We finally got the Osmo gaming accessory last Saturday. We had been following this “toy” for some months trying to make sure that Gabby and Julian will like it. And, let me tell you, it exceeded our expectations by far!
The box set comes with a reflective mirror for the iPad camera (really cool technology comes with this thing!); an iPad stand, and 2 sets of game pieces (2 complete alphabet letter tile set and 7 wood tangram shapes). It looks pretty simple, this is why I think kids get into it right away.
Then, you can download the 4 apps: Masterpiece, Words, Tangram and Newton.
Let me start by reviewing the Tangram app. Gabby had played with paper tangram shapes before, but this is a totally different level! The first time you open the app, it will show your kid how to use the Tangram shapes by giving them instructions to form simple figures (e.g. a house, a cat’s head, etc.). Then, when they get familiar with the process, they will be given more difficult figures to form, but they can use the hints (the app tells them what shape or color to use) until they become proficient and no hints will be needed. Gabby (who is 4 at this time) enjoys it really much, I think this is perfectly suitable for her. Julian (who is 2 at this time) wants to do whatever he wants with the shapes, so it’s more difficult to get him follow the instructions, so it may take a little longer for him to get it.
Now, the Words app. This is great to introduce your kids to spelling. The app shows a picture, and depending on what level you choose, your kids will just have to place the initial letter or all of them. You can download many libraries containing many words, so your kids will never get bored by looking at the same pictures or words over and over again. Gabby has had a great time playing with it, and I think this app is suitable for her, especially the Junior (early reader) choice. Again, Julian doesn’t get it yet, but it’s been a great way to reinforce the letter sounds.
The masterpiece app is pretty cool. This app will let you draw on paper exactly what you see on your iPad. My kids can spend an hour or more (not very common) drawing the outlines of fruits and animals. They don’t follow exactly the outlines, but they feel very proud of their “masterpieces” once they finish drawing, and this is priceless! This app is also great for parents. If your drawing skills are terrible, this will make you a Picasso (I may be exaggerating a bit).
We haven’t spent a lot of time with the kids using the Newton app. They don’t get it quite well yet. However, the grownups may find it quite addictive. It’s pretty cool that you can use any object around you to guide falling on-screen balls into on-screen targets. This is physics in a very fun way!
Overall, we’ll give the Osmo gaming accessory for the iPad 5/5 bananas for being such a great app accessory!