Somewhere, sometime, someone told me that the Bop It! was a fun toy for blind/visually impaired kids: it’s something noisy that they can play with fairly easily. So, when I found a $5 off coupon on Target’s Web site, I decided “what the heck? We should give it a try.” I am so very glad I did.
With the Bop It, you’ll need to start out by orienting your kiddo to the game. There are two handles; the end of each handle and the corner of each handle each have a different item for game play. The green doo-dad is “flick it,” the yellow is “twist it,” the blue is “pull it,” and the orange is “spin it.” The Bop It! button is on both sides of the machine; there’s a purple push-in peg to turn “shake it” off and on, depending on how complicated you want the game to be. Peanut loves pushing the button in and out, and he also likes shaking the device. Each of the doo-dads is a different shape and has a different bright color (except the “Bop It!” button, but that’s high-contrast given that it’s black against white), so it’s fairly easy to figure out what’s what. The game does go “quick as a cat,” so you have to be very speedy to get to the different motions; Peanut’s gotten it right before but gotten “out” because he didn’t manipulate the doo-dad fast enough.
All in all, I think this is a pretty awesome game. It encourages Peanut to keep trying; has manipulatives for him to twist, turn, or pull; and is a game where sight, or the lack thereof, makes little difference to your performance. I’m looking forward to him being able to play the competitive modes against me: I think it’s a game where he’ll easily be able to kick my @ss, and he might have to let me win from time to time. For now, it’s a game we can play together, and it’s wonderful watching him dance to the beats, giggle when it’s time to “Bop it!,” insist it’s his turn (it’s always his turn–even if you’re in the middle of your turn), and slowly but surely get better.