If the prospect of one more child-led performance of Wheels on the Bus makes you want to tear your ears out, we feel your auditory pain. Yes, musical instruments for kids often require a serious investment in staples like earplugs. But a baby drum set or toy guitar is also a clutch developmental toy. Music is a shared activity, and musical toys help foster social-emotional skills.
Kids learn to express their feelings through songs. They figure out how to cooperate, especially when they create a mock rock band. Babies and toddlers learn cause and effect when they hit a drum, and hear the resulting bang. In terms of motor skills, music helps kids develop muscles in their legs and arms when they hold guitars or dance around. And when they stomp or shimmy or shake, they learn about balance and gain an awareness of their bodies.
When choosing musical instruments for kids, use your common sense. Toddlers are just learning the fine art of hand-eye coordination and honing their motor skills, so get them stuff they can easily bang on because banging on stuff is fun. Older toddlers and pre-schoolers start to engage in pretend play, so set them up with a musical kit that lets them imagine they’re on a festival stage, or that they’re in a band with their friends. Most of all, get them toys that are well-made and age-appropriate. A guitar that looks dope but is complicated enough for Eddie Vedder will only be discouraging and will wind up in the corner.
The Best Musical Instruments for Toddlers
What an absolutely brilliant way to introduce your child to both music and cause and effect: He pounds the ball with the hammer, the ball then hits the xylophone, and you hear magical musical sounds. It's all thoughtfully made out of bamboo as well.
Another toy that's deceptively simple, yet simply genius. When kids shake the clatter, it makes a click-clack sound that goes from a fairly quiet ripple to a loud and resounding crescendo.
This musical creature comes with a 5-bar xylophone, a removable maraca tail, washboard, side drums and wooden mallets. It's an entire band in one very fun package.
Because honestly, who doesn't need a blue ukelele in their life? This one is fully playable and easily tunable. It's made of wood, is thoroughly durable, and easy to tune and play. Young kids can figure out and master basic rhythm and strumming skills.
Unlike other bulkier drum kits, this one lays flat on the floor and is great for younger kids who are just becoming mobile. This drum helps kids learn hand-eye coordination and get their first taste of cause and effect when they realize that hitting the drum produces a sound.
Babies bang on this drum set to either create their own beats, or listen to pre-programmed ones. Sure, it's quite possibly deafening at times. But when kids use drumsticks, they actually help build muscles in their hands and hone their motor skills.
The set includes a drum, xylophone, guiro wooden block, and a bell, plus two mallets for playtime duets. Because you know you'll want to join in. This instrument helps develop hand-eye coordination and a sense of rhythm. And because more than one kid can play, it helps wary toddlers learn how to share.
If you're feeling a Springsteen vibe, arm your child with this wood harmonica, which features numbered notes to help beginners get started understanding music. This wood harmonica is the perfect size for little kid hands, with notes spaced out and easy enough for kids to play.
When your kid is ready to jam with friends, get this kit, which includes a tambourine, cymbals, maracas, a clacker, tone blocks, and a triangle, plus a sturdy wooden storage crate. It's a great set to foster sharing and cooperation.
The Best Musical Instruments for Kids
If you're trying to get your kid started on the guitar, this is the perfect beginner instrument that looks and acts just like a full-sized version. It has the ideal three-string design and ease of use you want to learn the basics.
Budding pianists can learn and practice the scales with this voice-controlled piano. This 61-note compact keyboard comes with Alexa built-in, letting kids control most of the instrument's functionality using only voice commands.
You know how we mentioned earplugs earlier? Stock up. This drum kit has everything your percussionist could want: A bass drum with 4 lugs, a mounted tom with 4 lugs, a mounted snare with 4 lugs, a cymbal, and a pair of wood drum sticks, and a padded drum throne.
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