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Awesome Educational Apps from Touch Press!

Whoever said that learning was boring? Check out these amazing apps from Touch Press that will give children a up-close and personal experience with science, geography, history, and music… If you want to help you child learn more about the periodic table, the pyramids, inventions, the world, the solar system, the dinosaurs, gems, x-rays, and the orchestra, and have an awesome time at it, this is a terrific series of apps to have on your iPad…

The Elements: A Visual Exploration

Theodore Gray is the kind of person I would envision for the science teacher in a perfect school (I really love his stuff on the Periodic Table and Mad Science). Since we don’t have the perfect school and we don’t have Theo as our science teacher, his Element apps are the next best thing…

The Elements: A Visual Exploration is a beautiful Periodic Table Reference e-book to have on hand but it is also much more than that…

Of all the periodic table apps, there is only one which Stephen Fry described as “Alone worth the price of an iPad!”. The Elements: A Visual Exploration is not just a reference app, it is a rich and engaging love story of the periodic table, told in words and pictures, and allowing you to experience the beauty and fascination of the building blocks of our universe in a way you’ve never seen before.

The Elements is based on the internationally best-selling hard cover edition of The Elements by Theodore Gray, Popular Science Magazine’s Gray Matter columnist. But it goes way beyond what is possible on paper.

You start off at a living periodic table where every element is shown with a smoothly rotating sample. To read about tin, tap the tin soldier. To read about gold, tap the gold nugget. Immediately you see the sample filling nearly the entire screen, photographed to razor sharpness and rotating around a complete circle in front of your eyes. Beside that is a column of facts and figures, each of which can be tapped to bring up rich detail and current information through the embedded Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine.

Go to each element’s second page and you find a fascinating story about the element, surrounded by carefully photographed objects representing it. Every one of these objects, well over 500 in total, is a freely rotatable, live object that you can examine from all sides and pinch zoom to see in unprecedented detail.

Touch the element name at the top of the page and you can see that element’s name in over a dozen different languages. Choose one and you’ll find that the entire book, stories, captions and all, switches to that language: The Elements includes both the full English original text and over a dozen full translations.

Pinch-zoom or tap any object to bring it up full screen, where you can split into a pair of stereo 3D images. Using inexpensive 3D glasses you can see all 500 objects pop off the screen in 3D, and you can spin the objects, in 3D, with the touch of a finger. You can’t get much more virtually real than that.

If you had a bad experience with chem class in school, this book is the antidote. If you or someone you know is afraid chemistry will be their most boring subject, this book will show them that there’s a lot more to the periodic table than a bunch of numbers and letters.

The Elements: A Visual Exploration is available from iTunes Store for $13.99.

And if you like this, then you will absolutely love –

Elements in Action

One of the aspects of science that I loved more than anything else were the experiments. Elements in Action allows even the youngest child to experience the explosive elements of the periodic table safely. This app offers an awesome insight into the properties of 79 elements from the periodic table. Now you can find out…

What happens when highly reactive rubidium is dropped into water? Or when a cannonball is placed in a pool of mercury? The Elements in Action shows you one definitive demonstration for (almost) every element, ranging from the bizarre to the sublime, all assembled in one place for you to view in the comfort and safety of your iPad, with very little danger of death by fire, dismemberment, or poisoning.

Elements in Action is available at the iTunes Store for $3.99.


X is for X-ray

Your child will never view the alphabet the same way again after this app. X is for X-Ray offers children an opportunity to explore 26 everyday objects from three different perspectives:

  • Swipe horizontally and each object rotates beneath your fingertip.
  • Swipe vertically and its interior structure is revealed via X-Ray photography. 
  • Double-tap offers an amazing stereoscopic option, bringing the objects popping out of the screen. 

X is for X-Ray is both informative and entertaining. You can read detailed explanations about each of the 26 daily objects or listen to the whimsical rhymes written by award-winning children’s author Paul Rosenthal and narrated by Dr Who actor Kerry Shale.

X is for X-Ray is available at the iTunes Store for $1.99.

