Sturdy and colorful. Features include four modes, six musical instrument sounds, and several demo songs. 17 keys. Records and plays back music. Lightweight and easy to store. Good quality sound. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Uses three AA batteries.
Volume control doesn't go low enough; even turned all the way down, it is still a loud toy. Smaller than expected.
Sizing and features geared towards infants/toddlers. Has eight piano keys and six animal sounds. Lightweight and easy to fold up and store. High quality, yet inexpensive. Energy saving mode shuts it off after a few minutes of inactivity. Uses three AA batteries.
Very lightweight; tends to move around a lot when kids use it. Some buyers said this option arrives broken.
Comes with five pre-programmed songs, as well as a built-in memory game. For ages 2-4. Quality materials and sound. Durable.
Mat is smaller than expected. Has no volume control. Material makes a noise when you step on it that takes away from the clarity of the piano sound.
Keyboard is 17" in width and has 24 keys. Features eight musical instruments in all. Has four modes: record, playback, demo, and play. Has an auto-off system. Uses four AA batteries. Easy to learn and use. High-quality, and sounds great.
Mat slips easily; use it on carpeting or tape it down to keep it from sliding.
Keyboard is durable, and resembles a real piano. At 20 X 79", it's large enough for more than one child to use at a time. Plays 8 musical instruments and has 24 keys. 4 modes - play, record, playback, and demo - add to the fun.
Quite loud. A few mats arrived with faulty keys that didn't make noise.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
You say your toddler is interested in piano? Great! It's never too early to start, especially if you have a piano mat. Piano mats are large mats that play different notes depending on where you step (or crawl). They can be early learning tools or just a whole lot of fun for older kids and adults.
The best piano mats are durable, easy-to-clean instruments that feature a variety of modes, which may include recording, playback, and free play.
A piano mat that has an adjustable volume level will be appreciated, but one that can play a variety of sounds — even if some are just animal noises — will provide the most fun.
Piano mats have an overwhelming variety of features — so many, in fact, that you might focus on a secondary function and miss out on getting what's really best for your needs. Following is a list of 10 factors that you should consider first.
Even with light play, a piano mat gets heavy-duty usage. You need to find a tough, durable piano mat that can withstand being constantly trampled.
A piano mat that resists stains and is easy to clean is essential. With regular usage, it will be subjected to a great deal of foot traffic, and not all of those feet will be pristine. Something that you can quickly wipe clean is ideal.
There's nothing more frustrating than stomping on a key three times before it plays a note. Look for a piano mat that is praised for its responsiveness.
If your piano mat is loud enough to be heard above a room full of kids who are laughing and having fun, that's perfect. You need it to do that. But if there's only one child who is tapping out a tune, you probably don't want the extra decibels.
A polyphonic piano mat is one that can play more than one note at a time. If your piano mat can't play polyphonically, you won't be able to perform duets.
To get the most out of your piano mat, it needs to have multiple modes. A free play mode, a record mode, a playback mode, and a demo mode are the most important ones. Having a teaching mode is also highly desirable, but it can be hard to find a piano mat with this feature.
Appropriate weight limit
This is important only if adults want to play. Know the weight limits of your piano mat before that first stomp.
Piano mats are powered by batteries. You may wish to look for a mat that only requires two or three AA or AAA batteries. Lithium batteries are expensive, but they last exponentially longer than regular batteries.
It's easy to get caught up in the fun and forget to turn your piano mat off. To preserve the life of your batteries, look for a piano mat with an automatic shut-off feature.
Even if you play on your new piano mat every day, at some point you'll want to put it away. A mat that folds up to the size of a beach towel (or smaller) and isn't excessively heavy is ideal.
You don't have to use your feet to play a piano mat on the floor. If you'd prefer, you can place the mat on a large table or counter so it can be played with your hands.
Here is a list of items that can make your piano mat even more enjoyable. After deciding which are the most important for you, look for a mat that includes all or at least a good number of them.
Variety of sounds
A piano mat that plays piano is great. One that plays, sax, guitar, trumpet, drums, and more is even better.
For little kids, a mat that makes animal sounds can provide a great deal of entertainment.
Some piano mats have flashing LED lights that let you know which key to step on next. This feature can be great for teaching you how to play a song.
Backing tracks with adjustable tempo
Some piano mats have built-in background music and demos that play while you step on the keys. To make it even more fun, look for a mat that can make the songs go faster or slower.
