An Honest Osmo Review: Is It Worth It?

With the holiday season just around the corner, I’ve been on the hunt for unique and educational gifts that will not only delight my little ones but also provide them with valuable learning experiences. As a mom who’s always on the lookout for ways to make learning fun, I stumbled upon something that caught my attention: Osmo.

Now, I know many of us are well-acquainted with the idea of screen time being a double-edged sword, but Osmo seems to have cracked the code on turning that screen time into something truly interactive and enriching.

So, this year, I decided to take the plunge and invest in a couple of Osmo kits for my kiddos. In this review, I’ll share my firsthand experience with Osmo, why I thought it was worth trying, and how it’s been faring in our household.

Keep reading to find out my honest Osmo review.

honest osmo review

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What Is Osmo?

Osmo is an innovative educational technology platform that seamlessly merges the physical and digital worlds to create interactive learning experiences for children. It consists of a combination of software applications and physical accessories that work in tandem with a tablet or smartphone. The unique aspect of Osmo is how it uses the device’s camera to detect and interact with objects and actions in the real world, making learning engaging, interactive, and hands-on.

The Osmo system typically includes a base that securely holds your device, a reflective attachment that covers the device’s front-facing camera, and a set of games or activities designed to enhance various skills such as problem-solving, math, spelling, creativity, and more. The games usually require physical manipulation of objects in front of the device’s camera, which is then translated into actions within the digital app on the screen.

What sets Osmo apart from many other educational apps is its emphasis on active engagement and collaboration. It encourages kids to use their imaginations, experiment with solutions, and engage in creative thinking – all while having fun. The platform is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, making it accessible to a wide range of ages.

Check out OSMO Games & Kits!

What Age Is Osmo For?

Osmo offers a range of game kits that cater to different age groups, making it a versatile educational platform suitable for children as young as 3 years old up to around 12 years old. The age recommendations for each kit can vary based on the complexity of the activities and the skills being developed. Here’s a general breakdown of the age groups that Osmo kits are typically designed for:

  1. Preschool and Early Elementary (Ages 3-6): Osmo offers several kits that are perfect for preschoolers and young children in the early elementary grades. These kits focus on foundational skills such as letter recognition, early math concepts, drawing, and creative problem-solving. They often involve simple physical interactions with tangible objects that are then reflected in the digital apps.
  2. Elementary (Ages 6-12): As children progress through elementary school, they can continue to benefit from Osmo’s interactive learning experiences. These kits may involve more advanced activities that promote critical thinking, logical reasoning, and coding basics. They can be tailored to suit different subject areas, including math, language arts, and science.
  3. Middle Childhood (Ages 9-12): Some of the more advanced Osmo kits are suitable for children in the middle childhood years. These kits might focus on more complex coding challenges, creative expression through storytelling, and deeper math concepts.

It’s important to note that the age ranges provided are general guidelines, and individual children’s interests and aptitudes can vary. Some children might engage with Osmo kits designed for older age groups earlier than expected, while others might need more time to develop certain skills.

girl playing with osmo squiggles

Is Osmo Safe For Kids?

Yes, Osmo is generally considered safe for kids to use. The company places a strong emphasis on creating a safe and child-friendly environment for learning and play. Here are a few reasons why Osmo is considered safe for children:

  • Age-Appropriate Content: Osmo designs its games and activities with specific age groups in mind. The content is tailored to be appropriate for the developmental stage and learning level of the target audience.
  • Privacy and Data Protection: Osmo is committed to safeguarding children’s privacy and complying with data protection regulations. The company takes measures to ensure that any personal information is treated with care and not used for unauthorized purposes.
  • No External Communication: Osmo games are designed to be standalone experiences that do not involve external communication or interaction with other players. This can provide peace of mind for parents concerned about online safety.
  • Physical Interaction: Many Osmo games involve physical interactions with tangible objects in the real world, which are then reflected on the screen. This hands-on approach can be engaging for kids and limits the amount of time spent solely interacting with a digital device.
  • Parental Controls: Osmo provides parental controls and settings that allow parents to monitor and manage their child’s usage. This includes setting time limits and accessing progress reports.

