Musical Toys Buying Guide
When music, rhythm, and dance are incorporated into play, everybody has fun! Musical play helps
kids learn through repetition, song and movement. As a category, musical toys encompass children’s
instruments, toys that play music and toy instruments.
Children’s instruments can be used as beginners’ versions of the real thing, like guitars, pianos or banjos.
These are real instruments, but just kid-sized! Toys that play music can take a on variety of forms, from
musical baby toys to toddler activity sets that play music or encourage song. Toy instruments are pretend play
versions that just look or function like the real thing, like a toy saxophone with plastic buttons or a guitar that lights up.
Features to Consider
If you’re shopping for musical play toys - or toys in general that make sounds - you should consider
the volume of that item. Will the toy likely drive adults crazy with its bongs and bips? Many musical toys
feature volume controls, which can save parents some stress. Also think about where the musical toy
is likely to be used. Loud toys may be bad for apartment buildings and close living quarters or when
you are traveling in tight quarters.
The real musical instruments on our website are great for exploring and getting a feel for new
instruments. However, for an older child who has expressed a serious interest in learning guitar, drums,
accordion or whatever instrument he desires, we suggest a higher quality model than what we or other
toy stores carry. Why not check out a music website or your local music store!
Some Age Group Suggestions
Birth to 12 Months
1 to 3 Year Olds
- Plush toys that make music
Teething toys that make music
Rattles and shakers
4 to 8 Year Olds
Pretend play musical instruments make fun sounds that mimic the real thing
Musical play tables and interactive musical play stations let toddlers explore
Light and sound walkers and interactive toys that play music
Musical tub toys
- Real beginner instruments like guitars, pianos, keyboards and folk instruments
Real wind instruments like harmonicas, recorders, pan flutes and penny flutes
Top Developmental Benefits
Young children learn about cause and effect as they press buttons and hear sounds. When children begin
to play instruments, they learn about structuring songs, playing chords, and where the notes fit into scales.
Music and mathematics become intertwined, and musical students are known to score better on math
assessments than their non-musical peers.
Does musical play yield musical benefits? Of course - we shouldn't have to tell you that! When kids
experience sounds and rhythm through play, they enjoy learning! And making music, whether with
instruments or toys, encourages creativity and freedom while developing self expression in a healthy
and positive way.
Musical toys help kids build confidence and focus. Children can work out emotions by banging on a
drum or creating a tune on a toy piano. Time spent alone creating sounds and songs can open up new
worlds for children.
Types of Play
When left to explore musical toys on their own, children will find an opportunity for open-ended, creative
play! Composing and creating music is a wonderful creative exercise, allowing kids to push their limits,
explore their imagination, and develop skills that continue to lead to even more creative expression.
Practicing with a toy instrument is wonderfully manipulative. Kids develop fine motor skills and coordination
as they pluck the strings on a guitar and tap out rhythms on a drum. Early learning musical toys
encourage kids to press buttons and make sounds, while baby and toddler toys develop gross and fine