Learn to Code for a Wannabe Game Maker Kid | Toy Review

The typical gift wishlist from my kids aged 3-7 years is radio controlled cars, more cars, that car and this other car … and some slime. Usually I manage to slip onto “their” wishlist some things that I know they’ll really enjoy because it stimulates their interests, and because I know they’ll really benefit from it. The Osmo Coding Starter Kit is exactly one of those things!

River is six years old and a maths, science, technology, gamer, game-maker, digital kind of kid! He’s the self proclaimed King of the iPad in our family and he’s not far from the truth with that proclamation. Kids these days are so digital savvy and sometimes he can find his way around a tablet and digital games better than I can! Learning to code is a skill I think he’ll really benefit from, especially if he’s going into the business of being a game-maker when he grows up.

I don’t think we’re starting too young – two kids in his class are already doing a streaming course aimed at teaching kids the basics of coding. Osmo claim “Coding Is The Modern Super Power” and I agree it’s a skill for the 21st century and can help kids succeed in an increasingly digital world. The Osmo Coding Starter Kit is the best fit for our family, with our busy schedule. River’s able to play and learn whenever it suits us, and the tangible colourful blocks are a great way for kids to learn especially if your child likes hands-on activities. I think it also helps when they see the code that they’re creating in the physical world play out in their digital adventure.

osmo coding starter kit

Learning to code

The Osmo Coding Starter Kit comes with 3 digital games for coding. Coding Awbie – basic concepts, is the perfect starter. Commanding the cute character Awbie along their strawberry and pie munching adventure. Coding Jam – intermediate level, pushes the basic skills are little further into creating your own music by arranging patterns and loops! Then onto Coding Duo – advanced level, where they can put their skills to the test.

River took to the basics of coding quickly and easily thanks to the simple concept and the playful game kept him happily engaged. He delved into his inquisitive mind immediately by figuring out how to take Awbie into directions he didn’t need to go (to those pies over there and that trampoline), how to do things he’s not meant to be doing (jumping in the lake), and figuring out exactly which trees Awbie can in fact jump over – I think it’s the shrubs. Coding Jam blew River’s mind with excitement – making his own music!! He’s still learning how to master the music maker and can’t wait to record and share his songs. I decided to hold off on trialing the advanced level of Coding Duo, as keen as he was to try it, and as confident as I am in him, I also know that perhaps we should walk before we run, especially when he’s the kind of kid to get frustrated or despondent if he can’t do something! This is the great thing about progressive games where early learners can begin with games focused on problem-solving, learn at their own pace and gradually progress up levels to concepts like sequencing and looping as they develop their skills.

You’re going to need:

  • Internet connection
  • A compatible iPad or Fire tablet – see what’s compatible
  • You don’t need to set up an Osmo account in order to play the games. We’re still having difficulty setting an account up for some unknown error, but we could still play, so don’t let that stop you just skip the step
  • The Osmo Coding Starter Kit – check it out

Coding Starter Kit

Ages 5–10 iPad / Fire Tablet

Transform your tablet into a hands-on coding adventure. Designed for ages 5–10, Coding Starter Kit builds coding skills in progression with 3 hands-on learning games. Watch your child learn to code as they connect colourful blocks of code in the physical world to chart the adventure on their screen.

Coding Awbie

String together commands to guide Awbie on an epic strawbie-munching adventure.
Explore 35+ levels including green forests, spooky caves, jungles, sunny beaches, a snowy mountain, and even a volcano!
Build problem-solving and logic skills while learning the basic concepts of coding!

Coding Jam

Arrange coding blocks in patterns and loops to compose your own music.
Comes with 24 characters and over 300 musical sounds to produce your perfect song.
Kids can safely record and share their music with friends, family and the Jam community.

Coding Duo

Solve advanced side-by-side puzzles solo or with a friend for double the fun and challenge.
Watch our strawbie-loving Awbie and friendly monster Mo work together to overcome brain-stretching challenges.
One player codes for Awbie and the other codes for Mo, collaboration and strategy pave the way to success!
osmo coding starter kit

I’d slip the Osmo Coding Starter Kit onto the Christmas Wishlist if you have a kid who’s keen on learning to code. River had loads of fun, playing and creating using the coding blocks to command Awbie on an adventure and make music. The more time spent on the playful games (and learning) the more he will develop his skill set including problem solving, logical thinking, pattern recognition, as well as basic and creative coding. Engaging his inquisitive mind he will no doubt try to discover exactly what’s possible with his coding blocks! He’s off to a great start to make his 6 year old dream (so far) of being a game-maker kid come true!

Ronnie Swainston
Written by Ronnie Swainston

Online Producer & Experiences Editor Ronnie is mum to two spirited kids who keep her on her toes. With a love for travel, film, tv, photography and  food plus having a keen curiosity means she’ll give almost anything a go, making her and her family up for the task of experiencing.

Favourite place to be: On an adventure

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