Pros: Explores music, traditional songs
Cons: Makes Noise, No Barney Voice (or is this a pro?)
I don't know what it is about Barney, the big lovable purple dinosaur, but my daughter loves everything about him so I'm stuck with getting toys BECAUSE they have Barney on them rather than for the toy itself. Luckily this doesn't have to go in the bed because there's barely room for her among all of the stuffed Barney's and dolls!
The case is hard plastic in barney-purple. There are musical notes engraved in the plastic and the speaker is underneath (the notes protect the speakers so nothing can get in them). This is the only speaker for the toy.
There are 2 buttons in the shape of a musical note. One says "Instruments", and the other says, "Songs". You must push one in order to start playing the bongo. Push the song button again to get a different song, push the instrument button to get a different instrument.
The drum heads are white with a big star. When you hit the head it will continue to play the song, a beat or two for every strike you make. If you don't hit the drum, it doesn't do anything (it is similar to a real drum in that aspect).
Since these are "bongos" they are designed to be played on your lap. I think it irritates the legs a little because everybody here plays it on the floor. If doesn't effect the sound at all if they're not played on your legs.
There is a handle at the top which makes easy carrying, and also helps if you're standing up while playing. The handle is for little hands! I can only get 3 of my fingers through.
It requires 3 AA batteries which comes with it. I have not changed the batteries yet.
It has automatic shut-off so that alone will save you some battery life. It will also prevent the music to start going off when something is placed on top of it in the toy box!
The box says the age level is 3-6 years, it says age 2+ on here. I don't know a lot of kids that are Barney fans at age 6 but the toy is still fun for older kids. My 8 year old plays with it more than anybody.
My daughter plays with it at age 2 and enjoys it. The batteries require a small Phillips to remove so batteries are not a danger. There aren't any pieces that could come off so I would consider this safe for the little ones.
The child can learn the words to the songs (with your help) and learn to identify what instruments sound like (with your help).
5 instruments: good luck, I have no idea what these are.
11 Songs (music only, no words):
* Barney "I Love You" song
* Farmer & the Dale
* I've been working on the Railroad
* This is the Way...
* Mary had a Little Lamb
* This Old Man
* Yankee Doodle
* Pop! Goes the Weasel
* Frere Jacques
* Itsy Bitsy Spider
* Row Row Row your Boat
This could accelerate music appreciation, listening skills, motor skills, and they may ultimately become the leader of a band because of this toy!
You can use your imagination and play alone but is also fun to play with other people and other musical instruments. It's hard to get into playing with kids toys, but for some reason the 4 of us are able to sit in a circle with our chosen kid instrument and play a few songs. It sounds horrendously off key, but it's fun.
Does this look like a step stool to you? I was just wondering because my daughter is always standing on it. I can guarantee that it will withstand 35 pounds. The white part that you hit is very strong and is not like a fragile drum head at all.
I think a parent would have to be out of their mind to get a noise-maker for their kid, but we have to make sure they expand their horizons, right? I don't think you're going to want this to be their favorite toy as it makes so much noise.
The music itself is not very loud. You probably couldn't hear it through a closed door. Hitting your hand on it does make it loud....I can hear the hands hit it through doors and if the door is open, down the hallway. There is not a volume control so what you hear is what you get.
What My Daughter Thinks Of It
My daughter received this for her 2nd birthday. She was initially interested in it because it had Barney on it and it played songs that she was familiar with (through the Barney videos). She also received the Barney banjo so when one is played, the other toy is also played with. I think she would have more interest in it if it played the song in "demo" mode like most pianos do. she likes to hear the song but doesn't always want to do all of the effort. She picks up the toy every week so I consider that a success. It's also a toy that my son and I like playing with too which helps.
I found this at KBToys this summer for only $7.00 and quite frankly, toys don't get much cheaper than that! If it did not have the picture of Barney on it, I would never have considered it. They did have similar drum and music making toys that did not have Barney on it seems to be a style that people buy. (Barney Bongo originally sold for $24 which is ridiculous because it's just not worth that much in my opinion.)
Where to Buy
I found one at the local KBToys store (KBtoys is often found in malls). ($7)
This weighs just over 2 pounds in package, so actual priority shipping will cost at least $5.20 or more.