The Monkey Band Music Center is a musical activity toy that features five light-up piano keys, a drum pad, and a twisting monkey character. There are two modes of play: Music and Animal Sounds. In Music mode, kids can explore hitting the keys and jamming or singing along with the two included songs. In Animal mode, kids can make animal sounds as you push the keys. The unit cycles through the various sounds and tones as kids play. There are also pictures of the animals on the keys, and at times in animal mode, kids are asked which animal is playing what instrument as depicted in the artwork.
Kids at the younger end of the age spectrum aren't going to be able to associate line drawings or understand concepts such as "xylophone," but they will love exploring and the different lights and effects they can create. Older kids will be able to be more directed in their play. But bear in mind that this is not a real music-making toy. The keys that light up when the music is playing by itself aren't necessarily what kids will hear when they play them themselves. But that's not what this is for. This is all about open-ended exploration, learning cause and effect, and developing fine motor skills as kids go from random exploration to more directed, intentional play.
The Monkey Band Music Center is for kids ages 6 to 36 months. We think kids at the higher range of the recommended age will find this entertaining, but kids at the younger end of that range will probably get more out of this in terms of learning and play.
The toy takes two AA batteries that are included for demo purposes. VTech recommends that you replace them before you play for best results.
There is also a two-position volume control.
2 AA batteries required
from Philips Entertainment Group
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