With the school year coming to a close, parents are searching for summer activities that will keep their kids engaged, creative and inspired for the next 3 months. Award-winning STEAM brand Osmo asked STEM teachers, technology specialists, and a homeschool educator, for their ideas on learning products that will positively stimulate young minds and keep kids curious and refreshed during long breaks, and why they selected these products.
According to Dr. Darcel Hogans, 3rd grade STEM-infused literacy teacher at Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, “Osmo’s Genius Starter Kit is the best tool for your child’s academic growth! Using Osmo’s hands-on playing pieces for 15 minutes a day will not only support their vocabulary and reading skills, but their math and number sense as well. Using Osmo over the summer will boost their academic ability and strengthen their critical thinking and problem solving skills!”
Cary Fulgham, Coordinator of Digital Learning of Lubbock ISD in Lubbock, Texas, loves the idea of using Osmo’s Explorer Starter Kit for summer learning. She says, “Osmo is an engaging learning experience that can not only entertain but also enhance academic creativity and knowledge. When getting started at home, I would highly recommend starting with the Explorer Starter Kit. It will give kids the basics games such as Numbers and Words but add some creativity with Monster and Coding. Getting started at home is simple. Get everything setup and do the first couple levels or activities together, which will let you gauge your kids ability to continue independently. Utilizing Osmo at home will support academic readiness and support learning for the next school year.”
Says Alabama-based homeschool educator and blogger Christal Banks (@mamasweetbaby), “As a home educator and blogger, keeping my child up to date with the latest technology is a must. STEAM is the future and making sure our kids embrace it from a very young age only serves to prepare them for a society which will continue to make leaps using technology. By using Osmo’s Genius Starter Kit and other games for learning at home, my child gets to practice foundational skills like ELA and math and explore STEAM principles like coding, critical thinking and project based learning which helps him to both learn about and demystify the world around him. There’s no ‘summer slide’ around here as long as we have Osmo at our fingertips–it’s all ‘summer fun’!”
Nancy Penchev, I LAB Instructor and Lower School Technology Coordinator at Scheck Hillel Community School in North Miami Beach, Florida, recommends her favorite Osmo games to use during the summer break, which include Pizza Co., Coding Awbie, Monster, and Numbers. She says, “oh goodness, I love them all! I would recommend Pizza Co. and Monster as the top two because of the creativity and problem solving in these two programs. With Pizza Co. kids get a feel for business and entrepreneurship using their math skills. With Monster, students add in storytelling and creativity which taps into a new side of the brain. One of my favorite things to do with Monster is turn the activity into a story and add more ‘chapters’ after we do the activity. What else could Monster do? What else could he have us draw? Using these programs gives kids a different way to practice math, writing, and creating in a way that doesn’t seem like work and feels like fun! Kids will beg to get out the Osmo and ‘play.’”
Yolanda Collins, 2nd grade educator at Willow School in Chicago, Illinois, says, “Over the summer, I recommend that families use Osmo Numbers and Osmo Words at home because there are multiple games to play, and students can play the game independently or with family members. Parents can follow their child’s progress and help change their level. Osmo helps with the dreaded ‘summer slump,’ giving students additional ways to strengthen reading and math skills.”