We get it. Musical toys are loud enough that they should come pre-packaged with earplugs for parents. But the aural annoyance of musical instruments for kids is worth it, because music has numerous benefits for children, per the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes the benefits of making music. It enhances fine motor skills, boosts listening skills, and helps with language development.
If you’re not ready to attend any of the myriad musical classes out there for toddlers, you can bring tunes into your own home with toy instruments that help kids unleash their inner Adele or Childish Gambino. We looked at the most popular musical toys you can buy, and found the ones that were the best quality, and were worth your money.
OK, we sort of want this musical gator for ourselves. The set includes a drum, xylopnone, guiro wooden block, and a bell, plus two mallets for playtime duets. Because you know you'll want to join in.
This instrument, for kids two and up, helps develop hand-eye coordination and a sense of rhythm.
Babies can bang on this drum to either hear pre-programmed sounds or create their own beats.
Great for babies six months and older, this drum helps kids learn hand-eye coordination and get their first taste of banging away on drums.
Speaking of drums, this bongo set has three different play modes.
When your kid has it in music mode, the bongo plays a song and your child can add his or her drum sounds of choice. Or, they can bang away without any backup tunes.
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. It’s great for kids three and older.
You've been warned: This drum set is loud. But it's also crazy fun for kids, who learn to play three drum pads and cymbal, each with its own unique sound. Plus, they can play along to nine different music styles.
This is a great toy for kids ages two to five. It has four play modes: Free play, letters, numbers, and follow-along. Kids bang the drum with their sticks, which are included.
How dope is this: A keyboard can be held like a guitar and connects to your music library via the chord tracker app.
Once you connect the keyboard to your digital music library, your kid gets chord data transmitted via Bluetooth or MIDI. And this means your kid can play music like a (sort of) pro. It’s great for kids eight and older.
Even Eric Clapton had to start somewhere. And somewhere can be this starter guitar, which has six authentic guitar strings.
This is literally a pluck and play toy. It comes fully assembled, and kids can have jam sessions using this toy guitar, which is an actual six-string instrument. It’s suitable for kids ages three and up.
One of our favorite toy brands has created the ultimate musical kit, which includes a tambourine, cymbals, maracas, a clacker, tone blocks, and a triangle, plus a sturdy wooden storage crate.
This set, ideal for pre-schoolers, lets kids form their own band. They can explore sounds and make their own, using the included tambourine, cymbals, maracas, a clacker, tone blocks, and triangle. The instruments are made of wood, meaning they won’t break.
This is a kids' piano that will last and last and last, perhaps to the dismay of parents. It has 25 keys, can be on the floor, and is great for helping to build hand-eye coordination and encouraging musical creativity.
Perfect for prodigies ages three and up, the Schoenhut starter piano is a captivating toy for kids, as they learn that by hitting keys, they can produce glorious sounds and melodies. It’s durable, and makes for hours of noisy fun.
Built for younger musicians, this toy instrument features a five-bar xylophone, a maraca tail, two clacking saddle blankets, and wooden mallets for a toddler's first foray into the world of tunes and beats.
Kids 12 months and older can meet their new favorite llama. The tail doubles as a maraca. The saddle blankets become drums. And there are detachable wooden mallets. Kids can bang and drum and spin gears. It helps build coordination and teach cause and effect.
This wooden drum set is perfectly sized for toddlers and it has everything they need to create what passes for music, including drums, cymbals, and rhythm makers.
Once your kid reaches a certain age, every surface in your home becomes a drum. This includes, but is not limited to, high chair trays, coffee tables, windows, the cat, and if you’re very lucky, your face. This adorable beginner drum set at least offers the illusion of an appropriate space for drumming. It’s great for kids 36 months and older and promotes dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
In a nutshell, this is a mess-free, portable doodle board that lights up and plays music when your kid touches it.
This is a musical tablet that flashes lights and plays sounds when your two-year-old touches it. It plays one of six songs and changes colors as toddlers scribble on it.
Because honestly, who doesn't need a blue ukelele in their life? This one is fully playable and easily tunable.
Your three year old will channel Tiny Tim (sorry!) with this miniature ukelele. 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.
Who knows, maybe you're raising the next Taylor Swift. Or John Legend. Help your toddlers build their musical skills with this 10-piece musical instrument set with a variety of instruments that help kids connect with their inner musician.
The musical set includes a tambourine, cymbals, maracas, a clacker, tone blocks, and a triangle, plus a sturdy wooden storage crate to store it all. Kids can form their own band. And being loud never loses its appeal.
If you're feeling particularly brave, get your kid this accordion. It's perfectly sized for young kids, and has a two-octave range in the key of C.
This accordion comes with instructions on how to play eight songs. Or your kid can freestyle it. The accordion has a two-octave range. It’s the right size for kids three and older.
If you're really and truly brave, get your kid this bass drum. It happens to be an ideal starter kit.
Your kid gets a complete drum kit with a throne, cymbal, pedal, and drumsticks. Earplugs sold separately. It’s great for kids three and up.
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