“Osmo”, educational games on tablets to help children progress and introduce them to coding

Paradoxically, during the summer holidays, many parents try to keep their children away from screens, but it can be an ideal way to make them learn new activities or to revise certain basics of school that are not completely mastered. . This is the bet made by Osmo, a range of educational games on tablets, aimed at an audience ranging from 3 to 12 years old.

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

The Osmo interface looks like the dashboard of a spaceship: you then choose the type of game and the level of difficulty adapted to the age of the child. 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” puzzle… 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 located in front of the screen and delimited by the reflector). 500 different puzzles – more or less raised – are proposed to assemble the wooden pieces. Each successful silhouette unlocks the next level and thus develops the child’s sense of observation and landmarks in space.

As in “big” video games, small rewards are to be unlocked as you progress, which invites you to persevere and come back to an activity. The universes corresponding to each activity are simple and colorful and the navigation intuitive enough not to solicit 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 allow to get new boats, and at the same time the child can learn more about fish. He collects cards that summarize the characteristics of each species.

The game words allows you to guess and spell hidden words. He presents himself as a “hangman”, the child must find the missing letters to the word represented by an image. It is possible to play it for two, thanks to lots of blue and red letters, and to look for words in languages ‚Äč‚Äčother than French. other activity, Masterpiece, which consists of reproducing an image on a sheet placed in front of the screen. Thanks to the reflector, the lines and curves drawn by the child appear on the screen, which makes it possible to work on the coordination of the hands and the eyes and to titillate creativity.

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

Available separately from the starter set geniusthe kit Coding also worth a detour. Its originality consists in transforming the tablet into a first computer coding experience and makes it accessible to children. Several themes allow the child to have fun while learning to code: a game to create musical rhythms, another to learn about programming and develop his logic thanks to a nice monster who will guide the little ones step by step. Finally, it is also possible to play for two with puzzles to solve to progress in this first approach.

Other packs exist to continue the Osmo experience, which is intended to be playful and fun, halfway between the classic holiday notebook and the video game. Although expensive (it costs 120 euros for the Genius box of five games, the reflector, the parts and the storage boxes, and another 100 euros for the kit Coding) and constraining in terms of hardware (games are only available on Apple iPads, not on Android tablets), the discovery of these activities offers a gateway as innovative as it is interesting to the many fields of learning for children from 3 to 11 years old.

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


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