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Blog: Do the Beatbo Boogie

Do you know the Beatbo Boogie? Well I suggest you learn it. It’s been on a loop in my head for the last month, and to be honest, it’s not so bad.

Kristen and I have been very purposeful about the types of toys we choose for our daughter. We want to be intentional about trying to stimulate imagination and creativity, and not rely solely on things that light up and make noises. We also want to instill in her a love of music; something that is very important to both of us. From Saturday mornings listening to an exceedingly wide variety of music while we make breakfast (Raffi, Jack Johnson, Frank Sinatra, Foo Fighters, Hillsong United, Led Zeppelin, All Sons and Daughters, Tokyo Police Club…ok, maybe we should work some more kids stuff in there), to playing songs for her on my guitar while she jumps around in her Jolly Jumper, to dropping a beat with her little percussion instruments, banging claves together, shaking an egg shaker, or just sitting on my lap while I play piano for her; this girl is getting plenty of exposure to music and she definitely loves to shake a leg!

Now, unbeknownst to me, Beatbo, the singing, dancing, light-up robot, is a SUPER popular toy, but to be honest, I had never heard of it. When we first got our Beatbo to try out courtesy of the lovely people at Babies R Us, I was skeptical. It flashed bright colours, pumped out dance beats, and seemed like it would be prepping her for the baby rave scene as opposed to fostering the development we hoped to promote with her toys. We also accidentally received the French version, but have decided to just roll with it and take this as an opportunity to start her down the road to French immersion early…

We first let her have an interaction with Beatbo at around 9 months, and she was definitely enthralled by him. The lights, the sounds; pure amazement. (She stared, mouth agape, and gave a few good, “Ooooooos” too)

At first it just seemed to be that, a blinky, entertaining thing to look at, but quite quickly we realized Beatbo was much more. He sang through the alphabet and the colours of the rainbow, and with the LED square on his chest, also demonstrated the colors as they were sung. Pretty cool, and as her ninth month went along, and our daughter began crawling, pulling up to stand etc, she also discovered her dancing legs.

The excitement that comes over her face when we get Beatbo out for her now is hilarious to watch. She immediately pulls up to standing while holding onto the coffee table, and the jamming that follows is spectacular. The best part for me as a father, is that the songs are not only educational, but they are also catchy without making you want to gouge out your eardrums with an ice pick.

Beatbo does the alphabet, he sings the colours of the rainbow (les couleurs de l’arc en ciel), has a fun stop and go dancing game (statue!), he counts and we can’t forget the aforementioned clap along “Beatbo Boogie”. The buttons on his feet and chest are easy to press, so it’s fun and easy for the kids to jump from song to song, but when the button pressing becomes the game in itself, it becomes a little trying. He also has a cool “record your voice and remix” feature, where he essentially auto tunes whatever you say into a little dance song, and there is one song that we have heard a few times that is essentially dub-step for babies, which is pretty awesome.

We have brought Beatbo with us to a few different places, not just for our little girl, but to show people how cool this toy is. If you are looking for a last minute gift before Christmas, this is a good one.

We are careful to limit her time (as with anything), too much of a good thing can be overwhelming, especially when that thing blasts out dance beats and lights up, but when used well, we have found Beatbo to be a very entertaining toy, and one that our munchkin loves. Just remember, Beatbo is not a baby sitter, it’s the grandparents that baby sit, and they may, or may not, let her play with Beatbo the entire time and give her sugar. On second thought…

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