Note: This post contains affiliate links. You may read my disclosure here.
We are huge Osmo fans at my house, as you probably know by now from my previous posts about The Math Wizard and The Secrets of the Dragons and the Coding Starter Kit. We were gifted the Osmo Genius Starter Kit to play with and share with you for the holiday season.
We had so much fun using the Genius Starter Kit for our weekly family game night. It comes with materials to play 5 different games – and Osmo just released the Genius Starter Kit + Family Game Night, which has two additional multi-player games making it even more perfect for a family game night!
The Genius Starter Kit comes with an Osmo base (if you already have the base you can purchase just the Genius Kit without the base), access to 5 apps (Masterpiece, Numbers, Words, Tangram, and Newton) all of which you download from the App Store onto your tablet, 7 Tangram Pieces, 40 Number Tiles, and 52 Words Tiles. All the pieces come in sturdy stackable storage containers which helps you keep them organized when not in play.
The Genius Starter Kit is recommended for kids age 6-10. It helps them practice problem solving, spelling, puzzles, math, and drawing in a fun and interactive way. My 6 year old son and 4 year old daughter have both played with this kit. My son is able to play all the games independently, and my daughter can play them with my help and by learning from watching her brother play.
We tried all 5 games over a few of our weekly family game nights and below I share a brief overview and our reviews of each game included in the kit.
This was the first game we tried in the Genius Starter Kit. My kids saw the Tangram pieces and were excited to learn how to play with them. To play this game you need the included Tangram pieces and download the Osmo Tangram app.
This game was so much fun for all of us. It was a learning curve for my son to figure out how to rotate the shapes to match the shapes in the picture on the screen, but since it was family game night my husband and I were right there to help when he got stuck!
He and my daughter were so excited every time we worked together to complete an animal using the tangram pieces. I was so excited thinking about the spacial math skills they are learning playing this game.
To play this game you need the 40 number tiles included in the kit and to download the Osmo Numbers app. My son has been loving math assignments and doing really well at them in his 1st grade class. He was immediately drawn to play this game and he figured out how to play it right away.
We liked how this game had multiple aspects. You are solving math problems, but you are also trying to release fish by learning the number bubbles below it and you are trying to not let a hook drop to catch fish. This makes my son think carefully about ways to solve the problems using different numbers that will help him drop the fish. For example, he can use three 3’s to make 9 or a 2 and 7. If the 3’s will release a fish he will choose those numbers over the 2 and 7. It’s a fun problem solving and addition math challenge.
For our family game night my husband, daughter, and I liked helping by yelling out which numbers he needed to use to drop the fish, then he would think how to solve the problem using those numbers. We all really enjoyed playing this game together. We are a math loving family, so playing this fun and challenging math game was our idea of a fun game night!
To play this game you need the 52 letter tiles included in the kit, and to download the Osmo Words app. This game can be played independently or in a two player competitive mode. Also there are beginning and advanced levels. I like how this game has so many ways to be tailored to fit our preferences and learning needs.
There is a beginning level of the game where most of the word is shown, along with the picture, and the kids have to figure out the missing first letter. This level was fun and mostly easy for my 6 year old son, and still very much a challenge for my 4 year old daughter.
The more advanced level shows a picture and empty letter bubbles telling you how many letters are in the word. It is up to the child to figure out the word from the picture hint then spell it correctly. This was challenging, but really fun to play together for family game night.
We played by first looking at the picture and all guessing what the word could be. Once we figured out the word we raced to try to spell it the fastest using the letter tiles. There are two complete sets of letter tiles – one red and one blue – so two people can both spell the words at the same time!
This game is fun and challenging! Not only are kids learning to spell words while playing this game but they are also problem solving by figuring out what word they are spelling from a picture. We had a blast playing this game together and both my kids really enjoyed it. This game was a family favorite from this kit, second only to the Masterpiece game (review below).
To play this game you need to download the Osmo Newton app, tangram pieces (optional, but we found them helpful), and either a white piece of paper or the Osmo Creative Board as your play area. This game is physics puzzles that kids solve by drawing lines (if you have the Creative Board and markers) or placing objects to re-route the balls.
I’ll be honest and tell you we were really confused when we started playing this game. The Genius Starter Kit comes with no pieces specific to this game, and in the app there are no instructions on how to play. I found this very disappointing because our other Osmo games (like the Dragons and Coding) have detailed instructions within the app and guide the kids on how to play while they are playing.
We spent a good 5 to 10 minutes figuring out how to play this game. But eventually we learned it works well if you use a white piece of paper and tangram pieces to guide the balls. If you have the Creative Board you can use that and draw lines on it to guide the balls. I honestly think Osmo should consider including the Creative Board with this kit because it would really improve the user experience with this game and the Masterpiece game (review below).
Once we started playing my son had a blast! It is definitely challenging for a 6 year old (and his mom). Luckily, since it was family game night we had the combined brains of two engineer parents and our bright 6 year old son and 4 year old daughter, so we were able to solve the puzzles together. And it made it all the more special to work together and celebrate together every time we solved a puzzle.
I think it will take a few more family game nights of us playing with my son and teaching him how the direction of the tangram pieces affect the movement and trajectory of the balls before he’s able to play this game independently. But for now, it’s a game we’re all enjoying playing together.
This game reminded me how much I always struggled in physics, but it’s a blast for my physics loving husband to play with my son. And I love how it’s getting my son introduced to and excited about physics at a young age, so hopefully he (and my daughter, who will also play this game when she’s a little older), will never struggle with physics the way I did. 🙂
To play this game you need to download the Osmo Masterpiece app, and you need either a white piece of paper and a writing utensil or the Osmo Creative Board with dry erase markers (not included in this kit, but it does come in the Creative Starter Kit or can be purchased individually here). We don’t have the Creative Board, but I am going to get one for my kids after they used 20+ pieces of paper in the two days we played with the app so far for this review!
This is hands-down my kids’ favorite of the 5 apps included with this Genius Starter Kit. My kids love to draw and they were just so excited that this app teaches them how to draw so many new things.
They start with a blank piece of white paper. Next the kids pick a picture on the app that they want to draw. It appears on the screen and the kids “trace” the drawing by drawing it on their blank paper but watching they maker line trace the object on the screen. It is so cool to watch! My son figured it out right away and drew an impressive apple on his first try.
Of course my 4 year old daughter wanted to try. I worried if she could do this because this app is recommended for kids age 6+. She struggled her first few drawings, but after watching my son make several more drawings, and lots of practice she now can trace some of the simple drawings by herself too!
So far they have drawn dozens of items from fruits and veggies, to rockets, dragons, and unicorns. They are using all of their allowed screen time playing this app currently and I don’t mind one bit. They are learning how to draw and having a blast creating beautiful artwork.
Overall, we are so impressed with the Osmo Genius Starter Kit. It includes 5 awesome family-friendly games. We had a great time playing all the games together and learning so much along the way. My son already told me he can’t wait until family game night next weekend so we can play all the games together again!
This is our third Osmo kit we’ve received to review, and I have been consistently impressed by each set. My son and daughter are both still playing The Secrets of the Dragons game daily even now, 2 month since we got it. They are still enjoying feeding the dragons, watching them grow and raising baby dragons when they are given eggs.
The Coding Starter Kit game hasn’t got as much play as the dragons, but I think as my son learns more about coding and how it can be used to create games like these Osmo games he loves, he will want to play the Coding game more.
Have you tried any Osmo kits yet? Which one is your favorite?