The Words for Osmo app is one of the 3 apps that comes with the Osmo product – it requires the Osmo device and play pieces to work. The app is a word game played in pairs in which the children guess the hidden word (related to the image shown on screen) by tossing down real-life letters. Children can take it in turns or play ‘fast and furious’ to see who can get the most correct letters and complete the word fastest. The Osmo device detects which letter has been placed in the play area, and it’s colour and so knows which player has played as well as whether the letter is part of the word.
What our experts think
This is a fabulous game to get children playing competitively in a way that supports their learning and development and social interaction.
It encourages building of vocabulary and spelling skills as well as object recognition.
There is also a great element of logical thinking required to work out how to arrange your physical tiles to make it quickest for you to find the letter when you need it. The scoring also encourages numeracy skills.
We were delighted to see how much the children enjoyed playing this game and how well it makes use of the technology to add value to the game. We were delighted to see it was possible to vary the level of difficulty.
It would be even better if…
We would have liked to see a few more instructions (particularly audible instructions for pre-readers) to help you get started as the rules were not immediately clear to everyone. For British children some of the words were also not ones they would know (for example animals not native to the UK). Finally, the system did occasional make mistakes – thinking you had put down an O not D but this was quite rare so didn’t cause a major problem.
What our testers said
“Oh you have to guess the words” – Girl aged 9
“79 vs 44 – I’ll stop playing for a bit and let you catch up!” – Girl aged 9
“What is a gorge – I’ve never heard of that before” – Boy aged 10
“You can be red and I can be blue” – Girl aged 9