Numerous studies have shown a positive relationship between music and brain development in children. So, if you had a chance to positively impact your child’s development while enjoying music and spending time with them, wouldn’t you do it?
For Benni and me, music has always been a great way to have fun together! Hence, I would like to share with you my experience on the topic and give you a top 5 list of the best musical toys for toddlers and their parents.
The Top 5 Musical Toddler Toys – What Makes These Toys Great?
The toys I have chosen to include in this list get both of us, Benni and me, moving. As an added benefit—how can he get into trouble if we are jamming? If you have a more hands-on approach to caring for your child, choosing any of these toys is going to let you have fun with them.
Auris Glockenspiel Pentatonic
I’ll start by saying this—the price is a little steep on this toy on first impressions. However, we decided that it would be a good investment for Benni after showing his musical interest because it looked pretty solid. In terms of quality, it is more of a real instrument rather than a toy. Plus, it looked really cool and I figured I could enjoy it as much as he did.
You may be tempted to buy your toddler a cheap xylophone, but this instrument stands out for a few reasons:
- The sounds are not single-note like the average xylophone
- Even if your toddler bangs away at the glockenspiel (like my son has), any combination of keys makes a beautiful noise (that’s a huge benefit of the pentatonic tune of this instrument)
- It is visually beautiful to look at and definitely built to last, so you can put it away when your child tires of it. If they have a sibling, you may want to pass it on to another family member in the future.
- Benni is drawn to it—we strike it and he comes running, regardless of what he is doing at the time (Jokingly, my wife has even used it to call him for dinner).
V-Tech Pull and Sing Puppy
When my son was younger, this musical puppy was the perfect companion (and sometimes it is to this very day). Benni would pull him along on the little string, making music all the time. It mostly sits up on a shelf now, as Benni has grown up a little, but it was a worthwhile investment for the time that he did use it.
As you pull the puppy, its little legs move and it follows along behind you. It has over 60 melodies, songs, phrases and sounds and the option to store the pull cord when you are not using it. Once your child is past the crawling phase, there is also a learning option for this puppy. It teaches children about parts of the body, colors and numbers.
Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo
From making music to—a dance party! The best thing about this robot is that it dances along with you. It puts a big smile on Benni’s face—it’s one of his favorite toys and a sure fix any time that he’s having a bad day. More than likely, this is because of the lights and actions that BeatBo has.
Something else to mention is the different modes that BeatBo has. It’s loaded with features and in its earliest days in your child’s life, he/she will be most interested in the Dance’n Move function, which has energizing beats that will make your toddler move. Once your toddler starts learning, the Learning & Games function is a great choice. It has games like ‘Freeze Dance’ and teaches colors, counting and the ABC.
Mom’s favorite function was Customized Sing-Along. This mode lets her and Benni record themselves singing the ABCs, which my son got a kick out of!
8-Note Diatonic Note Musical Hand Bell Set (with Song Book)
Benni is really interested in music, so that’s an area that we try to encourage him to learn. I simply had to buy this set when I realized that the bells all created a unique pitch when played—and the included songbook is color-coded so it is easy to understand. Benni didn’t need to know how to read music to play the music.
Playing it the first few times was a great bonding experience, especially since I had to teach Benni how to play. I assigned him 2 of the bells at first and we played through some of the songs. Of course, we enjoyed just sitting and ringing 1 or 2 bells at a time, too.
V-Tech KidiBeats Drum Set
We received this as a gift for our son’s first birthday. In the first place, I was a bit skeptic: Drums!? Thank you! But I have to say, the V-Tech KidiBeats Drum Set is really cool.
Its recommended age range is around 24 months, but because of the lack of small parts, we let him have it a little sooner. Benni loved the set—you just turn it on and you can play on three different drums and hit the cymbals. It has a traditional drum sound but also has modes for music and even animal noises.
