Osmo (And a giveaway!)

We love new tech. My husband works in the tech industry and we're both fascinated with the possibilities and opportunities tech innovation creates worldwide. Just like so many other parents, we walk the fine line between wanting our kids to embrace new devices and platforms for educational purposes and entertainment while still thriving as intellectual, socially capable kids and adults. I don't think those are mutually exclusive; but I do believe it is up to parents to know what works and doesn't work in your own home. At times we've felt that our oldest has a little too much screen time and we've looked for a way for him to enjoy the family iPad while still interacting with us. (Which doesn't happen so much when Netflix is streaming.) He's smart and curious and I want him to be playing games that engage and challenge him. (When I wrote a daily column for Design Mom, I often reviewed children's apps.)

I hadn't heard of Osmo before they reached out to me but I am really excited they did. Osmo is an iPad game for kids. They created a game that you can physically play while interacting with the iPad. You can play alone, or with a group. I love these types of products coming out. (Toca Boca Play Series was in the same vein. A kid's app creating physical products to be played with.) It was a little hard for me to understand until I watched Osmo's quick video of kid's playing tangrams on Osmo. (The video above.) It blew me away. Seriously cool. If you want to read more about the reflective AI technology (a.k.a magic) Osmo uses, I found this blog post helpful and interesting. You can create your own games and tailor them for the age of the child. We're surprising Silas with an Osmo for Christmas morning and he'll be playing with his cousins over the holiday break. I can't wait to report back on how the kids liked it. (They're age 2-11.) I'm pretty sure Keenan and I will be playing with it too.

So the super exciting thing is Osmo is giving away a free Osmo to a lucky Original Archiving reader. They just launched in Apple stores across the U.S. and Canada but some really lucky person is going to get one right here. The box includes the reflective mirror for the iPad camera, a white iPad stand; 2 sets of game pieces; and instructions for downloading 3 free apps in the App store. (It's worth almost $80!) To enter,

1. Follow Osmo and Original Archiving Co. on Facebook here and here.

2. Comment here with your name, email, and let us know what you like about Osmo, what game you're most excited to play, or who'd play with your Osmo.

3. Get one extra entry by following Osmo on Twitter here. (Leave another comment to let me know you did it!)

4. This contest is open to U.S. residents only. 

I'll pick a winner randomly Wednesday, December 17, announce it here and on my OAC Facebook page and Twitter, and contact them directly. Yay! Good luck! Thank you, Osmo.

While Original Archiving tends to be a personal and design discovery blog, I'm frequently contacted for brand collaborations. I never feature anything I wouldn't buy myself. I am sometimes compensated with free product. For this specific giveaway, I was given an Osmo to use with my family.

Down the Rabbit Hole Week 7

'Well!' thought Alice to herself, ' after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! 

Down the Rabbit Hole is a new series in 2014. I compile my favorite things from around the internet for our mutual enjoyment. The internet is fun! Enjoy!

The Bay area is getting pounded by this storm. Our playground looks like a swimming pool and our yard looks really happy. Sad to see so much flooding happening though.

A Hungarian analog game with digital technology called Logifaces. Looks really cool.

My new favorite place for music and my new favorite song.

An aspiring writer in Malibu.

Excited for our first giveaway next week! Have you heard of Osmo? We're giving one away.

In light of recent tragic events, Twitter friends recommended these two books to introduce racial diversity and respect to toddlers: Shades of People & Nappy Hair.

Replaced our car seats with two Clek Foonfs and I'm feeling much less anxiety about driving.

A podcast episode all about creating your own path.

Interstellar Nerds Unite!