osmo genius starter kit tangrams game

Osmo Genius Starter Kit and Tangrams

Osmo Genius Starter Kit

Welcome to Part 1 of my 5 Part Series where I discuss the Osmo Genius Started Kit.  Throughout the series, I’m going to talk about the basic starter kit, provide some details on each of the games and give you some tips to help you save some money when buying expensive learning tools for your kids.  In Part 1, I will review the basics of the Osmo Genius Starter Kit and Tangrams the game. Sit back and enjoy the ride!

Osmo Genius Starter Kit the basics

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How it all began

A few weeks ago I was gifted an Osmo Genius Starter Kit for my kids. It wasn’t the full set but enough to give us an idea of what exactly it was. The girls loved it but of course, having two kids and only one toy is always a challenge. I wasn’t excited about buying another one.  I decided to hold onto the one that we had and let the girls take turns playing. Over time, however, I started to see the benefit of the game. It’s more of an educational game. Learning letters, numbers, and shapes, that sort of thing.  With me and my frugal ways, I tried to figure out the best way to do some of this on the cheap.

What Is Osmo Genius Starter Kit

Just in case you’re new to this product or have never heard of it before, let me give you a bit of background on this.

Osmo Genius Starter Kit is a learning-based game that you can attach to your iPad or Fire tablets.  It comes with a mirror attachment that you place over the camera and a base to hold the tablet up.  (This is the base unit.  You can buy it directly from Osmo for about $40. ) 

Osmo Genius Starter Kit the basics Base Unit

The Genius Starter Kit includes 5 games and some accessories.

Games included:

Accessories included:

  • Osmo Base
  • 5 Game Apps
  • Tangram pieces (7 different shapes in different colors)
  • 40 number tiles
  • 52 letter tiles

With the combination of all of these items, you have a pretty good learning tool for your kids to play with.

Before we get started on the games, we just  need to quickly talk about the Osmo World App.

osmo genius starter kit tangrams
osmo genius starter kit words part 4
osmo genius kit numbers part 3

Osmo World – The App

The Osmo World app is where all of the fun begins.  The app is very easy for the kids to maneuver through.  And it includes spots for all the currently available games through Osmo.  Once you have the Osmo World app installed you need to install the apps/add-ons for the specific games in the package.

The app is free so there is no need to pay anything extra for it or the add-on apps. (at least not right now).  This also means you can install the add-ons for games you have not purchased.  

Some games are part of individual packages, and some are part of more than one grouping, so it is possible to play the game without having to purchase a full set.

So, let’s get started and delve right into Game 1.

osmo genius starter kit tangrams game

Game 1 – Tangrams

What is the game about:  This game is set up as sort of a quest/mission of making different creates/animals with shapes along the way.  The further you go in the game, additional tangram options become available.  There are prizes, and gems and you gain experience as you progress.  The more you play, the more locations appear with diagrams to make.  After some practice, medium and hard level tangrams appear.

How do you play it: A picture of an animal/creature appears on the screen.  On the easy level, each piece is colored the way the tangram pieces from the set are.  The objective is to recreate the image with your pieces.  The mirror reflects the camera onto the pieces so that the game knows what you are doing.

How much supervision is required?  Once you get your child set up for this, there is very little supervision required.  The nice feature about this game is that if the shapes are not in a good spot to finish the design, the game will prompt the child to move the pieces over.  It is done visually so even children that can’t read know what is happening.  Also, when children get stuck on figuring out what to put where, the game will highlight parts of the design to help with finishing the design.

Game score – do my kids like it?

My kids have played this game for about 3 weeks now, and one of them says…

” This is my most favorite game, ever!”

Tips to reduce cost

As I mentioned above, the tangram pieces are a part of the Genius Start Kit,  but you do not need to buy them as part of the set. You can buy them individually and not part of the Genius Starter Kit and you can download the tangrams app/add-on for free.

As I have 2 kids that are using the Osmo, having 2 of anything is always a bonus, so if you already have a base unit but don’t want to spend more money….

Here are some tips when making your own tangram pieces:

  • the pieces don’t need to be the exact size of the Osmo kit set, but close.
  • The pieces need to be a similar color to those of the Osmo set.
  • You cannot use white paper and color it in, as the paper will curl and it won’t be recognizable by the game.
  • The aprx proportions of the pieces need to be the same.
  • There are a total of 7 pieces:
    • 2 large triangles – one red, one blue
    • 1 medium triangle – green
    • 2 small triangles – purple and light blue
    • 1 square
    • 1 parallelogram – orange
  • the bottom 5 pieces on the list take up the same surface area as the 2 large triangles.  
  • The two large triangles – the equal sides are about 3″ long.
  • I used colored card stock.  As I have kids, this was already in my house, but you could buy some at your local store for about $5.
Osmo paper tangrams

This is what my white paper with marker looked like – that didn’t work.

osmo card stock tangrams

This is what my card stock tangrams looked like.

Final Thoughts on Game 1 – Tangrams

My final thoughts regarding the Osmo Genius Starter Kit and Tangrams  are as follows:

The Osmo Genius Starter Kit and Tangrams game are a fantastic exercise for my little ones to play with but if I had known then what I know now, based solely on the review of the tangrams details above, I would have:

  • probably have tried purchasing the base unit only and,
  • made my own shapes.

Part 2 is here!

Check out part 2 here

Stay Tuned for the Whole Series!

Make sure you stay tuned for all 5 parts.  Each part talks about other tips and tricks to keep your costs down and in Part 5 I will be providing my final recommendations!  Would I buy this again?  Do my kids like ? and much more! 

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