For the widest assortment of background music, look for a piano mat that can play songs from your iPod or MP3 player.
Output for an amplifier
If you want to be able to crank up your piano mat to party volume, you're going to need an output that can connect to an amplifier. If this is important for your needs, make sure the piano mat that you are considering has this feature.
If you want your piano mat to accommodate more than one musician at a time, it has to be large and feature more than 13 notes so there is adequate room for more than one child.
To make it easier to step on the right notes, you may wish to consider a piano mat that features extra-wide keys.
If your piano mat comes with a carrying case, not only is it easier to take to a friend's house, it is easier to pack up and put away as well.
The design you like is the design you should get. If you have a toddler who likes bright colors, get something fun. If you want to feel like you're actually running across a piano, purchase a black and white mat that actually looks like a piano.
If you have a polyphonic piano mat — one that can play more than one note at a time — you will be able to play duets like Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia did in Big.
Piano mats start at just $8; these models tend to be more suitable for infants. In this lower range, the mats may be made of cloth and feature animal sounds. Around $18, piano mats become more suitable for kids and feature multiple modes such as demo, play, and record. At $28 and above, the mats are larger, more durable, and easier to play. Many will feature multiple instrument sounds.
Pricier piano mats may have a number of games and learning features built in, but you can often use any mat in a number of educational and fun ways that might not be obvious. Here is a list of nine activities you can do with your piano mat.
Three Xs: The first player executes a simple (or complex) pattern, and the other players must duplicate that pattern. If you fail, you get an X. As soon as a player gets three Xs, she is out.
Add a note: This is a memory game. The first player plays a note. The second player plays that first note and adds one of his own notes. As the pattern gets longer, it becomes harder and harder to reproduce. If a player makes a mistake, he is out.
Speed: In this adult-supervised game, players play identical patterns or melodies at increasing tempos. The fastest player wins the round.
Find the note: One player (often an adult) names a note or a combination of notes, and the next player must find them.
Guess the note: One person plays a note while the others are not looking (only listening). The first player to find the correct note gets a point.
Dance party: One person is the judge. Participants play a pattern or a melody while executing fancy moves. Whoever has the best style (according to the judge) wins that round. The judge changes each round.
Sing-along challenge: You must sing along with whatever song you are playing with your feet.
Name that tune: A designated player adds one note at a time to a melody. The first person to correctly guess the melody wins.
Since a piano mat is an indoor toy, it can be a great way for kids to get some exercise on a rainy day.
Since piano mats can be suitable for a wide range of users, from toddlers to adults, there are many different models that can be highly recommended. Here are three more piano mats that we've categorized by age.
For the youngest user, Huahuamini has a musical baby mat that features five different animal sounds, a piano sound, and five different playing modes. It is suitable for a baby who has not yet learned how to walk.
For a slightly older child, Play22 has a 71-inch, 2-octave vinyl mat that has eight different sounds and adjustable volume.
FAO Schwarz has a giant electronic DJ mixer mat that is suitable for adults as well as children. This engaging item has two turntables for scratching, four drum sounds, vocal effects, a one-octave piano, and preset soundtracks to create your own songs.
Q. Are there any safety concerns with piano mats?
A. Yes, there are two main concerns. Since the mat requires being active, do not place it in a cluttered room where a child might accidentally jump into an object or knock something fragile to the floor. Also, be careful with socks. Some mats are extremely slippery when wearing socks. Consult the instructions that come with the piano mat to learn the safest way to use it.
Q. My piano mat isn't very responsive. Any tips?
A. A piano mat works best on a hard surface. If you have the mat set up on plush carpet, the extra cushioning might be the reason for the mat's finicky performance.
Q. Is there a weight limit on piano mats?
A. The weight recommendations vary from model to model. If you want to purchase a piano mat that can handle adults, make sure that is specifically stated so you do not damage the mat.
Q. What are the benefits of playing on a piano mat?
A. There are many. Children will be physically active while playing, and they will need to step on the proper key, so a piano mat can help develop motor skills. Learning music, or learning how to play a piano mat, can enhance memory skills and assist with speech development. Music can also be a tool to battle dyslexia, and it can help reduce stress and anxiety. If musical study continues, it can enhance the anatomy of the brain to help prepare a child for other types of learning.
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