STAY AT HOME FUN WITH OSMO | AD
On days when we are having a quiet day at home (which is obviously happening a lot at the moment), if you ask my children what they would like to do I can guarantee they will say ‘can we go on the iPad?’ For a child going on their tablet for a while is something that they love to do, but often as a parent I feel like we should be doing something more educational or I should be limiting what they actually play or watch on there.
A while ago I got approached by Osmo- and award winning play system for tablets– to see if we would like to try it out. I have actually used Osmo before at a friends house, and Maddie really loved it, but she was quite young at the time so I wasn’t sure if she would remember it. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time considering they were off school and I was wanting to set some more educational activities for them to do while we stayed at home. We were so excited and waited in anticipation for it to arrive.
But what actually is Osmo?
Osmo essentially helps blend both physical and digital words together. Osmo makes hands-on learning games in which players use objects in the real world to interact with the digital world shown on their iPad or Fire tablets. Most Osmo games are designed for ages 5–12, but there are others appropriate for younger ages. Monster and Super Studio are appropriate for ages 4+. They also have certain games available for even younger children- the brand-new Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit, which includes four games designed specifically for kids ages 3–5. These games teach pre-reading, storytelling and fine motor skill development.
And how does it work?
This is the really cool bit. It’s so simple but will blow you away with just how well it works, it did for me. Osmo comes with a base that you use to prop your tablet up, and an attachable mirror/reflector that fits over the camera. That mirror reflects the iPad’s camera, allowing it to see objects on the surface in front of the iPad. You can start off with buying one of the starter kits (some examples of the starter kits are – the ‘Little Genius‘ for ages 3-5, the ‘Genius‘ kit for ages 6-10, and the ‘Explorer’ kit for ages 5-12). The starter kits come with a bundle of games, accessories etc, then you can also buy extra one off games as well (on the OSMO Amazon site you can buy each of these games with the base or without).
With each of the games, it blends a physical aspect alongside the digital game. It requires the simplest of setups in the beginning, just downloading the apps you need, and everything is very clear on what to do. Being a bit of a geek about things like this, the branding and design of OSMO is just stunning, plus it is really well made. We were all so excited to get it out of the box.
What does Osmo help teach your child?
The goal of the games Osmo produces is to create hands-on fun, giving the players the opportunity to use objects in the real world to interact with the digital world. This makes learning much more fun and interactive for kids.
They have a variety of games and apps for your child to enjoy, each helping teach in certain academic subjects..
Coding (Coding Awbie, Coding Jam, Coding Duo)
Math (Numbers, Pizza Co.)
Drawing (Monster, Super Studio, Masterpiece)
Fundamentals of Physics (Newton)
Spatial relational skills (Tangram)
World geography (Detective Agency)
What kind of games are there?
I couldn’t go into all the games on here as it would take me a long while, but I wanted to highlight some of the cool features that Osmo has.
One example is Tangram (part of the Genius Starter Kit). The concept and game Tangram has obviously been around for years, but this is where Osmo fuses modern technology with traditional play. Using physical pieces you have to try and match the on screen puzzles. There’s lots of interactivity on screen, various levels of difficulty and you can even play challenges against a friend. Our girls love this one.
Numbers is another game from the Genius Starter Kit. Our girls both LOVE maths (they must get it from their Dad because I hated maths at school). You arrange physical tiles, including dots and digits, to make numbers and complete levels. Add by putting more tiles, subtract by removing tiles and multiply by connecting tiles together. You can go at your own pace, and as you get confident in one mode you can move on to the next one. Again like all the other games it is really interactive.
Osmo also has some incredibly interactive creative games, which encourage children to draw, create and use their imagination. These are my personal favourites but my girls said they love them all the same. Using white board pens and the white board (comes with certain games including the creative starter set), kids can make their drawings come to life. One really cute and fun game is Monster. Mo the Monster talks to them on screen and encourages them to draw certain things, before the things come to life on screen. It really is fantastic and sparks such imagination and creativity.
Wren also loves watching this one, it really makes him laugh seeing what the monster is getting up to.
As part of the creative games on Osmo you can also get four Super Studio Disney games- including Disney Princesses and Mickey Mouse and Friends. This is perfect for Disney fans.
As both Jon and I are in creative jobs (Jon is a web developer), we really want to encourage our children to learn to code at a young age. I think it is such a fantastic skill for them to learn. We were both excited to see that Osmo also has some coding games, Coding Awbie, Coding Duo and Coding Jam.
We have Coding Jam, where children can compose their own music by arranging Osmo’s Coding Blocks into patterns and sequences. It’s happy, hands-on play, and an fantastic way to teach them the fundamentals of coding. Maddie especially really loves this one.
Finally I wanted to talk a little about how we are finding Osmo for pre-schoolers. Wren is three and I was a bit skeptical as to whether he would sit and concentrate, but he really loves it, and in all honesty it surprises me how clever his little mind is and how he works to solve problems.
The Little Genius Starter Kit ‘ABC’ game helps him gain confidence in letter recognition, vocabulary, construction and phonics. You have to arrange the colourful sticks and shapes into letters and pictures, and again the game like all Osmo games is very interactive- he loves it.
Is Osmo worth it?
There’s no denying that Osmo is an investment toy and its price point is on the higher side for a children’s toy. As an example currently there is 20% off in the Osmo Amazon store and the Genius Starter kKit is £80.00. Once you have the base and reflector, the games do get more reasonable, e.g the Monster drawing game, pens and board is currently £39.20, and then the Disney Studio games are currently £15.20.
I was genuinely blown away by Osmo and all the little details that made up the bigger picture. Everything- from the packaging, to the design, to the style, colours, branding, games etc are genuinely amazing. Our children love it so much and it keeps them entertained for a long time. It’s the perfect home education toy, a fantastic way of helping children learn and have fun at the same time.
My children are quite ‘techy’ kids, eg they like technology and enjoy learning in a hands-on way, so they are perfect market for Osmo. If your child is similar then I definitely recommend you checking it out. It’s so much fun and the way in which they blend traditional learning with modern technology is just fantastic.
Enter to win Osmo here- https://kingsumo.com/g/ogo2vf/hop-into-coding-giveaway
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NB: We were sent the Osmo items to try out , but all words and opinions are entirely my own. Thanks to them for working with us.