Babies will have a new best dancing buddy in Fisher-Price’s DJ Bouncin’ Beats!
Fisher-Price, a subsidiary of Mattel, has developed all sorts of toys for babies and toddlers. DJ Bouncin’ Beats is one of the more interactive options for kids ages 9-36 months — it bounces, sings, and remixes kids’ voices into its songs.
The batteries are included in this toy, so babies can get straight to bouncing. The first time it’s turned on, the toy’s face lights up and it declares in a high voice “DJ Bouncin’ Beats in the house!” The toy is built on a motorized spring base, so any time little ones push a button, DJ Bouncin’ Beats will excitedly jump up and down while playing music, counting, or saying the ABCs. (For this reason, it’s best to play with DJ Bouncin’ Beats on the floor only, not on a table where it may bounce off.)
There are three main buttons on top of DJ Bouncin’ Beats’ head. The rightmost button with musical notes is the Music button, and pressing it will get DJ Bouncin’ Beats singing and playing music. The middle button is the Learning button and when kids press it, the toy will say shorter phrases that will familiarize a little one with early learning concepts like letters and numbers. The last button activates the toy’s microphone, and kids can say something once they’ve pressed it and DJ Bouncin’ Beats will record it and mix it into a song.
Kids can record any sound or phrase three seconds or shorter with DJ Bouncin’ Beats’ recording feature. The toy will take that phrase, distort it just a bit, and incorporate it into some music. Kids will also occasionally hear the phrase remixed again when they press the Music button! However, the toy only stores and uses the last phrase it recorded, so there won’t be a full baby mixtape by the end of the play session.
In addition to the three play modes, the toy has three different levels — aka Smart Stages — that are each designed for different ages. The front of the toy features a switch for easy toggling between each stage. Every level introduces new songs to help keep kiddos dancing and engaged.
Turn the toy to Level 1 and Bouncin’ Beats will announce “Level 1, let’s have some fun!” This level is called “Explore” and is designed for babies ages 9 months and up. It introduces colors, numbers, and letters without giving too much information or direction. A push of the Music button will often make Bouncin’ Beats encourage kids to dance along, and then it’ll play some music, sometimes without lyrics. When babies push the Learning button, Bouncin’ Beats may them it has two colorful ears, or simply sing the first three letters of the alphabet.
Once a kid switches to stage 2, you’re at the “Encourage” stage which is intended for kids ages 1 and up. DJ Bouncin’ Beats will tell kids “Level 2, let’s learn something new!” once they move up. At this level, the songs feature more counting and other concepts rather than just brief introductions. For example, the Music button might give kids a song that counts all the way up to 10. The Learning button introduces words that start with certain letters, such as saying the phrase “B is for boing.”.
The “Pretend” stage is level 3, and switching to this level will have Bouncin’ Beats excitedly declaring “Let’s pretend, yippee!” Designed for kids ages 18 months and up, this stage adds more interactivity to the songs. The Music button will give songs with instructions such as “bounce like a bunny” and “now slow like a turtle.” There’s also a freeze dance game at level 3, which asks kids to stop dancing when the music stops. The Learning button also adds some instructions, such as asking kids to do two big jumps “like a kangaroo” while DJ Bouncin’ Beats counts them.
The toy has two volume settings, one of them substantially quieter, which will be appreciated by any parents who have dealt with noise-making toys. There is no volume off, however, unless you want to turn the toy off entirely. The toy is bright, noisy, and moves a bunch, which provides a lot of potential engagement for a young mind. The Smart Stages are also a cool feature since it means the toy can grow along with kids. And it’s definitely making a real effort toward being educational. Essentially every button press has DJ Bouncin’ Beats mentioning either the alphabet, colors, or numbers.
DJ Bouncin’ Beats is a cute bouncing buddy for any energetic babies. It provides a nice way to tucker out a kid before bedtime while also maybe teaching them a thing or two.