Last summer, Ubisoft had a stage dedicated to Just Dance at the BlogHer conference. Maya, then 5, had a blast. In fact, I think she may have been one of the first kids to ‘shake her sillies out’ with the Just Dance Kids, which wasn’t being released until November! Those 3 months seemed like an eternity… but the wait was worth it! And that’s the story behind the photo to the right.
Fast forward another 3 months, and the girls are still playing the game several times a week. Being cooped up indoors all winter, it’s been a great way to get some exercise, letting them burn off some energy in the comfort of our living room.
Maya can set up the Wii, pop in the game, and navigate the menus all by herself, which is wonderful. This allows me to fix dinner without interruptions, or spend a few minutes on the phone in my office.
The game is super easy to follow. Just hold the Wii remote in your right hand and mimic the movements of the kids on the screen. Three real kids, not cartoons or silhouettes. The moves aren’t nearly as complicated as those in Just Dance or Just Dance 2, making it easier for the younger crowd, but which also potentially makes it more boring. Let me put it this way… when Maya plays the Wii alone, she reaches for Just Dance 2. When she’s dancing with me, or with a group of friends, she prefers Just Dance Kids. She’s mastered the steps enough to know that she’s more likely to win, even though she’s made it clear to me that it’s not always about winning (when I beat her, that is! ;))
As you can see in the video below, Maya believes that the game is best suited for kids ages “5, 4, and 6″ and I would have to agree. Two to three-year-olds enjoy it as well, but need tons of parental (or sibling) guidance, as they’re not very coordinated, need help with the remote, and don’t recognize any of the words in the menus. It’s definitely a game that they can grow into, though.
All the songs are sung by kids, but with more than 40 tunes, there is something for everyone! Maya prefers more current songs, like Kids in America or Selena Gomez’s Naturally, while Maura always goes for the preschool songs – Old MacDonald, Wheels on the Bus, Bingo, etc. You’ll also find songs from popular kids’ TV shows like The Wiggles and Yo Gabba Gabba, and party hits like The Chicken Dance, YMCA, Celebration, and the Macarena.
Up to 4 people can play at the same time, so sometimes I’ll jump in and play, too! I have to admit I probably have as much fun dancing with the girls as they do dancing with each other! Often I like to just sit back and watch, though. It’s neat to see Maya getting better and better the more she uses it, and I can see Maura’s self-confidence grow with each song she dances to. She hasn’t quite mastered moving her arms and legs at the same time just yet. I love it when she looks over at her big sister for guidance. Maya is surprisingly understanding and patient with Maura when playing this game. She’ll take turns with her little sister, letting her pick every other song (which, to her disappointment, is usually Old MacDonald or Wheels on the Bus!)
BUY IT! You can find Just Dance Kids at retailers nationwide, including Amazon.com, for around $29.99. It makes a great birthday gift!
Giveaway is closed. Winner has been notified and is listed here.
To enter to win a copy of Just Dance Kids for your family, please leave a comment below telling me one song that you love dancing to with your kids!
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Disclosure: While Ubisoft sponsored this review, the opinions I’ve expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Ubisoft, Clever Girls Collective and I promote Blog With Integrity. Contest ends March 9th, 2011, at midnight EST. Leave a separate comment per entry and a valid email address. The winner, chosen at random, must be located in the continental US and has 3 days to claim their prize.