It was perfect timing to receive an Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit for Erin, just as schools were closing. I’d not heard of Osmo until recently so what did we really think of it?
What is Osmo?
I’ve never seen anything like Osmo before – they are 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.
It’s no secret that children learn better by physically doing and I was absolutely amazed by the variety of games and learning in the starter kit. It was easy to set up, with just an app to download, and a quick sign up. The tasks were very clearly explained for each activity.
On the ABCs game, there are different difficulty levels, set by age group. This includes making letters with the different shapes, reading words, making objects and adding to a picture on the screen. You can change the settings to suit your child’s needs so we made sure to turn the phonic sounds on! Erin loved how encouraging Mo the Monster was, with it declaring, “I’m so proud of you,” as she gained confidence in letter recognition, vocabulary, construction and phonics.
Squiggle is by far Erin’s favourite activity in the genius starter kit. It’s ideal in our house as Rory, aged 2, is able to get involved. The kit is aimed at 3-5 year olds but they are able to make different pictures together (usually with Erin bossing Rory about to find the right pieces!) or create characters and complete the on screen tasks. It’s perfect for developing cognitive, creative, social and emotional skills. The game pieces that are perfectly designed for little hands too.
Costume Party is also included in the set and gives little ones the opportunity to experiment with clothes and colours to make different party outfits. This aspect of play helps them to foster spatial reasoning, creativity and fine motor skills, plus have loads of fun dressing characters for a party.
And, finally, the Stories part of the kit is great fun as they get to mix and match costumes to find silly solutions to obstacles and navigate adventures. Using creativity, critical thinking and problem solving skills, Erin loves finding all the solutions and getting instant feedback.
With all the different activities to do and various levels on each one, there is hours of fun to be had with Osmo.
I also received a weekly summary email. This showed me how much time had been spent on the activities:
(Don’t ask me why Erin has called herself Jessie!!)
There is also a forum on the MyOsmo website, which you can use to create and share lesson plans. This is next on my to-do list, to investigate how I can use Osmo in the classroom too!
Who would I recommend Osmo for?
Most Osmo games are designed for ages 5–12. Monster and Super Studio are appropriate for ages 4+.
For younger children, the Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit is recommended. It includes four games designed specifically for kids ages 3–5. These games teach pre-reading, storytelling and fine motor skill development and have been perfect for Erin (almost 5) and Rory (two and a half). In fact, Erin has loved it so much that we have bought her the Super Studio Disney Princess. I know she is going to love seeing her drawings come alive in the animated stories!