Is Osmo A Good Tool For Homeschooling?

Osmo can be a fantastic tool for homeschooling! Its interactive and educational nature aligns well with the goals of homeschooling, which often involve providing personalized and engaging learning experiences for children. Osmo’s games and activities are designed to be highly engaging and interactive, capturing your child’s attention and making learning enjoyable – a key factor in effective homeschooling.

One of the great advantages of Osmo for homeschooling is its range of subject areas. Osmo offers kits that cover math, language arts, science, coding, and more. This versatility allows you to seamlessly integrate Osmo into different parts of your homeschool curriculum, enhancing the variety of learning experiences.

While parental involvement is important in homeschooling, many Osmo activities can be completed independently by the child. This aspect can provide you with some flexibility and free up time while ensuring that your child is engaged in educational activities. Osmo can serve as a valuable supplemental resource to your main homeschool curriculum, offering a different approach to certain concepts and keeping your child’s learning experiences dynamic.

Osmo often provides progress tracking and reports, which can help you monitor your child’s achievements and identify areas that might need additional focus. This data-driven approach can inform your teaching strategies and ensure that your child is making steady progress.

Overall, Osmo’s interactive, educational, and adaptable nature makes it a wonderful tool to enhance your homeschooling journey, providing your child with engaging and effective learning experiences across various subject areas.

osmo tangram game

Does Osmo Require An iPad?

Osmo was initially designed to work with iPads, but the company has since expanded its compatibility to include other devices as well. While Osmo’s core functionality and some of its best-known features still rely on iPads, you can now use Osmo with a variety of devices, including certain Android tablets and Amazon Fire tablets.

Before purchasing an Osmo kit or accessory, it’s crucial to check the official Osmo website or the app store for the most up-to-date information regarding device compatibility. This will ensure that you choose a device that works seamlessly with Osmo’s interactive learning platform.

How Does Osmo Work?

Osmo is an innovative educational technology platform that combines physical play with digital interactivity to create engaging and interactive learning experiences for children. It uses a combination of hardware accessories and software applications to bridge the gap between the real world and the digital world. Here’s how Osmo works:

  1. Base and Reflective Attachment: The Osmo system typically consists of a base that holds your tablet or smartphone in place and a reflective attachment that covers the device’s front-facing camera. This attachment reflects the physical objects placed in front of it, allowing the device’s camera to “see” and interact with the objects.
  2. Physical Interactions: Osmo games and activities often involve physical interactions with tangible objects. These objects can include specially designed game pieces, drawing tools, or other physical items. When these objects are placed in front of the camera and within the field of view of the reflective attachment, they become interactive elements in the digital game.
  3. Digital Apps: To use Osmo, you’ll need to download the corresponding Osmo apps onto your tablet or smartphone. These apps are designed to work seamlessly with the physical objects and interactions facilitated by the reflective attachment. The apps present various challenges, puzzles, and learning activities that correspond to the physical objects and actions.
  4. Real-Time Interaction: As your child interacts with the physical objects in front of the camera, the device’s camera detects their movements and actions. The app then translates these actions into digital interactions on the screen. This real-time feedback creates an immersive and engaging learning experience.
  5. Gameplay and Learning: Osmo’s games and activities cover a wide range of subjects and skills, including math, language arts, science, coding, creativity, and more. The activities are designed to be both educational and entertaining, making learning feel like play. Osmo’s adaptive technology often adjusts the difficulty level based on the child’s progress, ensuring a personalized learning journey.
  6. Balancing Screen Time: While Osmo involves digital elements, it balances screen time with hands-on, physical interactions. This combination promotes active learning and engages multiple senses.
girl smiling playing osmo

My Honest Osmo Review

Osmo, the interactive educational platform, has certainly made waves in the world of learning through play. As a parent always on the lookout for innovative ways to engage my kids’ minds, I eagerly dove into the Osmo experience. Here’s a candid look at what I’ve loved and what has left me a bit less enthused about this technology-driven learning tool.

