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Dance, Code and Learn with Disney Princess Belle (Review)

Dance, Code and Learn with Disney Princess Belle (Review)

Dance Code Belle is a princess doll that lets kids code her dance moves.

My daughter has been subjected to an unreasonable amount of robots. The first time I saw her eyes light up with excitement was when I told her about a magical princess robot named Belle.

A princess that’s a robot, wow, Hasbro really hit the nail on the head with this one. For hours she played with it, and I mean hours. I had to take the tablet off her. Disney Princess is a brand that has captured little girls’ imaginations for decades. The stories are told time and again and although outdated, they never seem to age. Belle has got a robotic upgrade with this coding toy which has breathed life into a princess doll that would otherwise be still.

So what’s so special and does it really teach code? Let’s review.

Pros

  • Very simple to use and code with.
  • Kids learn about sequencing and improve numeracy skills.
  • Specially designed to engage girls in coding.

Cons

  • Older kids will get bored as the coding isn’t very challenging.
  • Would be nice to try and code Belle with block-based coding, something like Scratch or Blockly.

 

Unboxing Princess Robot Belle

Dance Code Belle is really easy to set up. I’ve gotten headaches before when I open up some of these coding toys and need to read the instructions with a hot cup of tea and a biscuit. But this was a dream. Open the box, take her out, put in 4 AA batteries and switch her on. Et Voila. Your child can play away with her while you figure out how to download the app.

Once that’s done, off you go. Just press that giant play button.

What You Get In The Box

  • 1 x Princess Robot Belle Doll
  • 1 x Instruction Leaflet

How it Works

You can only control Belle with the special app. There are three sections for learning to code your princess. The first is with Mrs. Potts. Kids have to draw a line to connect the dots in the correct order of the numbers. This in itself is educational, as kids need to know their numbers to connect the pink dots. When connected correctly, the dots turn to yellow circles for dance turns, left and right etc and pink hexagons for arm movements. You simply drag and drop over the moves you want to make and hit play. Belle will start to dance.

This is as complicated as the coding gets. It’s not going to be much of a challenge for older children, but for younger kids that like princess dolls, it’s just perfect.

The second part of the app is themed with Lumiere, the candlestick. There are a couple of extra moves in this part. Belle can move forward in a straight line and back.

The third Cogsworth section is a freestyle dance. There is a guideline image you can follow, like a castle or heart and you use the pen to draw the line for the dance. But you can draw a squiggle if you want. When ready you drag and drop the movements over.

How to get girls interested in coding is something that companies are struggling with. Making coding toys pink or a princess isn’t a long-term solution, but it’s a start. Some girls just like princesses and if you make a princess a robot, you might just spark a real interest. Dance Code Belle isn’t going to teach your child Java or Python, but it might help improve their numeracy skills and help them understand sequencing commands. Plus it’s just really fun to play with.

Overall Verdict

The idea of taking an everyday doll toy and making it robotic is genius. Most coding toys try their best to be gender neutral, but it’s refreshing to see the Disney Princess market trying to do something different.

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