I was recently asked by the team at Osmo Play if I’d like to take a look at their Osmo Creative Kit. I’ve seen Osmo come up a few times on my Instagram feed and I was pretty excited to see how it all worked. The children use my Ipad for things like reading eggs and watching you tube, but they haven’t really used it a great deal.
What is Osmo?
Osmo is a range of apps and tools for turning your Ipad into a pretty unique gaming accessory. There is a range of different things you can buy, we were sent the creative kit which consists of a white board and pens and the Osmo Base for Ipad. The Osmo Base is used for the various different sets so it’s an essential bit of kit with which to enjoy Osmo.
Playing with Osmo
I unpacked everything and set it up and was impressed with how quick it was to do and how brilliant the games are! Sometimes these sorts of things sound great in theory but the reality is less than impressive – they can, often, not quite work as they should resulting in a frustrating experience. This was not the case with Osmo Creative Kit- it really is as brilliant as it looks.
The kit is pretty easy to set up. You register your creative kit on the Osmo site (which is really straight forward), download the app you want, Monster, Newton or Masterpiece and pop in your access code. I set up Monster first as this was what I thought the children would want to play first (and I was right!).
Monster introduces the character of Mo, a lovely cuddly orange monster who interacts with the user. You choose which adventure you would like to go on, and he asks you to draw different things for him. We have played a whole range of adventures, things from drawing his rooms – drawing a bath, a sofa or a bed etc, to going into forests or doing magic shows.
You are asked to draw something on the white board and Mo reaches down and pulls it up into the screen – and he REALLY does. It’s amazing how accurate it is at pulling up the pictures the children draw. Mo then interacts with the item, be it a sofa to sit on, a door to open etc. It really is very clever and the children have spent a lot of time giggling along as Monster does something with the picture they have drawn. It’s been lovely to watch and listen to them play together as they help Monster on his adventures.
After each instruction, you simply wipe the board clean, ready to draw the next thing. The dry erase pens are included as is a handy pouch to keep them in.
Newton is a great logic game for slightly older children. Mr D has tried this but I think he needs Damian or me to sit with him and explain and help him a little more yet. Essentially you have to guide a series of balls by drawing lines on the white board (or placing items on the board) which then appear on the iPad screen, allowing the balls to bounce off or roll along to the target. I’ve played this a few times and it is very addictive and it will be great for working on the children’s logic skills and getting them thinking and problem-solving. Mr D will certainly be good at this as it is quite logical. He has watched me play this and I think he will soon be able to do it himself, with a bit of practice and encouragement.
Finally, Masterpiece – an interesting idea that allows you to create a piece of art. The iPad screen gives you the outline of a drawing – you can either take a picture of something or you can use one of the many available images. You then draw on your paper/Osmo creative board using the lines as a guide. I was able to draw a pretty good fox, dinosaur and witch quite quickly using Masterpiece and the children enjoyed having a go at it too. You can use just a piece of paper for this if you want to keep your picture. The iPad can also take pictures which you can upload to a gallery.
I’m not sure if Masterpiece is helpful for them when working on their pen control or not – you need to look at the screen to follow the lines rather than down at the page/surface you are drawing onto. I can see how it’s a good way to help break down things into ways to draw them and it’s something that they’ve both enjoyed having a go at but they have some way to go yet in order to get the coordination to look at the screen whilst moving their pen.
I’ve been really impressed with the Osmo Creative Kit – it works really well – even on my five-year-old iPad – and I’ve not come across any glitches yet in the apps. You can set up a number of profiles which is great for my two so they can progress the stories on their own time and save their own progress on Newton once they’re able to play that one.
I’ve been totally impressed with Osmo – it truly is a superb piece of kit and the children really enjoy the Monster app; asking to play on it regularly. The Newton app is my favourite and it’s good to get the brain cells ticking over trying to work out how to complete each level!. I like that the children enjoy working together with Monster as they guide him through the adventure and, whilst playing on Newton, I have enjoyed having Mr D sat alongside me as we try to problem solve together.
There is a whole range of other Osmo games including the pizza game which I understand works on maths skills and the coding games which I hope to add to our collection at some stage.
Osmo is a really neat way to engage children in STEM type activities without them really realising. You can read more about Osmo here and view the range available. You can order direct from Osmo or via Amazon UK.
I was sent the Osmo Creative Kit and base for Ipad in exchange for a fair and honest review. All words, images and opinions are my own.