Osmo Coding teaches kids programming through a combination of digital and physical tools.
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The best way to engage kids with learning is to make it fun, and we have seen this logic applied many times over with products that encourage coding for youngsters. The latest such product is Osmo Coding, an iPad add-on that lets kids aged 5-12 experiment with coding using physical blocks. Osmo Coding is the latest addition to Osmo’s hands-on educational iPad games, all of which combine digital and physical skills.
To begin, players place their iPad in the provided base and attach the Osmo over the front-facing camera. The device acts as a mirror, creating a playing field in front of the tablet. Next, the child chooses a game — in this case Osmo Coding, a platform game with a strawberry-loving character called Awbie. To play, children arrange the physical blocks into sequences of code, which cause Awbie to move in the game, performing the commands the child has created. The player can tell Awbie to run, jump and grab, plus they can create loops and ‘if this then that’ commands. Using the code they guide Awbie through the physical game, avoiding obstacles and collecting strawberries to eat.
Taking inspiration from the ever-popular Lego, Osmo encourages experimentation and mistakes, while teaching kids a valuable skill. The Osmo Starter kit costs USD 79, and the Coding Set add-on is USD 49. We have recently seen a number of educational toys that combine physical and digital features such as AR Music Kit and Yibu. How else could the two worlds be combined in playful learning?