Hands-On Coding with Osmo + a Giveaway!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Disclaimer: this post was sponsored by Osmo, but all opinions are 100% my own. Mason received the Coding Awbie game as a gift for Christmas and Osmo was kind enough to send us the Coding Jam and Coding Duo games to review and complete our Coding Family.


When Seth's mom's best friend asked me what I wanted for Mason for Christmas, I had no hesitation in saying that we wanted the Coding Awbie game. It was the beginner level coding game in the Osmo series of coding games and I thought he would love getting to experience this type of thing. Although Mason does fall in to the age range specified for these games, I originally thought he would be too young/not advanced enough for the coding games, but he surprised me! With some explanation and help from me, these games quickly became his favorites and the most asked for over the course of the week after Christmas.

You might remember me singing Osmo's praises before, most recently in this post where we reviewed the Pizza Co. game. Today I want to share with you a completely different game, but equally awesome, the Coding Family of games. The Coding Family of games comes in different levels: Beginner (Coding Awbie), Intermediate (Coding Jam), and Advanced (Coding Duo).

Coding Awbie is the beginner level and perfect for a child who has never had experience with coding before (which, I would assume, most kids haven't). We actually started playing with Coding Jam before Coding Awbie and while Mason was able to figure it out, I would recommend starting with Awbie first. In Coding Awbie, you take Awbie (a fun little monster) on an adventure to find strawberries (his favorite). You have to direct him on the proper path, jumping over rivers and trees, turning corners, and making sure he has a clear path to get where he needs to go. Your child puts the proper tiles together, in the proper direction, and Awbie goes on his way.



For example, here Mason is telling Awbie to jump down one (over the river) and then walk right five steps. The green tile is the "play" button where Awbie executes the directions you gave him. I probably should have been paying more attention instead of just taking pictures because clearly he'd want to walk DOWN five steps and not to the RIGHT five steps, but hey, that's all part of the learning process right? Awbie does exactly what you tell him, even if it included walking in to a tree or jumping in to the river. Mason did this MULTIPLE times, but that's how he learned. He saw what he told Awbie to do was wrong and he corrected it and Awbie was on his way. I feel like that's exactly what computer coders do too. Try this, did it work? If yes, great! If no, tweak it and see if it works now.

This game is perfect to start with as your child can get used to coding and telling Awbie what to do. They learn that there are different tiles for different tasks and you can tell him to do it a certain amount of times.

The next step up is the Coding Jam game. This game is fun because you get to make music!



This game was especially exciting for us to play because you get to make music. Each coding tile has a specific sound to it and you can tell the characters how many times to do each part of the song.


The orange tiles correspond to the inner most sounds, the blue ones to the middle ones, and the red ones to the outer most ones. They each have their own melody and pitch and type of instrument and together you can build your own song. You can tell the character how many times to play a certain one and then the game automatically puts them together. Once you find a series of sounds that you like, you can also save your song for the future to listen to over again.



Another fun aspect of the Jam game is that you can create a band! You assign a specific tune to each member of the band and then they play them all together and your band plays a song. My favorite part about this game is that its always changing and always new. There are so many different combinations of tunes, how many times you play each tune, and the order that they are played in that there really are endless combinations. They even have some examples of songs other people made on the website that you can copy for yourself.

I look forward to exploring this game more with Mason!


(not the right way to do it, though it did work, but let's just say he reallllly liked connecting the blocks)


One other thing you might notice about the Jam coding tiles are that they look almost identical to the Awbie tiles and that's because... they are! The Awbie and Jam games each came with their own specific tiles, but they are totally interchangeable, so if you don't have enough orange tiles (for example) in one to do what you want to do, just share! I love that everything works together within the Osmo games.

While we did also try out the advanced level (Coding Duo), I can't say that Mason understood enough for me to really explain it to you. It definitely takes the coding up a notch and I'd make sure that your child understands what's going on in Awbie and Jam before starting to play Duo. Duo introduces Awbie (from the beginner level) and Mo (from the monster game (that we don't have)) and allows you to code with them. There are a few different ways to interact with them, but basically you take their character block and connect the coding blocks on the bottom to tell them what to do. I really want to re-read the instructions and try this on my own!

Want to learn more about the Coding Family? 
Check out these short clips on YouTube.

Coding Awbie (Beginner)


Coding Jam (Intermediate)


Coding Duo (Advanced)









These games really cultivate children's creative thinking skills. The play really does extend beyond the screen. They need to think through what they want the character to do and then figure out the sequence and order of the tiles that they need to use to get the character to do a specific set of moves.

And now what I know you are really here for... a giveaway! I've partnered with Osmo to host a giveaway on Instagram for one of you to win a set of Coding Jam and Coding Duo! Pop on over to my Instagram, @lizbir, to enter to win! I hope you love Osmo products as much as Mason and I do! Good luck!

5 comments:

  1. The more I see and read about Osmo the cooler it gets! My Mason is into 'coding' right now and I am wondering if he would like this!

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  2. The coding Jam looks so fun! Im hoping I win 😜

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  3. This seriously looks SO fun! And I'm SO bummed Osmo isn't compatible with our iPad (whomp whomp), because I think Marcus would really like this!

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