Osmo Coding Jam
Osmo’s Coding Jam is an interactive app for children between the ages of five and twelve. The kit includes the Coding Jam App, 23 magnetic Coding Blocks, and a custom storage case. However, this set also requires the Osmo Base, which must be purchased separately. Gameplay requires a compatible Apple iPad as well. The app targets children’s creative thinking and design skills by asking them to create melodies using coding and sequential thinking to organize Coding Blocks. By completing more and more Practice modules and recording tracks in the Studio, players can get more “likes” and an opportunity to unlock more Practice levels and music tunes with them. While children are not directly given a problem to solve, Coding Jam does encourage them to engage in some engineering thinking and design practices. For example, there are previews available for each of the app’s musical characters, which enable a player to make observations about the type of music the character performs. Some Coding Blocks have turning arrows, which provide players with four choices (top, bottom, left, right) for a musical sound. The arrows also help children practice spatial reasoning skills. Testing a unique melody prototype involves listening to it and using evidence-based reasoning to determine the track’s quality. If a player determines that a track is unsatisfactory, they can improve or completely redesign a melody using a different combination of Coding Blocks and arrows’ directions. This is a great way for children to develop and practice using computational thinking skills in a fun, musical context.
Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: Idea generation, create a process, refine ideas, apply mathematics
Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: NA
Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift: Spatial reasoning skills, coding, computational thinking, creative thinking, programming
- Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
- “I liked the monsters and the music.” M, 8
- "I liked the patterns." F, 6
- Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
- It was very easy to play with it, especially because my daughter has the other coding game. Her previous knowledge of the other one was transferable to this new game. It was really exciting for my daughter to put pieces together and make music.” parent of a 4-year-old
- “I like the step by step guide, like real coding! Only in a very simple way.” parent of a 6-year-old
Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews
- Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
- "I like that it follows the prior Osmo coding games in providing an alternative setting for creating sequences but without any motivation. On one hand it is open ended, but in a fantasy world without any explanation. Thus it has more creativity in general than design or problem solving.
- "Playing this game made me realize that music is a lot like code. You break everything down to small steps, so that little blocks of code in this game are like notes."
- "It begins to teach the logic behind coding in a really simple way. It does a good job of representing that type of thinking."
- "This toy helps kids learn logic skills using the coding methods. For one problem, it is possible to have multiple answers which develops creative thinking and curiosity."