What We Love:

  • Engagement Beyond the Screen: Osmo has managed to strike a balance between screen time and hands-on interaction. I appreciate that my kids are physically engaged with real-world objects, whether they’re arranging tangram pieces, drawing freehand, or arranging letter tiles.
  • Personalized Learning: The adaptability of Osmo’s games is a standout feature. It adjusts difficulty levels based on my kids’ progress, ensuring they are both challenged and motivated. This personalization factor has been incredibly beneficial in tailoring the learning experience to each child’s needs.
  • Interactive and Fun: Osmo truly knows how to make learning fun. My kids are excited about tackling math challenges, exploring geography, and even dabbling in coding – all because these activities are presented as enjoyable games rather than tedious exercises.
  • Skill Diversification: With a range of kits covering various subjects and age groups, Osmo has something for everyone. From early learners to budding mathematicians, the variety ensures that my kids can explore different areas of interest and continue using Osmo as they grow.
  • Offline Play: I was pleasantly surprised that most Osmo games work offline. This is a huge plus, especially during road trips or when Wi-Fi access is limited.

What We Don’t Love:

  • Initial Learning Curve: While the interactive nature of Osmo is a highlight, there’s a slight learning curve for both parents and kids. Figuring out the right angles for the camera to recognize objects can be a bit frustrating at first.
  • Device Compatibility: While Osmo has expanded its compatibility, it’s not universally accessible across all devices. Ensuring your tablet or smartphone works with Osmo might require additional research.
  • Limited Longevity: As kids grow older and advance academically, some Osmo activities may become too easy or lack the depth they need. This means that while Osmo can be a great tool during certain developmental stages, its long-term utility might be more limited.
  • Screen Time Balance: While Osmo does a commendable job of promoting hands-on interaction, it’s still a screen-based activity. Balancing Osmo usage with other non-screen activities remains important to me.
  • Cost Consideration: While I value the learning opportunities Osmo provides, the initial investment and potential need to purchase multiple kits for various subjects can add up.

Osmo Kits & Games

Osmo offers a variety of games and kits that cover a range of subjects and skills, catering to different age groups. Each kit includes a combination of physical accessories and digital apps to create engaging and interactive learning experiences. Here are some of the different Osmo games and kits along with brief descriptions:

Osmo Genius Starter Kit:

  • This kit introduces children to core subjects like math, spelling, and critical thinking.
  • Tangram puzzle challenges enhance spatial reasoning and creativity.
  • Words and Numbers games develop spelling, math, and problem-solving skills.
  • Suitable for ages 6-10.

Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit:

  • Designed for preschoolers, this kit focuses on early literacy, numeracy, creativity, and problem-solving.
  • Includes interactive games like ABCs, Stories, Costume Party, and Squiggle Magic.
  • Engages young learners in playful activities to develop foundational skills.

Osmo Creative Starter Kit:

  • Encourages artistic expression, creativity, and problem-solving.
  • Monster, Masterpiece, and Newton games allow kids to draw, paint, and interact with real drawings on screen.
  • Great for ages 5 and up.

Osmo Coding Starter Kit:

  • Teaches coding fundamentals through interactive games and hands-on activities.
  • Tangible coding blocks introduce concepts of coding logic and sequence.
  • Coding Jam game lets kids compose music and animate characters using coding commands.
  • Suitable for ages 5 and up.

Osmo Math Wizard and the Magical Workshop:

  • Focuses on math learning through magical adventures.
  • Combines math activities with storytelling and problem-solving challenges.
  • Engages kids in math concepts, shapes, and arithmetic while advancing through an enchanting narrative.

Osmo Pizza Co.:

  • Allows kids to run their own pizza shop and practice real-life math and entrepreneurial skills.
  • Teaches addition, subtraction, fractions, and money management.
  • Enhances critical thinking and customer service skills.

