For those of you who don’t know me well, you probably have very little idea of how anti-technology I am when it comes to young children. But let me give you an idea. The only time H has ever been exposed to an iPad is on a flight to watch a movie. We have never let her use one at home, in a restaurant, in the car, etc. It has been the same with a mobile phone. She has no idea that you can get apps, play games etc. Call me unreasonable, but it has been something I’ve always been passionate about and will continue to be as social skills have always been a priority.
So, you can imagine, that when Osmo asked me to review their kit, I was a little reluctant at first.
I made sure that I had done my research. After reading that founders, Pramod Sharma and Jerome Scholler, set out to create “something awesome that inspires the youngest generation, while at the same time addressing a concern of many parents about how to have their children interact with technology without losing the value of hands-on play,” I was sold.
Within no time, we received the Explorer Kit and a very excited little H, set out on her own adventures, and started to experience technology for the first time. Sitting down with her, we went through each game and what they had to offer.
Monster – a game invented for curious, creative little minds. The interactive (and very cute) monster, Mo, asked H to draw a series of items and brought them to life by pulling them into the screen. Great for the imagination and great for confidence, a very enthusiastic H was absolutely thrilled with her artwork and even more delighted when it was presented in front of her on screen. Fantastic for hand-eye co-ordination, I can safely say that H’s artwork has definitely improved and Monster Mo has kept her captivated from the start.
A firm favourite childhood game of mine, Tangram was next. Tangram is a thinking game where you have to arrange wooden puzzle pieces to match shapes presented to you on the screen. What I loved about this, was each time H got a little stuck, she was prompted which meant I could leave her to her own devices and she could figure it out without me telling her what to do and thinking she had done something wrong. Each time she completed a level, she cheered with joy. “I did it mama, I did it. I’m so clever.”
Then, onto Mathematics. Simplistic but putting the mind to the test, H was left to try and match the numbers on the bubbles by using tiles presented. She struggled with this at the beginning but soon grasped the concept and was very happy each time the bubble popped and freeing a fish. Whilst she is still at the beginner levels, I’m certain that her math skills will improve vastly without her even realising.
Words was one of her favourite games (after Monster of course). As H has just started to learn how to read at school so she has been having a fantastic time guessing the missing letter on the screen to complete the word displayed. Because the lower case letters have been a focal point at school, it has been wonderful to see her learn more and more capitals through Osmo. She is so encouraged when she completes each word which encourages her to do more.