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Osmo – Where the Screen and Physical Play Meet

Osmo – transforming the way children play.

Devices like the iPad have really transformed the way children learn but there has always been one aspect of it that troubled me – the lack of true physical manipulation. For example, you can play “tangrams” on the iPad but it will never ever replace the full experience of manipulating physical puzzle pieces. Now, one group has made the leap beyond the screen…


What is Osmo?

Osmo is a unique gaming accessory for the iPad that comes with games. This children’s technology system changes the way children play by bringing the physical and digital worlds together. The system consists of a unique reflector, game pieces and mobile apps that incorporate an iPad into the game in a whole new way. Osmo expands gameplay beyond the screen, transforming the space in front of the tablet into an interactive environment that turns any object into a digitally connected game piece.

Osmo was created by young parents out of Stanford and Google looking for a way to bring back physical play to digitally savvy kids. USA Today and Yahoo! Tech have both raved about Osmo’s ability to make parents and kids alike thrilled and Wired called it an ‘Ingenious New Toy’. Time Magazine named Osmo one of the top inventions of 2014.

In the box you will find everything you need to play Masterpiece, Newton, Words, and Tangram: Osmo kit, wooden tangram shapes, and words tiles. Games are available free on AppStore.

  • Games can be played and even created by the whole family, anywhere, and on any surface
  • Designed for iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Air (not included)
  • Set comes with reflector, base and Masterpiece, Words, Tangram, Newton Games

OSMO Words

Image Source: Amazon

Be the first to guess and spell out the on-screen hidden word by tossing down real-life letters faster than your friends. A related picture gives the clue.

We had a lot of fun with this game, especially the competitive version. You can have two teams playing against each other, working collaboratively to come up with the answers – think hangman but with a picture clue.

OSMO Tangram

Arrange the physical tangram puzzle pieces to match the on-screen shapes. You can select the difficulty level from easy to hard. Use clues and prompts if you’re stuck and need help. Osmo tangram is suitable for children from 4 years and up.

Tangrams are a great way to encourage children to practice their spatial reasoning skills. Osmo tangram encourages children to work through the puzzles to unlock doorways, uncover the hidden map, and collect prizes.

OSMO Masterpiece

A little like tracing without the tracing paper, Masterpiece will help you supercharge your drawing skills. Select any picture from the camera, curated gallery, or integrated web search and Masterpiece will help you draw it. By transforming the image into easy-to-follow lines, all you have to do is copy the lines on the screen. Masterpiece will also record a time-lapse video of your creation that you can share with your friends and family.

You can watch how it works in the following video:

Masterpiece is a little weird to use because there is a slight disconnect between your brain and your hand. You need to translate the lines on the screen to the movements of your hand on the paper. It’s actually trickier than it sounds. G1 has adapted to it pretty well though – much better than me, anyway. He has been using Masterpiece to help him draw all his favourite characters from Pokemon.

OSMO Numbers

Recommended for children age 5 to 12, Numbers starts from the basics of teaching number recognition and counting. Older children can build math confidence as they practice their math facts and learn how to manipulate numbers quickly in their heads. Best of all, it’s fun and you won’t hear them complaining about how tiresome and tedious math is.

OSMO Coding

OSMO coding

Well, we know why coding is such a big deal these days and Osmo Coding is probably one of the easiest ways to introduce the basics to kids. In this game, you have to help Awbie collect strawberries, open treasure chests, and accumulate resources to build your camp site. All you have to do is program the moves for Awbie – the more extensive the code, the more points you can earn.

OSMO Pizza Co.

Osmo Pizza Co teaches children many important life skills by running their very own pizza shop. In addition to math skills (money, fractions, and arithmetic), they can also learn how to run and grow a business as they save their profits to invest in upgrading their shop.

Encourage Hands-on Fun

Children learn best through play. Combining quality pizza tray, money & topping tiles with fun characters sparks kids’ imagination and drive to learn.

Collaborative Play

Put multiple kids in front of Osmo Pizza Co. and they naturally start working together, passing tiles back and forth to quickly create the best Pizza & change.

Learn Non-verbal Communication

Decipher how customers like their pizza from facial expressions they make as you lay down toppings. If wrong, they’ll be grumpy, if right they’ll be ecstatic!

OSMO Coding Jam

In this latest installment of games from Osmo, children can combine coding with music making. They will learn to build pattern, rhythm, and repetition into their music compositions from prehistoric cave beats, to interplanetary pings, to science-lab techno jams.

More Fun from Osmo:

  • Math Wizard and the Enchanted World Games
  • Math Wizard and the Amazing Airships
  • Math Wizard and the Secrets of the Dragons
  • Math Wizard and the Magical Workshop
  • Detective Agency
  • Monster Game
  • Little Genius Sticks and Rings (3-5 years)
  • Super Studio

Get Osmo on Amazon.

We’ve had a lot of fun playing with Osmo and I’m eager to see what other games the Osmo team come up with.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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