I took a little time off to collect my thoughts, but now I’m back. So let’s pick it up where I left it. I was in the middle of editing my OSMO Coding video when I lost my SD card. Long story short, luckily I had saved the OSMO footage before I foolishly dropped my card somewhere on the floor at the office. Note to self: Always pay extra attention when handling such a small card and put it away safely.
Back to Osmo Coding! After I’d found out about Osmo, way back in June 2016, I contemplated buying it. But since OSMO wasn’t available in The Netherlands at that time, the duty costs were sky-high. Luckily, only a few months later OSMO hit the shelves here and I bought it shortly after.
To use OSMO Coding, you need the OSMO base (with mirror) to stick in your iPad. The mirror reflects the camera’s vision toward the table, where you’ll be putting the programming blocks. There are various kits you can choose from. I chose the OSMO Genius kit, which holds the base plus three games (Tangram, Words, and Numbers), together with the OSMO Coding game. (Later I also bought the OSMO Magical Creative Experience, but since that’s not a STEAM-related game, I won’t be covering it on this blog… it is very cool though! #art #drawing #magic 😉 )
The idea behind OSMO Coding is that you use real tangible objects (programming blocks) to make a little character called “Awbie” move around in his world on your iPad. I wrote about it in more detail in a previous post. My son started playing when he was just 4 years old. At that age, he couldn’t play OSMO Coding solo because he didn’t recognize numbers yet, but he could count to 10. The latter is pretty important since you’re always counting the steps Awbie needs to take to move through the levels. It doesn’t matter though because we had great quality mom-son time when we played it together. And he could practice memorizing the numbers! (Update: it’s a few months later, he’s 4,5 now and my, he does recognize numbers and starts to come up with his own solutions. Fantastic to see!)
When we played OSMO Coding for the first time, I made a list of things that attracted my attention, just to give you an idea of my first impressions:
- Before I ordered OSMO, we watched the OSMO YouTube videos together. That way my son became a little familiar with the game. (That works well with anything actually…)
- We love, love, love the cute music in the game. It makes us very happy!
- Osmo Coding has a good automatic backup system. We’ve been playing the game on an ancient iPad 2. Although it crashed a few times due to insufficient disk space, the game started right up again, and the games were saved! (Nothing more frustrating than lost game progress. Well done, OSMO!)
- It’s a very forgiving game. If Awbie goes the wrong way, he only bumps into a tree, and that’s that.
- I’ve noticed a few updates recently, and they improve the gameplay tremendously. For example, you can now scroll through the whole level to explore where to go. And as extra feedback, Awbie now shows the coding block you put in front of the iPad. Go, team Osmo Coding!
Let me know if you’re contemplating buying OSMO Coding for your kids or let me know what your experiences are.