Magic Mic: unplugged

Speaking of microphones, the Toysmith Magic Mic is a great, cheap alternative for those who are sick and tired of toys that light up, talk and play music, but still want to encourage their children to express themselves.


The mike is quite big, but lightweight, and both kids enjoy using it. It has no batteries, no frills whatsoever. It mimics what a real microphone does by using metal coils inside its hollow chamber, basically creating an echo. Brilliant!

Nica has put on many little shows, some musical, some not.

Sometimes she uses the mike to play TV reporter.

Nica: “Hi! We are here in the house! We are here with Mommy! Hi, Mommy.”
Me: “Hello.”
Nica: “Could you speak into the microphone, please?”
Me: “HELLO.”
Nica: “What are you doing, Mommy?”
Me: “I’m doing dishes.”
Nica: “And how long have you been doing dishes?”
Me: “Forever.”
Nica: “Are you an expert at doing dishes?”
Me: (sigh) “Yes.”
Nica: “Do you have allergies?’
Me: “Huh? No.”
Nica: “I do! I am allergic to peanuts!”
Me: “Yes, I know.”
Nica: (off mike) “No, Mommy, pretend you don’t know!”
Me: “Ah, sorry. Um…. Oh, you’re allergic to peanuts?”
Nica: “Yes! Thank you, Mommy. Until tomorrow! Good-bye!”



Learning Tunes Karaoke: Heaven and Hell

The kids love music. Ham likes rhythm, and loves to dance. He’ll seriously dance to anything.

Nica likes melody. She loves to pretend to play instruments, and she loves to sing. Sometimes she can be quite dramatic and expressive.


So, we got them Vtech’s Learning Tunes Karaokewhich comes with several song menus and five different voice settings (normal, high-pitch, echo, robot and one that I refer to as “kidnapper”). And there’s an attached microphone, of course.

When you turn on the machine, an emcee’s voice comes on. It’s a Moviefone-guy type of voice. When he is forced to say things such as “A tisket, a tasket,” I feel a little embarrassed for him.

Nica loves this toy. She has so much fun singing along to the songs and using the voice modulators. Ham tries to play with it too, but:

I’m impressed with how many features they’ve crammed into this little karaoke toy. It even has a button you press to hear only the instrumental version of a song, if the child wants to sing without the sing-along vocals. I’m not impressed with the sound quality of the microphone and speakers, but it’s better than on some other toys. And, though I am not pro–kids-strangling-themselves, I must say that the microphone cord is too short and that it’s a bummer sometimes.

If your child takes to this toy right away, the first day will be full of song.





But, not to worry. After that, Nica only sang a few songs a day. Now she or Ham will pick up the toy once in a while and belt out a couple of tunes, then put it down. It won’t be like the first day… until another kid comes over.