For parents looking for fun ways to inspire home learning, here's a cool trick to try on your phone. Follow these steps to bring a 3D image of a tiger to life: Google “Tiger” on your cell phone. Near the top of the page, on the image of the tiger, find the button “View in 3D.” Next, opt to “View in your space.” Here’s where the amaze factor happens: there now appears to be a full-sized tiger in the room with you! (Note that you’ll need an AR-compatible mobile device.)
My son was amazed when I first showed him! He asked me if it was a ghost finder, and is now gleefully adamant about a tiger ghost living in our house with us. We then moved on to lots of questions about tigers.
This fun feature has been on google for the past year, so maybe you already know about it. But it’s new to me and it’s perfect for the current homeschooling situation, so I’m excited to share how my family has been using this fun learning tool.
First, choose an animal. I found that many choices my kids wanted to see were AR-compatible in Google, though not all animals are available. Some animals we viewed were: duck, lion, horse, shark, alligator, brown bear, and octopus. Next, you are able to watch the animal do its thing and inspire questions from your kids.
If you need help answering those questions, or if you want to jump-start the conversation, I find that print encyclopedias are the perfect jumping-off place. If your kids are tots, I’d recommend My Encyclopedia of Very Important Animals or Animals of the World to spark their imaginations and answer their questions. I’ve spent many happy hours snuggled in and reading these encyclopedias with my kids!
For older kids (and your own curiosity!) check out The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia or The Encyclopedia of Animals, which are bursting with incredible facts and stories about the animals of the world.
We have had fun going from encyclopedia to Google 3D, too: reading about how big a tiger is tells you one thing, but then seeing a full-sized tiger in your living room makes the animal much more exciting and has made my kids eager to read about more cool animal facts! (And honestly, I think I’m somehow having even more fun than they are!)