App review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2015
Osmo Tangram
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Osmo Tangram

Fun hybrid puzzles with excellent classroom supports

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Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 4 reviews
Privacy rating
71%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
K–3
Subjects & Skills
Math, Critical Thinking

Take a look inside

5 images

Pros: Plenty of puzzles and levels of difficulty to engage and challenge students.

Cons: Device has to be removed from its protective cover to be placed in base, so teachers will need to have procedures in place to handle that.

Bottom Line: Classic puzzler combines toys with digital play to engage and teach all ages.

Teachers can find lesson plans and ideas for incorporating Osmo into their curricula online through their myOsmo accounts. There's also a forum for discussing classroom implementation and a way to share your own lessons with the Osmo community. Teachers can use Osmo Tangram as a puzzle activity in a discovery or STEM station or center, or they can use it to teach shapes, colors, and how shapes can be combined and dissected.

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Osmo Tangram is a free download that accompanies the basic gaming system from Osmo. The system, which includes two other apps and toys, retails for $79.99. It comes with a base and a reflector attachment that clips over the iPad's camera. The base fits any iPad, requiring a slightly different configuration for the iPad Air and Mini. Osmo Tangram includes the seven colorful tangram shapes, which kids use to form the designs shown on the iPad. The camera reflector allows the device to see what kids are doing with the toys. Teachers can set up individual profiles for each student in a class.

Students choose from Easy, Medium, or Hard levels. Harder levels can be unlocked after four Hard puzzles have been completed. Kids arrange the seven shapes in front of the game system to match the image on the device. As kids place a piece correctly, it shows up in color on the screen. Hints are available. Pictures of completed puzzles decorate the map, making a story of the play journey. Some puzzles free captive characters. Kids earn achievements as they complete different missions.

Classic puzzle play enters the digital age with this smart and impressive hybrid toy. Young kids can play and learn the most with these tangrams, but there's no age limit on the challenging fun. Students can choose to jump around challenge levels until they find the one that's just right for them, and with hundreds of puzzles, there's plenty to engage them. The way the screen plays out like a story (with the solved puzzles taking their place along the path) adds some extra fun, and kids who want to add some self-driven competition can work to unlock the achievements. The teacher supports are top-notch, with an educator community, lessons plans, and student profiles.

Really, the whole Osmo system is impressive, from the neat magnetic packaging to the sensitive, responsive technology; this is a game system that will bring fun and learning without taking up lots of space. Keep in mind that any iPad you use with Osmo will have to be removed from its cover, so teachers may want to have procedures in place to handle that.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Since hybrid toys are still novel, kids will be especially engaged in exploring this new way to play. Combining the digital play with actual toys engages kids fully.

Pedagogy

Kids can choose their challenge level. Hints are available, but kids have to pay points to view them, which motivates them to try. No time limits or penalties: The puzzle is solved when all pieces are in place.

Support

Lesson plans and an educator forum are available online. Teachers can set up profiles for an entire class of students through their myOsmo accounts.


Common Sense reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Community Rating

(See all 4 reviews) (4 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Karen O. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Green Acres School
Rockville, United States
Tangible learning with an iPad!
The interactivity between the tangible pieces and iPad creates a wonderful use of the iPad. The guidance in the "introduction" provides a great tool to learn tangrams as it breaks down the idea of tangrams to the simplest parts. One suggestion would be to have a more sensitive camera as there are times where the pieces are in close proximity to the front of the iPad and the pieces are accurately placed, but the camera does not pick up on the correct placement.
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Unclear whether profile information is shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Users can create or upload content.
Users do not retain ownership of their data.
Processes to access and review user data are available.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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