There are many documented benefits to playing a musical instrument. In fact, Parent Magazine argues that playing a musical instrument “improves academic skills, develops physical skills, cultivates social skills, refines discipline and patience, boosts self-esteem, and introduces children to other cultures.”
While toddlers may be too young to take formal lessons, they’re never too young to be introduced to the magic of making music through a variety of toys specifically designed for their developmental stage.
Here are some of our favorites:
Parents’ Bee Bop Band
The Parents’ Bee Bop Band toy, designed for children 18 months and older, includes a drum with two centipede drum sticks, ant jingles, bee maracas, a caterpillar tambourine, and ladybug bells. All of the toys conveniently fit in the drum for easy storage.
This toy has won a number of awards including the Great American Toy Test Best of the Rest National Winner.
My daughter, who loves any toy music related, loves this set, and she’s well out of her toddler years.
Melissa & Doug Band in a Box
My kids also have this set and love it. There are enough instruments that several kids can play at once, and the instruments will even appeal to kids that are well beyond the toddler years.
Parents’ Kitty Keyboard
The Parents’ Kitty Keyboard includes a variety of sounds such as bells, organs, and banjos. Children can play up to 20 songs on this. Best for kids 18 months and older, this toy has won the Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products.
Oompa Oval Xylophone
Chances are you had (and loved) a xylophone when you were little. This classic toy is a staple for toddlers. The Oompa Oval Xylophone is great for toddlers 12 months and older. Thanks to the smaller size, it’s not overwhelming for young children.
Oompa Musical Band
For children three years old and older, try the Oompa Musical Band. If dad loves to play drums, this is the perfect instrument for your little one to imitate dad. This toy has a large and small drum as well as a cymbal and guiro. It also includes two drumsticks.
While your child may be too young for formal lessons, he’s never too young for a toy that will pique his interest in playing a musical instrument and keep him entertained for hours.
What are your child’s favorite musical toys?