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Best Musical Toys For Babies And Toddlers

Updated on January 4, 2013

The benefits of music have been proven by various studies. Some of them associate music toys with the development of emotional intelligence and intellectual and physical benefits. From infancy through kindergarten, children are naturally receptive to the nuances of pitch and rhythm which helps them to enhance their sensory perception and brain development. All babies and toddlers need creative music play and music toys for their overall development.

Benefits of dancing and listening to music at a very early age

Improvisational dancing and instrument handling, for example, have a positive impact on improving motor skills. Singing has a positive impact on vocal and speech development. The most important benefit is the proven positive effect that music has on brain development. Research has proven that musical play and early childhood music improves memory, reading, even math skills in later age. The so called ‘’Mozart effect’’ suggests that early childhood exposure to classical music has a beneficial effect on mental development and spatial-temporal reasoning. Therefore, parents seek to find appropriate baby musical toys and toddler musical instruments for their children or as gift ideas for any little baby or toddler. There is no better gift indeed to give to a child (regardless of age) than the gift of music.

Best music toys

Kick and Play Piano

Lullabies and tunes have been crooned to infants for centuries to lull them to sleep, but between sleeping periods, babies are active and vivacious. If you are a parent or you are around little babies and toddlers then you’ve probably noticed that they move their legs and hands all the time. Well, there is a perfect toy for these little kickers! Fisher-Price Precious Planet Kick and Play Piano is a great baby and toddler toy product.

Babies start moving their legs with excitement very early and as a response to the babies' needs, the perfect toy comes in the form of a special piano designed to be played with legs as well as hands. There are two musical play modes: 1) long play and 2) build-a-song. Parents and their little ones are happy to have it as it ensures long play; the baby can enjoy a continuous mixture of musical compositions comprised of a number of separate melodies from other musical pieces. Placing the toy vertically in the crib makes it easy and fun for the little one to kick or tap the soft piano keys which respond to baby's touch without difficulty. The other musical setting makes it possible for the baby to build a series of short tunes. Not only that it fits in the crib easily but it can be moved to the floor as the baby grows. The baby is also entertained by two fun lights at the top: the sun and bird blinking lights keep it in awe. While there are many musical toys and instruments that are too loud, this kick and play piano toy has a volume control making the toy loud enough for babies to hear it but not so loud to startle or keep them awake when they are in their crib. It is especially suitable for babies from 2 to 10 months of life.

Musical Fishbowl

Another fun toy for babies and toddlers is the Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Musical Fishbowl. It offers a classical pattern with soothing music (three songs and three sound effects) and dancing lights. Colorful sights and fun ocean sounds entertain babies and toddlers while they play put-and-take with fish that have adorable faces, bright colours and just the right size for little hands. They rattle, too!

Children up to 2 years love it; you’ll see them dump the fish out, shake the bowl, put the fish back in and bang it on the floor, all of which makes fun noise and lights. It's great for the period in their lives when they like to put things in something and then take them out and then put them in and then take them out, over and over again. And they laugh and have so much fun with it! So cute! When the little ones place these fish into the fishbowl it rocks gently and the entertainment goes on and on with colours and music play. In addition to the rocking base, the product has a volume control for quiet play. All pieces are designed so that they fit inside for quick clean-up. Some parents bought this toy for very little babies (2 or 3 months) who aren’t quite ready to play with it, but they like watching the parents dropping in a fish and hearing the music play as the fish hit the bottom. It makes them giggle and they love to shake and suck on the fish :-)

Laugh & learn Learning Piggy bank

The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Piggy Bank is not only  musical but also an educational toy. It is also great for building hand-eye coordination. Research has shown that children learn best through play. In the learning mode, this particular toy makes it possible for the child to learn how to count from 1 to 10, learn ‘’big’’ and ‘’small or little’’, 5 colors, animals and sizes by dropping 10 colorful coins into the slot of the pink piggy bank. In the music mode, each coin drop plays one of five short ditties. Besides 3 sing-along songs, music and fun sounds and speech, there are certain activities as a response to babies’ actions: if children press the piggy’s nose, they will hear a musical response (fun sound or a song), by dropping the coins into the slot they can also discover mommy and baby animals, and when they open the door, the piggy bank is ready to be used for the put-and-take play again. The coins then tumble out and the tail spins for a new play.

If your child loves putting things into other things, this is the toy to get. Children simply love opening and closing the door, taking the coins in and out. At other times they will just dance to the music. It is surprising how many games could be made out of this toy and how many different things it would teach (even manners: ‘’Excuse me!’’). Especially suitable for children between 1 and 3 years of age, but also for younger children who love to see their parents place a coin on the slot, and then they push it into the bank and giggle as they hear the music and sounds.

Laugh & Learn Learning Workbench

The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Workbench is a toy also recommended in the Parents magazine as a fun, musical and educational toy. The parents' feedback makes it clear you won't go away for the weekend or on a vacation without this toy once you've bought it. The child can play and entertain himself (or herself) with pounding, tapping, spinning, sliding and drilling, and at the same time learn the alphabet, numbers, colors and shapes, opposites and actions. The toy operates on three interactive learning modes with 15 sing-along songs and tunes, music, sounds and phrases.

The nails light up when the child taps and pounds them, the drill dances, vise spins, paint roller twirls, ruler counts and slides, and the hammer rattles! These tools are great fun and the workbench keeps children easily entertained. There is also a volume control for quiet play. It can withstand all the banging children can dish out and they enjoy the lights and music. If you change the mode from time to time, whether it is counting, ABC's, tool sound effects, music or sth else, to mix things up for your child, he or she will probably be surprised that it's different from the last time he (she) played with it. Especially suitable for 9-18 months old.

Learn-To-Play Piano

Research showed that children involved in preschool piano lessons have enhanced brain function that lasts their entire lifetime. Instruments start taking an active role in a child's life, especially if they tend to play with musical instruments. They may also be getting involved with instruments at school. Melissa & Doug Learn-To-Play Piano is a brightly coloured piano made of hardwood and featuring 25 hand tuned keys and two full-octave ranges. Compared to plastic pianos, it actually looks like a real piano! The keys are color-coded and there is an illustrated starter songbook included with a wide range of notes to play and a teaching key chart to help children identify notes on the scale. The sound quality is great and it’s not too loud. It’s durable, at least that’s what parents of toddlers say as their children bang the piano rather than play, and there is even a case of a dog playing the piano, so it’s definitely durable! Children love music and are very happy to start playing, which is quite easy with this specially-sized piano. Suitable for children from 36 months to 7 years of life, but also for younger children, even babies and toddlers, if their parents play with them, of course.

All products include three AAA batteries.

Copyright © vox vocis. All rights reserved.


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    • Kierstin Gunsberg profile image

      Kierstin Gunsberg 

      5 years ago from Traverse City, Michigan

      Great list! Voted up and sharing. I love the Melissa + Doug piano, it's so stinkin' cute!

    • vox vocis profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks, thelyricwriter! Kids love musical toys and they usually are the best gifts for babies and toddlers :)

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      8 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. What a great article Vox! Very well written. Music has a lot of positive affects on us. As a lyric writer and music lover, I can clearly see the many benefits, even being so young. We all can relate to music and songs. I can also see how dancing can help at such an early age as well. Very useful article and very well written Vox. Great work! See you soon.


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