What It Is
The SmartGlobe Star is an internet-updatable globe, which means that it comes with a USB cable so that kids can connect the globe to the computer (PC only) and update the content in the globe. Through the update downloads from the Oregon Scientific website, the globe then gives kids recent information about the world.
The SmartGlobe Star comes with a smart pen, which is really a stylus. Touch the smart pen to one of the category panels on the globe's base. Categories range from continents to constellations. For example, kids can touch the population category with the smart pen and then touch the smart pen to a country on the globe. They will then hear that country's current population. Kids can even hear some of the information in Spanish. There are 24 games and activities, six Spanish activities, six four-player find games, and eight constellation games.
The SmartGlobe Star also comes with a poster of the flags of the world and a smaller poster of America's state flags. Kids can use the smart pen on the state flags poster to hear more about the states. There is also a pullout map of the United States in the base of the globe that works with the smart pen.
To view constellations on the globe, turn on the globe's internal light and watch it and the constellations glow in the dark.
The SmartGlobe Star comes with built-in speakers and 64MB of memory.
Why It’s Fun
Information is a kind of currency for kids at the age they are most intrigued with this globe. They love learning and knowing information about their world, and this is a highly engaging and self-directed way for them to get it.
With the SmartGlobe Star, kids can explore Earth at their own pace through fun games and activities, as they learn. Being able to download information to the globe extends the globe's play value and keeps kids interested and engaged with the toy.
Who It’s For
The SmartGlobe Star is for ages 5 and up.
It will most likely appeal to kids who have a natural interest in geography, but the use of the stylus is engaging for most kids, and it may inspire that interest as well.
What to Be Aware of
The SmartGlobe Star isn't Mac-compatible yet, but it will be soon.
The SmartGlobe Star requires four AA batteries and two AAA batteries, which are included.
The SmartGlobe Star comes with a personal access code that allows regular content updates for one year. Subsequent years are renewable for $14.99 a year.