With quarantine continuing to keep many of the nation’s children at home through the fall semester, many parents worry about their child falling behind in key subjects, even if their kids are engaged in some form of distance learning. To prevent delayed learning in subjects like math, some parents are hiring private tutors, others are homeschooling, and many are seeking more affordable supplemental learning options.

Osmo’s new curriculum-inspired Math Wizard series is such an option–it allows kids 6-8 years to experience math through fun, hands-on, narrative- and adventure-driven games, where kids actually learn math, by touching, manipulating, and experimenting how it is used everyday. These self-paced games help kids build confidence and understanding in what they are learning, and are perfect for digital learning at home. (Video)

“Exhaustive research shows that using manipulatives help children learn math, especially in the areas of counting, place value, computation, problem-solving, fractions, and more,” says Pramod Sharma, CEO of award-winning STEAM brand Osmo. “Rather than teach kids to memorize formulas and processes, Osmo Math Wizard games offer a hands-on approach, combined with digital learning, to allow kids to think creatively and solve problems on their own–a hallmark of all Osmo games, while compelling narratives and adventures keep them continuously engaged without their realizing they are learning.”

Games Help Alleviate Math Anxiety

In addition, the pressure to learn math creates anxiety for students, parents, and even teachers, according to research, where almost 50% of elementary school students, 20% of U.S. adults, and 25% of teachers face math anxiety, which may start as early as kindergarten. Math Wizard games help to alleviate some of this commonly-felt anxiety, by allowing children to learn in a self-paced environment. Targeted hints are built into game play to help struggling learners, nudging them in a way to discover a correct answer, so they do not disengage.

Math Wizard makes adding and subtracting numbers, along with measuring, so fun, approachable, and un-intimidating, which makes a huge difference for a child who may feel apprehensive about math, while lessening anxiety for parents who feel obligated to teach their child math,” adds Sharma. “The games are not perceived as a task or test that puts students in direct competition with peers, too.”

The first two titles in the Math Wizard series, which launch Oct. 1, 2020, are Magical Workshop and Secrets of the Dragons. The series is intended for Grades 1-2 (ages 6-8).

Magical Workshop (available for iPad and Fire; retail $59.99 at playosmo.com and Amazon.com), is an addition and subtraction adventure, where kids brew potions with dragon claws and sparkle dust to master place value, and they continue their quest by counting balloons to help dragons fly! Magical Workshop contains a collection of 4 games and the box contains: 1 Mixing Mat; 2 Sticker Sheets; 1 Spell Book; 28 Counting Cubes; 6 Counting Rods.

The 4 games are:

  1. Potions! – Learn addition and subtraction while mixing up potions with your trusty mixing mat, rods and cubes.
  2. Dragon Drop – Use a vertical number line to attach balloons to dragons for flight.
  3. Magical Flight – Travel on a magic broom to rebuild castles all over Wyverndell. A construction crew will help out, but double-check the count of materials.
  4. Wyverndell Express – Operate your own dragon courier business! Solve math word problems at every train station to unlock new routes.

Kids will learn:

  • Addition and subtraction within 120
  • Counting and place value
  • Comparing numbers

Next, Secrets of the Dragons (available for iPad and Fire; retail $59.99 at playosmo.com and Amazon.com) allows kids to learn and master measurement at their own pace, where they explore the Dragon Reserve and its outlying biomes. As dragon scouts, they discover new dragons, measure, and feed them based on their size. They can earn merit badges to become a master scout. The box contains: 1 Dragon Guidebook; 2 Rulers; 62 Food Tokens.

Kids will learn:

  • How to use non-standard units to measure
  • How to use ruler to measure
  • Estimating length
  • Adding lengths

The next two releases in the series will debut in March 2021.

About Osmo

Osmo is an award-winning STEAM brand whose products are used in over 30,000 classrooms and 2.5 million homes. It is building a universe of hands-on play experiences that nourish the minds of children by unleashing the power of imagination. The company brings physical tools into the digital world through augmented reality and its proprietary reflective artificial intelligence. Founded in 2013 by ex-Google engineers Pramod Sharma and Jerome Scholler, the Osmo Play System fuses digital gameplay and physical interaction to create fun and nutritious play experiences designed for all kids. Osmo is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. Learn more at playosmo.com.

About the Author:

eSchool News Staff


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