If you are looking for educational games for your kids, consider the Osmo games, which have a wide-range of uses and learning areas for all ages!
Last year I started homeschooling our toddler. After a lot of research and careful observation of his learning style, I quickly realized that he is very much a hands-on learner and that he also responds best to the digital-visual medium.
As he reached 3 years old, I also realized that he had outgrown most of the educational videos he was watching and we needed something more to fill his healthy screen time.
We started a homeschool curriculum and added a few learning games to his iPad to compliment it. These were fine, but I wished they were more interactive or focused on a specific subject or skill. That is when I found Osmo!
OSMO – Learning Through Play
So before I tell you how amazing the Osmo games are and why we love them so much, let me answer some basic questions that always come up about the Osmo learning games for kids.
What is Osmo?
Osmo is an award-winning collection of educational games that work with iPad or Fire tablets. It provides a hands-on learning experience to encourage children to use abstract concepts and to tie it to actions in the physical world (embodied learning).
The Osmo games tackle different skills for children development : early literacy, math, critical thinking, fine motor skills, creativity, coding and even physics!
It is so effective and makes learning so much fun that over 30,000 schools are using Osmo games to help kids communicate, create and collaborate in the classroom. How cool is that?
How to setup the Osmo games?
The Osmo games work with iPads and Fire tablets. The kits include a base that holds the tablets and a cover/projector for the tablet’s camera which includes a mirror. The projector is used to capture the action performed by the child during the game.
When the child draws or puts something in front of the iPad, the image is captured by the camera and uploaded into the game. It’s so simple and yet so amazing!
Parents will need to download the games from the app store and set up the base and projector for younger children. Older children might be able to do it themselves.
There is also a parent app to keep track of your child’s progress and monitor screen time.
When we first set up the Osmo games for our son, we played it a couple times with him to make sure he understood what he had to do. But as children always do, in no time, he was showing us different parts of the game that we didn’t even know were there!
One thing to note is that it does require good, even lighting to work best. Shadows and poor lighting can affect the way the images are captured and thus how the game performs.
What are the best Osmo games?
There are 20 Osmo games for kids ranging from 3-12 years old that focus on different skills ranging from language to advanced concepts.
Here are the 4 starter kits for your child to start:
|Kit Name||Age Range||Target Skills||Games|
|Little Genius Starter Kit||3-5||Early Literacy, Communication, Fine Motor Skills, Social-Emotional, Understanding the World, Creativity and Pre-Drawing Skills||4|
|Genius Starter Kit||6-10||Spatial Awareness, Problem-Solving Skills, Spelling, Math||5|
|Creative Kit||4-12||Drawing, Writing, Creativity, Physics, Problem Solving||3|
|Explorer Starter Kit||5-12||The Genius Starter Kit + Creative Kit + Coding Awbie||7|
Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit
This is the first Osmo starter kit for young kids that are just starting with Osmo games. It’s designed for children age 3-5 years old — preschoolers.
There are 4 games in the kit: Squiggle Magic, ABCs, Costume Party and Stories.
Included in the kit are: base, projector cover, one box of silicon shapes and one box with a costume collection.
The Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit focuses on developing early literacy, communication, fine motor and social-emotional skills, and creativity.
Ever since our son started using the Little Genius Starter Kit games, he is using his creativity a lot more and his fine motor skills are getting better and better by using the silicon pieces to make shapes and letters.
Osmo Squiggle Magic
My son absolutely loves to make shapes/letters with the silicon pieces and to create drawings.
The Osmo Squiggle Magic works on fine motor, social-emotional and pre- drawing skills.
In this game, the child is asked to create shapes and is given an example. There is no right or wrong way to make pictures in Squiggle Magic.
Children learn to use different shapes to create a bigger picture.
It’s wonderful to see how excited my son gets to achieve a design!
Osmo ABCs is perfect for young children that are learning letters and preparing to start writing them.
It works on letter recognition, phonics, vocabulary and word-picture associations.
In Osmo ABCs, Mo the friendly monster asks children to create letters with the silicon parts. Then he works on letter sounds, vocabulary and finally asks the child to create the shape of the new word they have learned.
A great way to create word-picture association while working on fine motor skills.
My son loves to use the different costume pieces to dress up the Osmo character.
In Costume Party, the child is given visual clues to what the character wants. He or she needs to provide a certain object or outfit. He/she can also change the color of the costumes using the paintbrushes on the screen.
Children learn colors, to follow directions and creativity.
If they follow the instructions correctly, they are able to celebrate with the character with a little party.
The Osmo Stories is my son’s favorite game right now.
