Genius Starter Kit+, Little Genius Starter Kit+, and Coding Starter Kit Review
Osmo has updated some of its starter kits to provide even more educational content that is fun, hands-on, and interactive.
The Little Genius Starter Kit (which TTPM previously reviewed) now includes two math games for complete Kinder-readiness. The original four games are still there: ABCs, Squiggle Magic, Costume Party, and Stories. And all of those utilize physical playing pieces that come to life on your tablet’s screen in the free app. So, in addition to the pre-reading, storytelling, and fine motor skill development, kids ages 3 to 5 now get to explore shapes, colors, and geometry in the Shape Builder game, and practice counting and comparing in the Counting Time game. You get 38 silicone sticks and rings, 19 costume pieces, stackable storage containers, a silicone play mat, and access to the apps.
The Genius Starter Kit, for ages 6 to 10, now includes Family Game Night, which adds two additional games to help kids explore STEAM topics on their own or with their family. (TTPM’s full review of the original game system can be found here.) The original games include Tangram, with more than 500 shape puzzles to solve; Words, a word puzzle game that you can play solo or with family; Newton, which is like a digital pinball machine that you help to create; Masterpiece, a game that helps you draw anything you can take a picture of; and Numbers, a math game. New additions include Math Buzz, a game where you team up to solve equations and collect all of the honey in the garden. And Lettertopia boosts spelling, word building, and social-emotional skills as players move across the board by building words with letters. This set includes seven Tangram pieces, 40 numbers tiles, 52 words tiles, stackable storage, and access to the apps.
And last but not least is the Coding Starter Kit. This transforms your tablet into a hands-on coding adventure for ages 5 to 10. The three learning games utilize tangible blocks to make learning to code fun and accessible. In the Coding Awbie game, kids string together commands to guide the cute Awbie character through more than 35 levels of a strawberry-munching adventure. That’s the basic game. Coding Jam is an intermediate game that TTPM reviewed a few years ago when it first came out. We love the way this combines music with coding. And Coding Duo is the advanced game. Kids can play solo or with a friend to solve puzzles. One player codes for Awbie, while the other codes for the friendly monster Mo in a game of collaboration and strategy. Along with access to the games, the kit includes 31 coding blocks and stackable storage.
All of these kits do include an Osmo base, which you will need to bring the tangible blocks to life on-screen. There are different bases for the iPad and the Fire, so make sure to purchase a starter kit with the correct base you need.
Should I get it?
We like that there are different kits for different ages, and kids of all ages will love watching the physical game pieces appear and interact on the tablet’s screen. There is a wide variety of content, especially in the two Genius kits. The Coding kit is perfect for parents who want to expose their kids to coding concepts from a young age, and we like that the three games grow with a child. Any of these kits would be a fun way to get the family playing together and combat summer brain drain.