(This article contains affiliate links. I personally have the products and stand by them.)
I usually don’t write about deals. By the time I type up an article, the price may have changed. Also, I don’t think you are here because you want more ways to spend money. Finally, there’s almost always literally a deal of some kind going on.
So when I write about a deal like today, it has to be for some other reason. The quick reason is that I have been meaning to write about Osmo since it became the biggest hit of all the STEM toys I bought at Christmas. That’s saying something because I went and bought everything. Some people eat ice cream to feel better. I buy STEM toys.
I know I’m weird.
On the topic of weird, that brings me to the second reason why I’m writing about a deal today. I’m licking my wounds after my satirical article on the WATER movement for April Fools’ Day didn’t make the splash I thought it would. I used up all my creative juice on that article, so all I have left for today is a bland informational article.
Last night I noticed that all Osmo toys are 30% off. I don’t know how long it will last, but I’ve never seen them cheaper and rarely go on sale at all. Naturally, you may be thinking…
Osmo is an educational toy for young children (4 to 10 or so). It pairs with a tablet to create an augmented reality area for children to play in. Translation: You put a tablet in a stand and add a camera reflector to the top of the tablet. The apps use the camera to see what the children are doing in front of the stand, such as building words, adding numbers, solving puzzles, and giving instant feedback with fun entertaining games.
It’s a little easier to explain with this two minute video. Our experience was almost exactly like this (except with no kids randomly coming in. Also, the shape game at the beginning is our family favorite.)
I used to see commercials for Osmo just before Curious George. For years I rejected Osmo because we aren’t in the Apple ecosystem and it only worked there. I’m certainly not going to pluck down $400 for an iPad when much cheaper Androids do the job for us.
Suddenly, it wasn’t spending $500 total (iPad + $99 Osmo), but due to a similar deal to the one today it was only about $70. That’s actually reasonable when it comes to STEM or other educational toys. As I mentioned before, it’s rare that it goes on sale. I only saw it on sale for a brief time during the competitive holiday season until now.
There’s a method behind all the games that Osmo makes. The Genius Kit is the one that comes with 5 games, which is the one I prefer. The words and math games are your common reading and writing lessons. The puzzle game is good for visualization and abstract thinking. There are a couple of drawing games. One is good for hand-eye coordination and the other is more based on physics.
Like any company selling a system, there are also add-on games. Amazon has them all 30% off as well. Here’s a sample and what they teach. I have bought a couple of these, but I squirreled them away for birthdays or special occasions, so let the Amazon reviews be your guide (hint: the review for all of them are awesome).
- Pizza Company – This not only has the best reviews, but it’s most fitting for the personal finance parents. I’d describe it as a more complex version of the famous lemonade stand video game. This is one that I bought when I saw the deal. I can’t wait to teach my kids about business and money.
- Detective Agency – This looks like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego for a new generation. (Though Netflix has that TV show covered with a recent reboot.) It teaches geography/culture and critical thinking to solve the mystery.
- Coding Awbie – It seems that every system has to teach coding and this is that game for Osmo. I’d compare it to Scratch Jr. where you can make instructions and repeat them to solve a puzzle.
- Coding Jam – This combines coding with music. I bought this one as well to try in the future. I couldn’t resist the interesting mash-up of a music and coding toy combined.
As you may have noticed, I compared almost all of Osmo’s games to an equivalent video game that’s a little more famous. What I like about Osmo is that it isn’t a video game. I don’t think of it as screen time, even though the screen is clearly necessary in giving feedback. For parents who are worried about their children getting too much screen time, this could be a good compromise.
I could go on longer, but I’m going to cut it short. I don’t want the deal to go away while I’m writing.