“Osmo”, educational games on tablets to help children progress and bring them closer to programming

Paradoxically, during the summer holidays, many parents try to keep their children away from the screens, but it can be an ideal way to get them to learn new activities or to review some school basics that they don’t quite master. This is the challenge of Osmo, a range of educational games on tablets, aimed at an audience ranging from 3 to 12 years.

These learning packs, which require an iPad, consist of a sensor to detect the game pieces provided. Once the sensor has been positioned on the iPad, downloaded the applications corresponding to each activity and placed the tablet on a table, the child can, according to the proposed exercises, move the letters, numbers and shapes to complete the proposed exercises, to depending on the school level.

The Osmo interface looks like the dashboard of a spaceship: then choose the type of game and the difficulty level suitable for the child’s age. One of Osmo’s strengths lies in its very playful operation. The child does not directly manipulate the screen but the pieces provided by each game: numbers, letters, “tangram” puzzles … For the latter it is a question of reproducing a figure using geometric shapes. The sensor then detects the various tokens deposited on the playing area (a virtual square placed in front of the screen and delimited by the reflector). To assemble the wooden pieces, 500 different puzzles are proposed, more or less raised. Each successful silhouette unlocks the next level and thus develops the child’s sense of observation and reference points in space.

Like in the “big” video games, small rewards are unlocked as you progress, inviting you to persevere and return to an activity. The universes corresponding to each activity are simple and colorful and the navigation intuitive enough not to stress the parents (too much). For example, for Numbers, the math game, the child walks in a marine world. He can practice counting, adding, subtracting and multiplying. Success in math exercises allows you to get new boats, and at the same time the child can learn more about fish. Collects cards that summarize the characteristics of each species.

The game words allows you to guess and write hidden words. It looks like an “executioner”, the child must find the missing letters to the word represented by an image. It is possible to play with two, thanks to many blue and red letters, and to search for words in languages ​​other than French. other business, Masterpiece, which consists in reproducing an image on a sheet placed in front of the screen. Thanks to the reflector on the screen, the lines and curves drawn by the child appear, which allows you to work on the coordination of hands and eyes and to tickle creativity.

Letters, numbers and wooden shapes allow children to perform manipulations that will be recognized by the Osmo sensor attached to the tablet.  (A.D)

Available separately from the starter set geniusthe set Coding also worth a detour. Its originality consists in transforming the tablet into a first computer coding experience and makes it accessible to children. Different themes allow the child to have fun while learning to program: a game to create musical rhythms, another to learn to program and develop his logic thanks to a cute monster that will guide the little ones step by step. Finally, it is also possible to play in pairs with puzzles to be solved to progress in this first approach.

There are other packs to continue the Osmo experience, which wants to be playful and fun, halfway between the classic vacation notebook and the video game. Although expensive (costs 120 euros for the five-game Genius box, reflector, parts and storage boxes, and another 100 euros for the kit Coding) and binding in terms of hardware (games are only available on Apple iPads, not Android tablets), the discovery of these activities offers a door that is as innovative as it is interesting to the many learning fields for children aged 3 to 11.

Osmo Genius And Osmo Coding, my first kitfrom 3 years, recommended price 120 and 100 euros.

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