With premium craftsmanship and a focus on sound quality places, this set is head and shoulders above similar kits. Children can play by themselves or form a band. Durable construction is built to last.
Better suited to children over the age of 3. However, with supervision younger kids can enjoy it, too.
4 classical tunes accompanied by colorful lights make for engaging entertainment. Large center button allows little ones to easily change songs. Robust construction withstands rough handling. Adjustable volume.
Button needs to be pressed at the end of each song for it to play the next – a feature that toddlers enjoy but can frustrate smaller babies.
Feature rich design that teaches counting, colors, and introduces social skills and manners. A variety of songs, sounds, and lights keep playtime interesting. Chunky construction is easy for little fingers to handle.
Very much geared toward girls, although boys who manage to get their hands on it will probably love it too!
A fun early introduction to classical music. Teaches children how each instrument and sound plays a role in music. Little ones get to “compose” music or listen to the instruments together. Lights pulse to the rhythm for visual effect.
A bit bulky, and may be difficult for smaller babies to grip. Tunes could play a little longer.
Light up drum pads and cymbals teach children basic drumming skills. Features a variety of built-in tunes to play along with. Free play option lets children get creative.
Figuring out how to select the free play option without a backing track is a little tricky at first.
Music is one of the most powerful tools we have. It can elevate moods, sharpen focus, inspire, and even physically change the brain to foster growth and development. Incorporating music toys into your child's playtime can have such a powerful impact that the positive effects could last a lifetime.
The best music toys engage curiosity and encourage creativity, allowing your child to explore and grow at his or her own pace. They must be age-appropriate so there are no safety concerns and be challenging enough so your child doesn't lose interest too quickly. And don't forget, music toys need to be fun!
If you're ready to buy, we've listed a number of highly rated music toys in our shopping guide. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of music toys and how they can help your child excel in life.
The most important aspect of any toy for a young child is safety. Avoid toys with small parts, toxic materials, sharp edges, strings, threads, or ribbons. Ideally, a toy should be lightweight as well.
Colors, shapes, and themes all play a vital role in engaging your child's interest. If the music toy doesn't have something that makes it stand out from others scattered about the floor, it will not be used.
Always choose a toy that is age-appropriate. A music toy that is too complex may quickly frustrate a child and cause it to be set aside until the child is old enough to better appreciate it. Conversely, a music toy that is too simplistic may never get the chance to be the favorite.
Active vs. passive
Do you want a music toy that requires the child to do something that directly results in a specific sound, tone, or song? Or would you prefer a toy that just plays full songs without the child needing to accomplish a specific task?
After a music toy captures a child's attention, it needs to be able to sustain that interest. A variety of sounds, tunes, and activities will help ensure that a music toy has a long and purposeful play life.
Babies develop at different rates. In most cases, being a little behind or a little ahead of the curve is nothing to be concerned about. For the purpose of helping you choose a music toy that keeps your child engaged and developing, here are some general guidelines to make you aware of your child's interests, abilities, and potential at different ages along with some examples of music toys that would be appropriate.
Birth to six months
During the earliest stages of development, babies aren't mobile, so they explore by observing and reaching out with their hands and feet. Your baby will turn her head toward a sound. The best kinds of music toys at this age are a rattle or an unbreakable mirror that also makes noise. A musical crib mobile to watch might also be a good idea, but as soon as your baby begins sitting up, the crib mobile has to go.
Six to 12 months
At this age, babies begin to further explore their world because they can roll over, scoot, and pull themselves up. Your baby will become more adept at using her fingers and will start to understand cause and effect, so a music toy needs a little more variety than a rattle. A plush sensory toy or a cube or another object with different musical features and buttons engages curiosity. A play mat that makes sounds or a musical ball that encourages movement are also examples of music toys that would be appropriate at this age.
12 to 24 months
From 12 to 24 months, development is phenomenal because your baby can now explore by walking and climbing. Imagination and creativity are on the rise, so toys that foster growth and development in these areas are a good idea. Toys with numerous dials, buttons, switches, and lids as well as a keyboard featuring a variety of sounds and songs can all be beneficial at this age. Books begin to be objects of fascination and exploration during this time, so it's the perfect opportunity to introduce ones that feature buttons that play songs and sound effects to enhance the story.
Two to three years
During these years, your toddler can engage in more complex activities that involve both hands. She enjoys dancing and begins to develop a more personal relationship with music. Music toys that involve a puzzle element or allow your child to combine and layer different sounds are excellent choices, and so are toys that play songs. Music toys that depend on physical actions, such as a xylophone or drum, are good, simple musical instruments that can be used with adult supervision. Children are more social at this age, so this is a great time to introduce music toys that involve playing together with parents or other children.
Three and up
At this age, musical instruments and complex musical concepts can start to be introduced. A child may begin to learn piano or violin by imitation, but an instrument such as a recorder, which involves specific fingerings to produce different pitches, can be learned as early as preschool.
If you're looking at spending about $10 or $15, you will get a toy with a small variety of options — a few buttons to press, a few sounds, and maybe some flashing lights.
From $15 to $25, you will start to see musical instruments, and the toys are a little more complicated with specific sounds being related to specific actions (e.g., press the cat to hear a meow).
From $25 to $50 (and above), the toys become increasingly complex to operate (while still remaining age-appropriate) to encourage development and growth. Additionally, there may be many more activities to explore on these music toys.
When your baby is playing with a music toy, not only is she learning by doing, but she is also being affected by the notes, rhythms, and sounds that the toy makes. Here are some elements of sound and music that you need to carefully consider when choosing a music toy for your child.
Soothing sounds: Music toys that feature smooth, soothing sounds can reduce stress and even lull your baby to sleep.
Simple, upbeat melodies: Music toys that feature bright, happy songs can elevate your child's mood and enhance his or her playing experience.
Startling noises: When it comes to babies, an unexpected sound is not fun. In fact, it can add stress to your child's playtime. Play toy instruments gently for baby.
Q. How early should I start introducing music into my baby's life?
A. While still in the womb, after just 16 weeks, a baby begins to respond to sounds. At 24 weeks, rhythm and pitch can affect your baby's heart rate. This is why playing music while your child is still in the womb can have such a profound effect.
Q. What's the best age to introduce musical toys?
A. The toddler years are the most impactful time to introduce your child to music. At as early as 15 months, your child can start relating sounds with actions, the two crucial elements needed to play a musical instrument. A musical toy introduced at this critical age can help a toddler develop creativity, language, memory, and emotional intelligence.
Q. What can I do to help?
A. The best thing you can do is simply integrate musical activities into your child's daily routine. Sing quiet songs before bedtime and listen to more kinetic music during the day. Watch to see what engages your toddler and explore. Many great musical artists recall a childhood filled with songs and music.
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