Osmo Genius Starter Kit | Source: Osmo

Screen time is a touchy subject — and even a battle — for many families.

The balance between quality content, the ability to learn, and the much-needed fun factor is one that is often won by the equivalent of digital junk food that parents have little to no control over. Fortunately, there are some great options out there, such as the Osmo Genius Starter Kit, that parents can use to turn tablets into tools that will entertain kids as they learn through play.

The Osmo Genius Starter Kit is available for Apple iPad or Amazon Fire tablets and comes with a special base and reflector that kids can use to incorporate physical play into the digital realm. As kids move physical game pieces or draw on paper, the device “sees” what they’re doing and reacts in real-time.

The Starter Kit comes with five games — Tangram, Words, Newton, Masterpiece, and Numbers — designed to challenge kids and spark imagination through visual problem-solving, puzzles, math, and freehand drawing while they work on their listening skills. Kids will create art, learn to spell, and solve math problems as they progress. And, the Osmo Genius Starter Kit + Family Game Night includes two additional games — Lettertopia and Math Buzz — that can be played in a group for even more fun!

Related: Help Kids Build Math Confidence with Osmo’s New Math Wizard Games

During gameplay, kids will listen for instruction and use the included game tiles to assemble the correct answers or use a pen and paper to draw what they see on screen. For example, in Words, kids will be presented with one of more than 150 puzzle images that they will answer by using their letter tiles to spell out its name. In Masterpiece, kids can snap a picture of nearly any object and Osmo will convert it into simple line art that will be used to teach them how to draw. Then, families can team up for games such as Math Buzz, in which up to four players work together to solve equations with numbers to help honey bees evade wasps to capture all the honey in a garden.

The Genius Starter Kit is a gateway to a bigger world of STEM-fueled adventure that’s perfect for kids ages 6-10, but the fun doesn’t stop there!

A great feature of the Osmo platform is that it’s expandable for kids ages 3-12 through a variety of expansion bundles and standalone games that use the hardware from the Starter Kit as an anchor for experiences that grow along with the kids. Additional games include the new Math Wizard series, Pizza Co., Detective Agency, and even licensed titles featuring popular characters such as Disney Princesses and Mickey Mouse.

Since the Starter Kit comes with Words tiles, Tangram pieces, and Numbers tiles, parents will appreciate that stackable storage containers are included to keep all of the pieces neat and organized in between games. The sturdy containers are also perfect for travel so kids can take the Osmo fun on the road to play at a friend’s house or on vacation.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is editor-in-chief of The Toy Book, a senior editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and editor of the Toy Report, the Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a senior editor and moved up the ranks to deputy editor and editor-in-chief.