Like most parents, I find myself treading a narrow winding path between letting my kids play on the iPad (oh blessed silence!), and worrying that they’re spending too much time on the iPad (will they still be living at home when they’re 30?!).
It was whilst contemplating this that OSMO found it’s way under our 2014 Christmas tree.
A game that is played on the iPad. But not on the iPad.
Essentially, OSMO is a collection of game apps for the iPad, with external pieces that the player interacts with. It’s designed to be both educational and fun – and IT IS!
You set the iPad (or iPad mini) into the stand, clip on the mirror over the iPad’s camera, and let the kids play. With real paper and pencil. Or real wooden shapes. Or letters. The camera “sees” what you are doing and updates the game accordingly. It’s really quite brilliant.
At the time of writing, OSMO comes with three separate games – Tangram, Newton and Words. (Rumour has it that more games are in the beta test phase.)
Tangram is a shape game. For younger kids, they can match the shape of the coloured wooden pieces to the shape on the screen. For older kids, they are only given the shadow outline and have to figure out how to create the shape using the given pieces. Don’t let the kid colours fool you, the upper levels of this game can be a real mind bender for grownups too.
Newton is a drawing game and is Miss 4’s favourite (and is also pictured in the photos accompanying this article). On the iPad screen, balls are dropped, and by drawing on a piece of paper in front of the iPad, you can create bounce surfaces, buckets and other devices to direct the balls to their target.
Words, is… well… word games! The best part of this one is that you can play with 2 people.
The website says that it’s designed for ages 6+, however Miss 4 enjoys it too. The word games are a little tricky for a newly-beginning-reader like her, but she loves the shapes and drawing.
Aesthetically, the game is minimalistically designed, and although it’s not developed by Apple, it borrows a lot of it’s beauty with distinctive white colouring and rounded corners. It is obvious that a lot of effort has gone into the design and production. The iPad fits snugly into the stand without rubbing or scratching. As does the camera reflector.
When not in use, all the pieces fit nicely into the purpose designed packaging, which closes with magnetic catches. Yeh! A toy that doesn’t require a trip to the office supply store to buy a storage container for it lest the pieces get lost under the couch.
You can buy the OSMO online HERE.
Still on the fence? Don’t just take my word for it, OMSO was recently voted one of the “Time’s Best Inventions of 2014”. 🙂
This is not a paid endorsement. Santa (ahem... me) paid for the OSMO. The link in the above text is an affiliate link.