Can we get real? I’ve spent a cringeworthy amount of money on curricula, workbooks, and other educational resources that we never use. Those learning tools are now taking up an annoying amount of room on our bookshelves and taunt me every time I glance over at the dusty boxes. (If this sounds familiar to you, please join me at this next 12 step program . . .)
(I kid. I kid.)
One day, I started to mentally add up what I’ve spent on unused or partially used educational tools or when I’ve fallen down the curriculum rabbit hole. (Side note: Don’t add up what you’ve spent if you value your sanity.)
It ain’t pretty.
And, I’m kicking myself.
If only I had SAVED all that money and invested it something that works (or, you know, some regular professional highlights for my hair) . . . WOW.
More specifically, if we had only invested that money in something we use all the time — our iPad.
I know. I know. I can sense your collective eyeroll. But, before you click away hear me out because I’m going to tell you about something that you may not know about (and it may change your child’s learning!).
Sure you can use the iPad for online courses, and reading books, and watching educational videos (which are all very helpful for school). But, it’s not just our iPad that I love. It’s our iPad combined with something called the Osmo.
(affiliate links are used in this post)
The Most Comprehensive Learning Resource We’ve Used to Date (Hand’s Down)
Quick, answer this question: (besides your computer) what is the one thing that you’ve purchased for learning that your kids have continued to use on a regular basis?
Stumped? (I know, the shelf life for kids and anything is like 10 minutes these days.) Well, we purchased the Osmo Genius Kit to go with our iPad over two years ago and my daughter (now almost 10) still uses it regularly.
I’m talking, at least a couple of times a week.
The Osmo Genius Kit is kind of like a starter pack. You don’t really need to buy this whole kit (because you can buy some of the items separately), but it’s a great place to start if you’re new to Osmo (and will save you money over buying things separately). The best thing about the Genius Kit is that it comes with the Osmo iPad Base (which you must have to use any Osmo game) and the Genius Kit also comes with five games:
Words (for spelling)
Tangram (Encourages visual thinking)
Newton (problem solving)
Masterpiece (creative drawing)
Then, you can gradually add other games (like we have been doing over the past two years) for increased learning and fun! This really is the gift that keeps on giving.
Tip: I believe that Words, Tangram, Newton, and Masterpiece are NOT available to purchase separately.
How Osmo Helped Our Learning
Osmo helped with spelling.
My daughter struggles with spelling, so I’m always looking for creative ways to incorporate spelling into our learning. (Straight up word list memorization and spelling tests do not work for her.) I was so excited to see that Osmo has a fun game to practice spelling.
The Osmo Genius Kit (or Osmo Starter Kit, which is like the Genius Kit but comes with less games and offerings) comes with something called Words. Words is a game that includes tiles of letters. The Words game flashes up a picture and you have to spell what’s in the picture within the allotted time by throwing the tiles in front of the viewer so that it reads the letters. The fun really comes in when you challenge someone else. My daughter and I have had a lot of fun playing this game (and it gets really crazy because it’s timed). Bonus? She’s getting better at spelling (and how to think quickly to spell words) and she doesn’t even realize it!
Tip: Words comes with Osmo Genius Kit, so you don’t need to buy it separately if you get the kit. I do not believe that Words is available to purchase separately from a kit.
Osmo made math fun (and way less stressful).
Osmo Numbers Game is a fun and interesting way to practice math, including counting, addition, multiplication, and other number games. Numbers comes with number tiles and also tiles that look like dice.
TIP: Numbers comes with Osmo Genius Kit, so you don’t need to buy it separately if you get the kit.
If you get the Genius Kit, it also comes with Tanagrams for strategic visual thinking and Newton for problem solving.
We also recently added Osmo Pizza Co. Game to our Osmo library of games. This is a game where you run a pizza business, but it helps with addition, subtraction, fractions, strategic thinking and more. I was actually worried it might be too young for my daughter, but she said it is really challenging. and fun.
Osmo encourages creativity with art and music.
With Osmo, your kids can create or trace drawings or, with the Osmo Creative Kit with Monster Game, your kids can create their own drawings and have it transferred into the Osmo and used by the monster in the game! Your kids can see their creations come to life right before their eyes. (It is pretty amazing.)
My daughter also gets creative with music by using Osmo Coding Jam Game. She gets to make interesting and fun music by using basic computer coding concepts (a 2-for-1 learning!).
This is definitely one of her favorite from the Osmo collection.
Osmo introduced computer coding.
A few months ago, my daughter showed a big interest in coding after doing some coding stuff online. So, adding the Osmo Coding Jam Game was a great learning tool for us.
Osmo also has Coding Awbie. The difference between Coding Jam and Coding Awbie is that Jam focuses on music and Awbie is coding for basic things (like games), but they both use the same coding tile principles. I’m actually wondering if at some point they’re going to merge these two and make them one kit offering.
So, we use Osmo learning for spelling, math, coding, music, and art. That covers a lot of learning territory! (And, it’s FUN learning.)
Is Osmo an investment? Yes (especially if you don’t already have an iPad).
Is Osmo worth it and would we do it again? YES. We will continue to add to our Osmo library as they release new offerings.
And, at least it’s not a learning tool or curriculum collecting dust on a shelf, so it’s well worth the investment.
Osmo age range is listed at 7-12 years (but you could definitely use it a few years earlier, in my opinion).
Have questions? I’m happy to answer any of your Osmo learning questions. Just leave it in the comments!
affiliate links are used in this post