Get Your Kids Coding With Osmo
Our Take on Coding with Osmo Coding Awbie
We believe that coding and a knowledge of computer science is an essential part of our children’s education. However, the majority of schools don’t even teach computer science. So, for the time being, it is up to us parents to initiate our kids into the world of bits and bytes. One of the ways we can facilitate this learning is through educational apps like Coding Awbie by Osmo.
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Coding Awbie is an educational app for iOS devices (iPhones & iPads) that uses interactive blocks instead of written code to introduce your kid-coder to the basics of coding. It teaches some fundamental concepts of programming like sequences, loops and if/or actions to enable the on-screen character, Awbie, to perform feats like walking around, jumping over obstacles and picking up objects in his magical little 3D world.
We initially bought Coding Awbie for Peyton (age 9) because the recommended age range is for children between ages 5 – 12, but our little Charlotte (age 5) also took an interest because of the vibrant and appealing graphics. After hours of gameplay, Peyton felt like she had mastered the basics, so we moved her onto the more challenging Swift Playgrounds by Apple. Charlotte, however, is still perfecting her hacking skills and loves to test herself with Coding Awbie. This app is a really great fit for 4K and kindergarten-aged kids because the interactive blocks provide a tactile, sensory experience for kinesthetic learners. In addition, there is no need to write lines of code, so pre-literate kids can enjoy playing, too.
Playing Coding Awbie has helped Charlotte understand basic coding sequences, like how many steps to move Awbie so he doesn’t crash headlong into the thick bushes or fall into the chilly river. She has progressed quickly to the more advanced coding concepts. Now she can jump over obstacles and collect deliciously plump berries, at which she celebrates with a congratulatory fist pump. She loves leaping off lily pads and watching Awbie do flips off of the springy trampolines.
Overall, Osmo has successfully entertained our kids while familiarizing them with the basics of coding, and we believe that Coding Awbie is a helpful tool for parents hoping to add more STEM-based material into their children’s education.
Pros and Cons
- Teaches logical and computational thinking, problem-solving and coding fundamentals.
- Our child was able to learn the basics of coding in a few short hours.
- She thought the game was fun and will continue to play (and learn).
- May have limited use for older children and/or more experienced coders, although may still be fun.
- Only available for iOS devices (iPad & iPhone).
- Requires either an iPad or iPhone base at an additional charge.
Coding for the Future
If you’re not convinced that coding is an important component of your child’s education, here are some quick stats from Code.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing educational opportunities in computer science for students across the globe:
- 90% of parents want their child to study computer science, yet only 40% of schools teach computer programming.
- 71% of all new jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) are in computing.
- Of all school subjects, kids enjoy computer science and arts the most.
- Computing jobs are the #1 source of new wages in the United States. They are projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.
Here are some other great resources to get your little coder started off on the right track:
“Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think”
— Steve Jobs
Let us know your reaction to Osmo’s Coding Awbie or if you would like us to review other coding apps or games in the comments below.