Sunday, November 08, 2009
Now that the holidays are approaching, those of us with young kids (or have young kids on our gift lists) have to start thinking about toys, toys, toys. Electronic toys -- you know, the ones with batteries and lights and sounds -- usually get a bad rap because there are some that you just turn them on and the child just watches the toy like it's a television, but trust me, Virginia, there are toys that beep and light up that can actually educate and engage as well as entertain. Case in point: DJ's Sing-a-Long Keyboard from Baby Genius. Baby Genius sent me one of these keyboards to review; here's what we thought of it:
DJ's Sing-a-Long Keyboard is an electronic keyboard for toddlers. It's part of the series of Baby Genius toys that uses music to stimulate a young child's development. The keyboard enhances auditory skills, develops fine motor skills, and cultivates hand-eye coordination.
Here's what the makers of DJ's Sing-a-Long Keyboard have to say about their toy:
The show never stops with DJ's Sing-A-Long Keyboard! Hear 7 different Baby Genius sing-a-long songs or play along to 22 different tunes. Your child will be able to play 4 instruments andhear the different sounds: flute, whistle, guitar or saxophone. Press all the keys and hear DJ's hilarious giggly laugh! Make sure to record your masterpiece so you can play it back and hear it again and again.
This little keyboard is so cute! It doesn't require any instruction; just turn it on and your toddler can start banging away. I love how there are so many ways to play this keyboard -- you can chose which instrument to play, and which beat to play to. You can also play prerecorded songs to play the piano along with, or sing along to. You can even record and play back your own songs. It's difficult to imagine a young child getting bored with this toy!
The biggest surprise for me was how much my kids, at the advanced ages of 5,5 and 8, enjoy this toy! DJ's keyboard is rated for ages 2+, so I thought my kids would press a few keys and be happy to pass the toy on to their new baby cousin. At the very least, I thought they'd say the alligator-shaped keyboard was lame. Not so. They begged me to let them keep this keyboard forever and ever, and they've been having the time of their lives making up tunes with it. Understandably, the prerecorded kids' songs don't really interest them, but they always break out into laughter when they speed up the tempo and listen to the songs sung at full speed, like DJ the Dinosaur is high on helium. Hey, whatever entertains them. If their interest in music ever turns more serious, I suppose eventually they'll clamor for an actual electronic keyboard, but for now, DJ's Sing-a-Long keyboard is a fun, inexpensive introduction.
The recording mode only records the keyboard; it can't record a mixture of the keyboard notes and beats. And I know I'm being nitpicky, but I wish it didn't sound so tinny!
The Bottom Line
If you have to buy your toddler an electronic toy, let it be this one. DJ's Sing-a-Long Keyboard isn't just a whole lot of irritating beeps and noise -- it's a great way to introduce your child to tone and rhythm. He'll have lots of fun experimenting and playing and he won't even realize he's learning all about music!
I received a sample in order to review this product, but no monetary compensation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.