fisher price think & learn teach 'n tag moviInteractive toys are a-plenty these days, and Fisher Price has a number of really neat options in its Think & Learn line. One such toy is the Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag MOVI,  which I had the chance to try out along with my 5-year-old son.

What is the Fisher Price Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag MOVI?

The three-wheeled robot friend operates using four included C alkaline batteries, which help it light up, talk, and scoot across the floor as your child interacts with it.

Find a nice open space, turn MOVI on, then enjoy a number of fun games that help teach kids about the alphabet, animals, shapes, and other skills, like listening, following directions, and more. The goal is to help with cognitive, motor, language, and sensory development, as well as encourage co-operative and imaginative play, and develop problem-solving skills.

Set-up of the Fisher Price Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag MOVI

Set-up was super easy, with MOVI anxious to play as I worked to free it from the confines fisher price movi back wheelof its cardboard packaging. Pop on the back wheel, and you’re good to go. While batteries are, as noted, included and already installed, it would be wise to grab an extra set since they are meant for demo purposes and could be running low by the time you bring the robot toy home. Note that you will need a Philips screwdriver to open the battery compartment door, which is a minor annoyance, but one that parents likely have gotten used to with a myriad of interactive tech toys.

MOVI has two oversized front wheels that help it navigate forwards and backwards, and a small back wheel to help keep it upright and allow it to move in full 360-degree rotations. There are three buttons on its tummy for selecting games, and two coloured buttons on its head (red and green) for interacting with certain games. The speaker is on the right side, and power switch on the back, including a low volume option, which any parent can fisher price movie on offappreciate. Its “face” is a large screen where his blue eyes light up, and three blue lines illuminate to make it look like MOVI is actually talking to you.

Playing With the Fisher Price Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag MOVI

Turn MOVI on, and it will greet you with a smile. “Hi, I’m MOVI. Are you ready to have some fun? Press one of the buttons on my tummy to choose a game.”

Games are sorted into three modes, with two games in each. Alpha Fun Actions is triggered by the button on the left with the letters “ABC” on it, and includes Animal Actions and Movi Says. Press the right button with the image of a light bulb and surrounding triangle to play one of the Think & Move Shapes games, including Shape Moves and Step-by-Step. The large, dark blue button in the centre with a squiggly arrow takes you to the Learn & Play games Red Light, Green Light and Silly Sounds Tag.

Immediately, my son caught on to many of these games, which, as the names suggest, are ones with which many kids and parents are already familiar. Here’s a rundown of how each one works.

fisher price movi buttonsAnimal Actions: MOVI will make the sound of a particular animal, then ask you to pick which one is the correct one by pressing either the red or green button on its head. When it nays, is that a horse or a bear? Press green for horse, red for bear. It’s a horse, of course! After answering the quiz question, enjoy a short sing and dance session with the robot. MOVI moves about asking the child to mimic the movements of an animal, like dancing like a chicken or swinging a tail like an alligator.

Movi Says: Just like Simon says, MOVI will ask the child to perform different actions, like touching his shoulders or hopping on one foot. But watch out: if it doesn’t say MOVI says, you shouldn’t do it! Movements include simple ones like spinning around three times, to full-bodied zig-zagging across the floor.

Shape Moves: MOVI will provide a direction or question, and the child must follow along, moving in a circle, for example, or a square, or by pressing the button on its head that corresponds with the right answer. Follow along with MOVI and spin like a circle, then press red if a ball is a circle or green if it’s a square.

Step-by-Step: MOVI guides your child, step by step, into creating a unique dance sequence. Spin around, touch your toes, and wiggle your hips. Then put them all together to rock out, going faster and faster.

Red Light Green Light: Just like with the schoolyard game of the same name, the kids must walk, skip, or hop when MOVI says “green light,” then freeze as soon as it says “red fisher price movi top lightslight.”

Silly Sounds Tag: In this game, MOVI is even more on the move, and your little one must try and catch up to tag it by tapping one of the buttons. This is combined with fun quizzes, whereby the child must press the right button to indicate his answer to the question. MOVI might growl like a bear and you have to press red for bear or green for horse. If the child gets it wrong, he’ll be asked to try again.

Other Observations About the Fisher Price Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag MOVI

While my almost six-year-old son had some initial fun playing with MOVI, he quickly got bored, and found the toy to be repetitive. The questions are all related to animals and shapes: It would be nice if more subjects and complex questions were covered to appeal to older kids, closer to 5 and 6. The age recommendation is 3-6, but I’d focus on this toy for younger, preschoolers. That said, it all depends on each individual child.

fisher price movi offArguably the most important thing you should note about this toy is that it’s best played in a large, open space. The manual recommends using it in a five-foot square area that’s free of clutter. For those with small homes or apartments, that might be difficult. Because MOVI moves a lot, in every game, including from side to side, forward and backward, and even spinning in circles, encouraging your child to do a lot of active play, including running, jumping, and hopping about, space is essential.

While my son played with MOVI in our small living room, it would continually bump into the wall, or the coffee table. It would have been nice if MOVI had a sensor that could detect when it has bumped into something and could back up or turn around. For excited young kids, they sometimes will have to try and stop MOVI in its tracks in order to switch games, which can leave the wheels spinning as they hold it to press the button. Kids will also need to be careful about tripping over MOVI, which is constantly moving about.

There are two volume levels (thankfully) and I’d suggest using the lower volume, as MOVI talks a lot, and can get quite loud.

fisher price movi with boyIt’s also worth noting that MOVI isn’t the toy you want your child to play with right before bedtime, since it will inevitably get them worked up. But for daytime or weekend fun, it’s a great way to promote active versus sedentary play indoors.

Bottom Line About the Fisher Price Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag MOVI

Overall, MOVI is more about fun and silliness than it is a truly educational toy. It does have some educational components for preschoolers, but it might be a bit too simplistic to be considered a highly-educational toy for kindergarteners.

But for active toddlers and preschoolers, it helps teach them about the alphabet, animals, and shapes, as well as how to follow directions and improve listening skills, which are all critical skills for young kids to develop and hone. And it will provide great, active fun, for one, or more, kids.

Find the Fisher Price Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag MOVI at Best Buy Online.