Osmo Review

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Are you confused about whether online apps and games improve the logic and cognitive abilities in your child? Many studies have confirmed that e-learning apps are indeed successful in improving basic STEM skills in children (source).

Osmo is a line of hands-on, interactive, and general education games developed in Palo Alto, California, by Tangible Play. The Osmo games use a clip-on lens, an iPhone stand, and the front camera of your iPhone. It is an augmented reality game that lets your iPhone recreate real-world objects such as a pen, maps, and blocks to play games designed around them.

Osmo was among the top 25 innovations of 2014 according to Time Magazine, and Osmo was also honored with one of the "top ten most innovative businesses" epithet by Fast Business in 2017. Osmo games are available online and at discount stores such as Target but also in the Apple Store. In January 2019, Osmo was purchased by BYJU'S.

Target Audience

The bulk of Osmo games is designed for children aged 5-12 years old. They are like a starter kit for elementary school students who are getting into coding for the first time. 

The game structure is perfect for younger players because of its quick rewards methodology towards developing coding solutions.

A new Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit is available for younger children in the age group of 3 to 5. It's a great way for kids in this age group to get a head start. The four games in the starter kit help to teach important skills such as narration and reading skills. It also improves fine motor skills. 

Popular Games on Osmo

Everything that Osmo designs is durable. None of the game pieces and objects used in the game look weak or fragile. The games that children most enjoy are listed below.

Genius Tangrams

The objective of Tangrams is to arrange puzzle blocks into shapes shown on the screen. When you complete a level, the pieces light up!

The game is choc-a-bloc with learning. Children get a lesson in spatial perception, understanding patterns, using logic to build complex shapes, and so much more. 

The puzzles grow in their complexity as you progress through each stage of the game.

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Genius Numbers

Genius Numbers is intended to make math fun for youngsters. Kids are often nervous and stressed out about math, they don't like to be tested under the pressure of time on math. And they hate the lack of creativity in the process of learning it.

Numbers throws a series of math puzzles at you, where you can answer in multiple right ways, without any time pressure. By taking out the stress and making math more creative, the game generates a lot of interest in children. Again, the puzzles get more difficult in the later stages, but for beginners, the puzzles are quite simple and engaging.

Coding

Coding is the life of Osmo. The objective of coding is to bring the process of problem-solving to life instead of having to teach it on a black computer screen in complex lines of esoteric languages that very few people understand.

How is it done? Well, the children get a set of blocks that directs characters (like a playful monster) on the screen. By connecting the blocks in the right order of steps, the child can direct the character to cross a puzzle. The order in which the directional blocks are to be connected becomes the "coding" challenge.

Technical Requirements

Like every piece of software, before you start, it's important to know what equipment is necessary! To play any of the games, you need the required Osmo Base and red reflector for your computer and a compatible device with internet access.

The Osmo Base and reflector for either iPad or Amazon Fire tablets are included with each Osmo package – they are also available at electronics shops for separate purchase!

Most iPads and Amazon Fire tablets are compatible. You can check if yours works from the list given below.  

Playosmo Review

 

Compatible iPads (iOS version needed is iOS 9):

  • iPad 2
  • iPad (3rd to 6th generation)
  • iPad Mini
  • iPad Mini 2 to 5
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Air 2 & 3
  • 10.5 inch & 9.7 inch iPad Pro

Compatible Fire Tablets:

  • 7th generation Fire 7
  • 7th generation Fire HD 8
  • 7th generation Fire HD10
  • 7th generation 2019
  • 8th generation Fire HD 8
  • 9th generation Fire HD 7

Many Osmo games also need other things not included in the kits. These can be bought from their shop. Some of the games that may need this are Police Department, MindRacers, Pizza Co, and Osmo Coding.

Pricing for Osmo

Osmo has a wide range of games and gadgets, but the choice depends on your budget and what you are looking for. The important thing about Osmo is that you control everything you spend. You don't have to simply take the price tag at face value and order anything.

Starter Kits and Best Selling Bundles

Little Genius Starter Kit: Ages 3 to 5

The starter kid for ages 3 to 5 includes four games that will help children understand phonics, social-emotional cues, auditory and visual perception skills, and pre-drawing. The idea is to engage younger children in STEAM subjects using technology and the fun of touching the game pieces by hand.

Genius Starter Kit: Ages 6 to 10

The genius starter kit is the bread and butter product of Osmo. It includes all the favorite children's games, including Tangrams, Numbers, and Word. There are games that invoke physics principles (Newton), creative drawing (Masterpiece), and other key skills.

Osmo - Coding Family Bundle: Ages 5 to 10+

The very basic coding bundle includes three entertaining games that children can use to understand the basic principles of coding.

Osmo - Pizza Co: Ages 5 to 12

Another hot favorite among children is Pizza Co. It uses the real-world situation of running a pizza parlor to teach children many important concepts of mathematics and business. 

Some of the skills that the game develops in children are basic accounting (collecting and paying change), profitability, basic math (addition, subtraction, fractions), mental math, communication skills, and creativity.

Osmo - Detective Agency: Ages 5-12

Detective Agency offers one of the most diverse learning games in the Osmo universe. Children learn about the history, geography, key landmarks, languages, and cultures of cities. The game improves deductive reasoning and logical ability as well.

Osmo - Super Studio Disney Frozen 2: Ages 5-11 

The Disney Frozen franchise is one of the favorites among children. This Osmo game uses well-known characters such as Elsa and Olaf from Frozen 2. 

It helps improve drawing skills in children while also enhancing listening skills, and hand-eye coordination.

Educational Topics Covered

One of Osmo's most exciting points is that while they have great informatics games, they cover several other topics as well. This range of subject matter includes:

  • Coding (Coding Awbie, Coding Jam, Coding Duo)
  • Math (Numbers, Pizza Co)
  • Drawing (Monster, Super Studio, Masterpiece)
  • Spelling (Words)
  • Basic Physics (Newton)
  • Spatial relational skills (Tangram)
  • Geography (Detective Agency)

While this variety of topics is great news for students, it is also important to remember that the games go beyond just academic subject matter. They also strive to develop vital social-emotional skills, such as problem-solving, imagination, communication, teamwork, and perseverance, that students need in their daily lives.

The game Monster allows players, for example, to take photographs and shape the tale of Mo the monster as it is told on the computer. 

This challenges the students' critical thinking capabilities and encourages organizational skills as children play the game together while progressing together.

Osmo can help children go beyond basic subjects to help them learn at school by ensuring that conventional learning courses and personal growth are integrated simply and fairly.

What We Did Not Like About Osmo

Setup

Setup is actually quite simple, but that's not the problem. The real problem is that you can't play Osmo without taking your iPad out of its protective case, which is never a good idea, especially if it's going to be used by kids.

Word Game

The Word game was very confusing. The pictures and objects used were pretty random. It would have been better if Osmo had collaborated with a phonics expert. This game could have become very powerful with the right direction.

Wrap Up!

Osmo is a very novel experiment in trying to make learning fun for children. The most important innovation that Osmo brings is the use of technology. 

The augmented reality app immerses children in play while teaching educational concepts in the background. 

If you are looking at a way to get your children more excited about studies, games, and STEAM concepts, then look no further than Osmo.

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