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Virtual Reality for Kids

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virtual reality for kids

 

Virtual Reality (VR) is gaining more steam.  According to Digi-Capital, as reported by The Motley Fool, the virtual reality market could reach $30 billion within 4 years…that’s amazing!  Sales are expected to come from videos, games, and VR headsets.

To make VR affordable, Google created Google Cardboard, which is a virtual reality viewer made out of cardboard that when used with your phone allows you to see VR content.  The Google Cardboard app is a portal into more Cardboard apps on Google.  To date, there have been over 10 million apps downloaded from this section.

YouTube created a VR specific channel called YouTube 360 – you can see all sorts of VR videos here.  They have had 1.8 million people subscribed and their numbers are growing.

We recently wrote Is Virtual Reality Relevant for Your Family? after attending a virtual reality expo this summer.  Virtual reality for kids can be pretty fun, only we would caution excessive use, and frequent breaks, as it can cause some dizziness.

 

Virtual Reality for Kids

 

virtual reality for kids

Our family tried out the new Homido Grab VR headsets…all at the same time…to see what we thought of virtual reality.  We have tried Cardboard virtual reality headsets before, but only briefly.  We were excited to try out these nicer GRAB virtual reality for kids headsets.

 

We found that many VR apps like Google’s Expeditions and Sites in VR are actually still pictures of famous places.  You can see all around, but there is no video to them.  We enjoyed stepping out on the Eiffel Tower and seeing the sights below.

 

virtual reality for kids

 

Google’s Expeditions is a pretty interesting concept.  I was the Guide and my kids were the followers.  Together we explored Mt. Rushmore, and the Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks.  As the Guide, I had a number of educational facts that I read off for my kids to learn about.  

Apparently, Google’s Expeditions were originally created for classrooms, but now it’s made available for everyone through Google Play.

For play, my kids enjoyed the  Lampers VR: First Flight app where you are a firefly flying through a tunnel catching candies and avoiding white orbs to try to get the highest score.

 

virtual reality for kids

 

In YouTube 360, I searched for skydiving and found a young woman in her early 20’s telling of her anticipation of jumping out of an airplane.  Then….she jumps and you can see the whole view.  My kids liked the video footage.  She was using a small 360 camera that she had.  

I love that both amateurs and professionals are using 360 cameras to provide never before virtual reality footage.

 

HOMIDO VR Headsets

virtual reality for kids

Features:

  • Google-certified headset
  • Can clip onto almost any smartphone
  • View over 1,000 VR games for iOS or Android
  • Available in red, blue, yellow, and black
  • Made of durable plastic to survive drops and spills
  • Adjustable to fit smaller phones or the iPhone 6 or Note 5
  • Has a physical action button for interacting with menu buttons
  • Includes a high quality lens with 100° field of view

 

Pros:

  • The GRAB VR headset is very comfortable
  • It fits various sizes of smartphones from 4.5 inches to 5.7 inches
  • The Homido Center app helps you find fun and free VR apps on Google Play
  • Pretty lightweight at just 8.5 oz.
  • Love the fun color choices

 

Cons:

  • Affordable, though a Cardboard viewer is cheaper
  • There is no strap to hold the headset in place, so you need to keep your hand(s) on it to see

 

The Homido GRAB in red is on sale right now at Target.com for $34.99 plus free shipping.

 

 

WellConnectedMom.com

A Mom’s Perspective

Virtual Reality for kids is not a big market right now, but as the medium becomes more familiar through gaming consoles and experiences at school and museums, kids will become more interested.  There are a number of ways virtual reality for kids is a good idea…

Kids can use virtual reality headsets to…

Virtual reality for kids or for adults is truly fascinating, because not only can you look straight ahead, but down at the floor (or road, canyon, or whatever!), behind you, and even at the sky – you are totally immersed in the video or game you are watching.

While I’m not a big advocate of giving your child a virtual reality headset and sending them off on their own, I think watching the virtual reality videos with your kids is a great idea.  It’s like a virtual field trip – where you’re all seeing the same thing, but one person may be looking up, another sideways, and another straight ahead, yet you can all talk together and experience the place together.

Virtual reality should be done only in 20 minutes spurts.  It is possible to either get dizzy, nauseous, or both, so I recommend taking virtual reality slow.  

We enjoyed the sturdiness of the Homdio VR headsets and the colors make it fun and easy to know whose VR headset is whose.  They can be easily thrown into a bag or backpack without worry of damage.  

While researching various VR apps, I learned about a new one called Timelooper , where you take your VR headset to various historical sites and with the app, you unlock video/pictures showing you how the same place you’re looking at looked back in time.  Can’t wait to try it out with the family.

Have you tried a virtual reality headset yet?  What did you think?

 

 
 
 
 
 
* We were given Homido GRAB VR headsets in preparation for this review.  All opinions are my own.



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