I’m convinced the reason my kids keep going back to play Osmo, one of our favorite educational tools for kids, is its brilliant mashup of digital elements and tangible controls they can actually touch and move around on the table. If you’re not familiar with it, read some of our previous reviews of Osmo to find out how this innovative toy works. It’s really very cool.
But their newest game, Osmo Coding, might be the coolest yet. I’m a big believer that all our kids need to learn coding, and this is a great entry point for everyone — including me.
The gameplay is simple: It starts with Awbie, a little creature who reminds us an awful lot of Beekle. It’s your job to move him through an open-ended world, gathering up strawberries (which he loves), shaking trees, and spreading magic by using the plastic coding blocks that come with the Osmo Coding set.
Each block commands him to jump, walk, and more — and they can be combined with loop, parameter and boolean (if-then) blocks to make his actions more interesting.
But I promise you won’t get bored, because — this is so cool! — as you play, Osmo pays attention to how complex your codes are, then challenges you to come up with more intricate systems as you learn.
I love this because it means preschoolers can play at a basic level that’s comfortable and fun for them, but your middle schooler can take it to a whole different level with sophisticated codes that could theoretically complete a whole board at once.
My 6-year-old and I watched a demo of the new Osmo Coding game played over a video chat with the founders, and neither of us can wait to get our hands on it. I imagine that this summer it will give my kids some screen time I can feel good about, as we check “learn basic coding” off our to-do lists.
You can find your own copy of Osmo Coding at our affiliate Amazon for some screen time you don’t mind your kids having this summer.