or playing during bath time, it allows children to explore the physics of water in the comfort of their own bed or when out and about if they choose.

23Science Museum Splash! is an intuitive app that lets children to turn on hot or cold water with the tap of a finger, allowing them to see the temperature rise and even steaming the device when using the hot water – a fun detail that children are here able to participate in, whereas in real life, many families may avoid letting their kids do these activities for themselves for fear of burns or flooding.

A rubber ducky, beach ball, and cork, as well as other toys that float, are included along with household objects that sink such as keys, a golf ball, and a wrench. I admire that each of these choices behaves differently when dunked into the water, as the floaters show different degrees of buoyancy. For example, the ball rests almost on top of the water while the others have some degree of hanging below the water line. Do drag an item with a finger, pulling it down under the water and letting go to experiment with how quickly it rises to the surface, including the beach ball bouncing from the water until it drops back into the tub.

Likewise, the heavier objects relate to the water in different ways as well, as the keys take longer to sink than tossing in a boat’s anchor. Simple sound effects are present for each of these choices, and children will also enjoy the kinetic fun of knocking items together as well as tipping the device from side to side to slosh the tub’s contents around the screen.

4photo 12Children will also have the chance to change the color of the water as well – a nice touch, but I did find the faintness of the color once added to water to be a bit of a disappointment as kids may need to add many dye bricks to see a difference, although I do enjoy watching the bricks break down within the water. Users will also have fun removing the plug of this tub to empty the water, but I did have moments of this happening without intentionally emptying the tub – confusing moments, to be sure.

Adults may want to explore this app with their children, explaining what they see and why different items relate to the bath the way they do, adding the properties of physics along the way. Science Museum Splash! is a charming first science app for children based on a popular exhibit from the Science Museum – a museum in London, which nicely brings the experience of a hands-on museum to devices that allow young children to have fun and to learn something new while staying warm and dry.

Posted in: By App Feature, Education, iPad Apps and Games, iPad Education, iPhone Apps and Games, Just For Fun, Parents and Kids, Preschool, Reviews, Science, Toddlers

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