Mo the monster reads a story to the child and asks he/she to help the character along the way by changing the costumes and using the objects to overcome a challenge. Need a fire, why not use a dragon?
It’s pretty cute and incentivizes kids to use their imagination and cooperation.
Osmo Creative Kit
There are three games in the Osmo Creative Kit: Monster, Masterpiece and Newton. These games are for kids 4-12 years old, but I personally think teenagers and adults will love using it too. Specially Masterpiece and Newton.
The Osmo Creative Kit works on creativity, imagination, make pretend, drawing, writing, physics, problem solving and more.
A drawing pad, washable markers and a fuzzy carry pouch are included in the game.
Mo, the friendly monster is the main character in the Monster game and my son has fallen in love with him. I have to admit that I have a crush on him also!
Mo is also in the Little Genius Kit and interacts with the children in different games.
Creativity flourishes with the Osmo Monster Game which focuses on drawing and sparking imagination in kids.
Mo asks the child to draw a picture and incorporates the picture into the game. It’s truly a game design marvel!! And the best thing is that the drawing does not need to be perfect. As long as the child can scribble, he/she will be able to see their artwork come alive with Mo on the screen.
There is no right or wrong way to draw a bed for example. It really allows the child to be free to imagine and create without boundaries or judgement.
My son is filled with joy creating things for the game and has such a laugh with Mo the monster! He particularly likes to imitate him step-by-step.
As a parent, I love that he can be creative and work on developing fine motor skills, all while having fun.
His imagination is coming alive and being projected to us through the screen, right before our eyes! It’s amazing how technology allows it to happen.
Masterpiece is an amazing game for creative kids. Younger children can learn how to write the ABCs and numbers and older kids with better coordination can learn to draw.
But the game is actually much more impressive than that. Children can take pictures of people, things, animals and turn it into an outline so that they can draw it.
When they are done, they can apply different effects into the drawing, save it, share the process and the final result with friends and family, print it and more.
It really is incredible the things you can do with the Osmo Masterpiece game.
This is another marvel of Osmo. Newton requires children to problem solve to achieve an objective. It uses physics concepts with a creative twist.
It works almost like a pinball machine, but children can draw lines to redirect the bouncing ball to hit a target. They can also use any other objects they have available to redirect the ball – Tangram shapes, the silicon pieces, pens, rulers, their hands… everything they place in front of the screen can be used in the game. It’s genius!!
Is Screen Time Healthy for Kids?
“Should my 3 year old have screen time?” That is a question a lot of parents ask. I see it all the time in the mom groups I am in.
Every one has an opinion about it, so let me be up front that it’s not my goal to persuade you that children should have screen time, only to share what works for us and why we do it.
Why we believe in using technology in education
My husband and I are firm believers that technology can be incredibly helpful in education. We see it integrated in every part of our future as a society, so we believe in introducing technology early.
We provide healthy screen time to our son on a daily basis, which means he has access to educational programs like the Osmo games as well as age appropriate videos.
Healthy screen time to us is about a different way to learn and we balance it with physical activity everyday, independent and group play without technology, lots of reading, quality family time and socialization activities with a diverse group of people.
We often hypothesize what will happen in his lifetime, how will his life and the world be different. He will most likely have a self-driving car, sub-dermal chip implants for a variety of things (already available on the market) and A.I. will be part of everyday life. As a society we might even be colonizing other planets. All of these things will be powered by technology.
So we embrace technology and provide different opportunities for our son to be exposed to it.
As part of his homeschooling, we plan to include coding, financial education, entrepreunership, survival and trade skills to his curriculum over the years. That is why we already have our eye on the Osmo Coding and Pizza Co. games!! These two games help kids learn about money, being a “boss” of a business, facial expressions (emotional intelligence) and how to code using an intuitive system of tiles.
Osmo Kits Review Conclusion
In conclusion, we love the Osmo games and are so impressed by how they work and by how much our son enjoys learning through them. If you are looking for educational games for your kids, consider the Osmo games, which have a wide-range of uses and development areas for all ages!
Feel free to leave any questions for me down in the comments or to check out the other games on Osmo’s website.
You can also head over to my YouTube channel and watch this video I made showing how we use the Osmo games. And don’t forget to subscribe while you are there!
We are currently on the road on a 2 month trip in Oceania, but one of the few toys I brought with us is the Osmo games and I am so glad I did.
My son wants to play it all the time when we are in the hotel rooms or while we are waiting for food at a restaurant. When he is not playing with it, he wants to play a game he has imagined with us. What a wonderful gift it is to be part of a child’s mind!
I am also getting many comments from parents and grandparents who see my son playing with Osmo and are amazed by it.