These are the apps that we’ve checked out so far, but Touch Press also has some other interesting apps you might be interested to take a look at…

Barefoot World Atlas

Explore the world with this multi-language, universal app that allows you to:

  • Spin, zoom and fly around the globe!
  • Read and listen to geographer and BBC TV presenter Nick Crane
  • Learn fascinating facts about every country
  • Watch hundreds of mini-videos
  • Enjoy beautiful animated illustrations by artist David Dean
  • Follow an ever-changing soundscape
  • Expand your world with extra packs, including World Art & International Football
  • Browse through hundreds of breath-taking photographs
  • Check out live data from Wolfram|Alpha®

Barefoot World Atlas is available at the iTunes Store for $4.99 (contains in-app purchases).

Solar System

Explore the Solar System with this interactive e-book that allows you to “tour through the incredible diversity of planets, moons, asteroids, comets and spacecraft that surround the Sun in our cosmic backyard” and “control the orbits of the moons and planets, observing them from any viewpoint with breath-taking surface detail”.


  • Exclusive theme song by Björk
  • More than150 beautifully presented story pages
  • Richly Illustrated with interactive diagrams, videos and 3D objects
  • Over 40 rotatable and zoomable 3D astronomical objects
  • Over 600 images from NASA, ESA and JAXA space missions
  • Detailed captions including technical data
  • Live astronomical information from Wolfram|Alpha®

Solar System is available at the iTunes Store for $13.99.

Journeys of Invention

Pick up and play with some of the most extraordinary objects in the history of science and technology… study, rotate and even operate some of the most revolutionary scientific inventions of all time. Step inside the Apollo 10 Command Module, examine a flea with Robert Hooke’s 17th-century microscope, explore the Large Hadron Collider, or even encode a secret message with a World War II Enigma Machine and share it with your friends to decipher.

Journeys of Invention is available at the iTunes Store for free (contains in-app purchase).

March of the Dinosaurs

An interactive story-book that allows your child to read-along or “read it myself”. Get an in-depth view of 10 3D animated dinosaurs.

Get a preview of the app:

March of the Dinosaurs is available at the iTunes Store for $1.99.

The Pyramids

Explore the pyramids and tombs of Egypt with this amazing that that allows you to fly around the plateau where the pyramids and the Sphinx are located at Giza near Cairo; enter and wander around the labyrinthine tombs and passageways; and examine stunning wall paintings in incredible detail, rotate royal statues and spin 3D objects.

Features include:

  • Highly detailed 3D representation of the Giza plateau for you to fly around
  • All three main pyramids, the Sphinx and eight fascinating tombs to enter and explore
  • Stunning annotated HD photography of the interiors of the pyramids and tombs
  • 35 digital restorations of wall paintings showing their original appearance
  • a collection of panoramic views at ground level
  • Specially written text telling the story of the Old Kingdom, its rulers, and great monuments, supported with interactive illustrations
  • Over 350 beautiful photographs vividly illustrating the Giza plateau, the excavations, and the building of the pyramids
  • Animated and narrated expert introductions to the tombs from Egyptologist Bram Calcoen
  • 40 exquisite antiquities presented as fully manipulable 3D objects that can be zoomed and spun to view from every angle
  • 3D objects include Tutankhamun’s mask and the Solar Boat

The Pyramids is available at the iTunes Store for $6.99.

The Orchestra

If you ever wanted to get up-close and understand the inner workings of an orchestra, this is the app for it.


  • Multi-camera, multi-track performances of eight pieces with automatically synchronised full score, curated score, or simplified representation
  • Mesmeric synchronised BeatMap highlights each and every note played on a graphical representation of the orchestra
  • Optional audio and/or subtitle commentaries on every piece from both the conductor and the players
  • Discover how each instrument works, and read, watch and hear the musicians themselves explain their role in the orchestra
  • Insightful text on the pieces, composers and instruments specially written by Mark Swed, music critic of the LA Times
  • Stunning fully interactive video playback allows complete real-time control of the iPad screen in both landscape and portrait orientation

The Orchestra is available at the iTunes Store for $13.99.

Gems and Jewels

If you love your stones, you’ll love this app… “Get closer than ever before to an exquisite collection of the most valuable and highly coveted gems, gemstones, and jewels that have captivated human beings for millennia. Learn about the rocks, minerals, and organic materials that are transformed by the jeweller’s art into things of great beauty.”

Now you can “hold and manipulate” raw gems and gemstones, like the Etruscan Gold necklace from Italy, an 8 carat black Diamond, and the Aztec “Sun-god Opal,” carved in the 16th century.

Gems and Jewels is available at the iTunes Store for $13.99.

More from Touch Press.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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