The Genius Starter Kit by Play Osmo [AD – Review]
The leap between Reception and Year One has been quite the culture shock. This has also been amplified by the fact that T only had 6 months worth of school before lockdown occurred. Where as before T would learn a lot through play, this has been reduced somewhat and lessons are more “structured”.
With this in mind, one of the biggest challenges this year was making sure we had the right educational resources at home. Resources that met his needs whilst also challenging him independently. It’s important to have the right balance between teaching them and letting them find out for themselves. Not to mention whilst also having fun!
This week, we’ve been testing out the Genius Starter Kit by Play Osmo, an award winning device that turns your tablet into a tool for learning. Here’s what we got up to recently:
Who or What is Osmo?
Osmo makes hands-on learning games using an iPad or Fire tablet. Players use objects from the real world to interact with the digital world shown on their screen.
Covering a range of academic subjects, including but not exclusive to; Coding and Math, Spatial & Relational Skills and Drawing, Physics, and Spelling, Osmo promote learning through embodied learning (connecting them to objects and actions).
How to Setup
Set up is super easy. Once you’ve downloaded the relevant app from your chosen device’s store, place the camera at the top of the device and the device into the dock / base. Part of the setup was letting T pick his avatar and their name, which he really enjoyed (and absolutely did not spend way too long deliberating over!)
Included in the box is the following:
- Tangram pieces
- Numbers Tiles
- Words Tiles
- Stackable storage for the pieces and tiles.
For parents and guardians, there’s a separate app just for us. Monitoring what games your little ones are playing, you’re able to see their progression as they make their way through the app. There’s also the opportunity to browse the online store and further resources.
Sharon and I really liked having access to this as we could see – very quickly – what T’s strong points were. The app goes into great detail and lets you know the kind of puzzles being completed and their level of intensity.
Genius Starter Kit
The kit we received to review was the Genius Starter Kit and is “a great entry to the Osmo universe” according to Osmo. Aimed for children aged 6 to 10, the Genius Starter Kit includes everything your children need to experience hands-on learning and digital fun. There are five different ways to play:
Tangram, which promotes problem solving and spacial & visual awareness using over 500 different puzzles and games. Words can be played solo or with friends & family. With over 150 different puzzle images (and albums created by the community!) the fun is endless. Numbers offers the player a variety of solutions to a variety of problems. Experimentation is key, with new rewards each time.
Learn how to draw with Masterpiece, using designs included on the app or by taking a photo. The app will draw the outlines for you and, once you’re finished, add it to your own gallery! Newton is where Physics come into play with 60 levels of fun. As you progress, Newton will challenge you to bouncing balls, accelerating platforms and fans!
T’s particular favourite was Tangram, but he spent a long time engaged with Numbers. With Tangram, you’re offered to recreate a number of your favourite creatures and objects using the coloured tiles. This is harder than it looks as you have to get the angle just right! Numbers gets the player thinking about ways you can combine different numerical and domino-style tiles to make the desired number. In the game T played, he had to free a number of fish by bursting numbered bubbles. Choose one of a couple of combos and the bubble bursts.
Other Kits Available?
There are a variety of kits available via Amazon and their online store. Depending on what your goal is, there will be something for someone. Kits start from the age 3 and peak to the age of 10. There are also additional tools you can purchase to extend play and learning. From coding bundles to studio artist kits! There’s also lots of Disney themed merch too!
Whilst we used a plain bit of paper for Masterpiece, we really like the look of the Super Studio Artist Bundle which comes with a creative board, sketchpads, erasable marker pens, and a pouch.
Value for Money?
We’ve never seen anything quite like Osmo before and we can genuinely see T playing with this for years to come. I love how each game comes with a variety of levels and range of difficulty. T has just started his journey, so there are a few things he’s finding quite easy, but this will likely change as he makes his way through the levels.
The featured kit is currently £69, with an RRP of £99 on Amazon. In all honesty I would be happy to pay this, taking into consideration how long this is going to last T and how much other devices cost.
The quality of the device and dock is excellent, and I’m still trying to work out how the tiles work! They’re not heavy and each tile is a different texture, which means there’s clearly some sorcery going on. The added bonus of colourful, stack-able storage boxes for the accessories shows every thought has been put into the Osmo experience.
We received the Play Osmo Genius Starter Kit in exchange for an honest review and social media coverage, however all thoughts, opinions and imagery are our own.