Verge Loves: Osmo

It is the beginning of November which means just one thing – Christmas is around the corner! As we probably won’t be seeing as many people as we usually do this year, people will be looking to buy that perfect gift to help keep the magic alive and bring a little joy to an altogether different Christmas.

And for the most important people – the kids – we love the OSMO. It is a genius piece of kit which allows players to use objects in the real world to interact with the digital world shown on their iPad or Fire tablets. We tried it out (with a 5, 8 and 10-year-old) and it was so much fun! We had the Genius Starter kit which included; Tangram (shapes), Words (reading and spelling), Newton (physics), Masterpiece (drawing) and Numbers (maths).

Every Osmo game requires the player to use reasoning to arrive at the correct answer, or even to chart a new path entirely. In Monster, for example, players draw pictures with the Creative Board to shape the story that Mo the Monster is telling on their screen. When kids play Monster together, they learn how to communicate and collaborate to progress in the narrative. In this way, Monster is a useful tool for growing interpersonal skills in early childhood.

Osmo, believe in the decades of research that illustrate children learn best from hands-on education. Osmo’s games are geared toward embodied learning, meaning the games teach abstract concepts by connecting them to objects and actions in the physical world. Osmo games promote embodied learning through physical-digital interactions.

Their in-house team of child development researchers work with designers to make sure every Osmo game reflects the principles of embodied learning. In Coding Awbie, for instance, players learn how to write lines of code by connecting and arranging physical coding blocks. Players of Pizza Co. must make quick calculations with topping and money tiles to deliver yummy pies and correct change to waiting customers. And in Tangram, players think through spatial relations to build increasingly complex shapes from smaller ones.

It was super easy to set up with our iPad and within minutes the kids were enjoying the games whilst the grown-ups marvelled in the simple but hugely effective technology.

You could easily spend hours with Osmo and it really is the perfect gift for kids who enjoy being on their screens (that’s everyone then), but you are safe in the knowledge that they are learning and developing social-emotional skills like problem-solving, creativity and perseverance.

For a full list of starter kits, please visit https://www.playosmo.com/en/shopping/