Osmo Detective Agency:

  • Takes kids on a global adventure to solve mysteries and explore world geography.
  • Helps kids learn about countries, cultures, landmarks, and more.
  • Encourages observation and deduction skills.

Osmo Super Studio Disney Princess:

  • Explore over 100 drawings, 6 chapters, while designing Princess dresses, drawing the enchanted rose, castles, sea creatures & more.
  • Listening, drawing, observation, improve speed of drawing, creative problem solving. 
  • Games are designed for beginner to expert levels.

These are just a few examples of the Osmo games and kits available. Each kit provides a unique blend of physical and digital interactions, fostering creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and subject-specific skills. When choosing a kit, consider your child’s age, interests, and the skills you want to enhance. Osmo’s diverse offerings ensure that there’s something engaging and educational for every child.

Osmo vs. Leapfrog

Comparing Osmo and LeapFrog, two popular educational platforms for children, involves considering their features, approaches to learning, and the overall experience they provide. Here’s a breakdown of how they differ:

Osmo:

Features:

  • Osmo is a technology-based platform that combines physical objects and digital interactions using a tablet or smartphone’s camera.
  • Offers a variety of kits covering subjects like math, language arts, science, coding, and more.
  • Games often involve physical manipulation of objects in front of the camera, which is then translated into digital actions on the screen.
  • Provides personalized learning experiences by adjusting difficulty levels based on the child’s progress.
  • Can be used offline for many activities.
  • Compatible with select iPads, Android tablets, and Amazon Fire tablets.

Approach:

  • Focuses on blending hands-on interactions with digital technology, promoting active learning and engagement.
  • Emphasizes creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving through interactive play.
  • Suitable for a range of ages, from preschoolers to early tweens.

Experience:

  • Offers an interactive and immersive learning experience that feels like play.
  • Encourages independent exploration and learning.
  • May require some initial setup and adjustment to ensure the camera recognizes physical objects correctly.

LeapFrog:

Features:

  • LeapFrog offers a variety of educational toys and devices, including tablets, books, and interactive games.
  • Content covers subjects like reading, math, science, and more.
  • Uses a combination of interactive books, cartridges, and digital devices with buttons and touch screens.
  • Provides structured lessons and activities in various formats.
  • Many devices are designed for specific age ranges.

Approach:

  • Combines physical devices with interactive content to create educational experiences.
  • Offers structured lessons and activities that guide children through specific learning objectives.
  • Targets specific age groups with devices and content tailored to their developmental stages.

Experience:

  • Provides a structured and guided approach to learning, often following a more traditional educational path.
  • Offers a combination of digital and physical interactions to engage children in learning.

Choosing Between Osmo and LeapFrog:

Choosing between Osmo and LeapFrog depends on your child’s learning style, preferences, and your educational goals. Osmo is known for its seamless integration of physical and digital elements, encouraging creative exploration and critical thinking. LeapFrog, on the other hand, provides a more structured and guided approach to learning, which may be appealing if you’re looking for a more traditional educational experience.

Consider factors such as your child’s age, learning preferences, and the subjects you want to focus on. Both platforms have their strengths, so evaluating their features in relation to your child’s needs will help you make an informed decision.

purchasing an osmo kit

Is The Osmo Worth It?

So let’s review: Osmo is easy to use, offers a variety of starter kits and games, and combines hands-on learning with technology, which is probably my favorite part. We are told to limit our child’s screen time, but we are also living in a world where children will most definitely need to be comfortable with technology, and I think Osmo does a good job finding the balance.

As far as the recommended age ranges go, I think they are pretty on target. Both of my children are slightly younger than what is recommended for each kit, so they are able to play independently, but maybe not to the full extent. With that being said, I like how they are able to grow with this product. And we can add in more games as needed.

Overall, Osmo has been a hit and my girls continue to love it three years later πŸ™‚

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