I have to confess that we lost one of the drumsticks a couple of weeks after opening it, but that didn’t stop him from having fun. The drum still lights up just as well each time he strikes one of the drum pads and I’ve hammered out a few drum solos on it as well (especially when we are playing ‘rock band’).
Probably one of the best things about this musical drum set for toddlers is that it will grow and learn with them. Benni has started exploring the different modes—there’s one reminiscent of “Simon Says” and another that helps learn the alphabet and numbers. His mother appreciates the quiet mode (you have to love toys with volume control!) and I appreciate the automatic shut off, which saves on batteries.
Musical Toys are awesome for kids to play with. They have a huge fun factor, while at the same time, they teach your kid about music and art. In today’s world, where everything is so techie, computerized and “objective”, I feel that it is important to teach my son about this area of life as well; as soon as possible.
Besides that: Musical toys are a great way to spend quality time with your kids! They are a great way to connect, and that is what this block is ultimately all about. Now, if music, musical toys and instruments aren’t your thing, I have written another blog post over here where I share with you my top 5 recommendations on how to spend quality time with your kid!
Thanks for reading! Enjoy life!!!
Hi Chris, thanks for sharing! Your blog post made me reflect a bit about how useful toys can be. In fact, we usually look at the TV ads for deciding what toy would our kid prefer but maybe it’s better to associate something educational to the fun. What toys do you recommend for 4 years children?
Hey Marta and thank you very much for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. Watching ads and then deciding what to get is a valid strategy as well; sure thing. It does leave you, however, with whatever “the industry” wants to sell to you 🙂 A while back I have posted an article about Top 10 Toys For 3 Year Olds And Their Dads. Most of these toys are good for four years old as well, as I have chosen them with idea in mind that 3 years old will be able to enjoy them when they get their dad’s (or mom’s) help. Hence, I am sure 4-year old will enjoy them as well 🙂
All the best to you and your family,
You totally impressed me!
While reading your content, I believed that you are truly affectionate and making a lot of effort to show love to your child, Benni.
I feel as though you also love music and that you want to pass it on to Benni. Playing with music is definitely a thing not all will learn unless it has been inculcated at younger years.
God bless you and the whole family!
Hey there 🙂 What a wonderful comment! Thank you so much! I’m super happy I could bring across how I feel and what is most important to me as a dad: My son!
Thank you so much for reading my article and taking the time to comment!
All the best to you and your loved ones,
I think anything musical is great for kids at an early age! they can learn so much for being exposed to this artform! like helping them grow creatively:)
Thanks for the awesome article:)
Thanks Jeremy! Much appreciated. Glad you liked my article. Gotta go and play some music with Benni now 🙂 Haha! All the best, chris
Chris, I love your site! Spending such quality time with your son Benni is great, and he must love the incorporation of music into your time together. I think music is a wonderful development tool, not to mention how much fun it is. The bell set is just divine. Chris I congratulate you on your site, and I will be visiting here often when I need gifts for little ones.
Hey Melissa! Thank you so much for reading my article and taking the time to comment. And thank you for the positivity. Looking forward to seeing you as a visitor again. If you follow me on my social media (e.g. facebook.com/thattoydad) you will never miss an article 🙂
All the best to you and your family,
Hi Chris! Very cute pic of what I think is your son with his guitar. I love the mohawk look. We are visual creatures, so the pic of the xylophone is nice. Ha-ha! Nice joke about your wife calling Benni to dinner with the xylophone. Keep your stories humorous. I love this. Overall, this was a great read. Keep up the great work!
Thank you so much, Sanetra 🙂 Glad you had fun with my article! The kid with the guitar isn’t exactly Benni, but I found this kid would be a really good fit for this article! Benni is still a bit younger. I own an electric guitar, but I’m honestly a bit afraid that he might break hit… I bought Benni a Ukulele instead (a real instrument, not a “toy guitar”, which was important to me), and he really likes it (even though he can’t really play it yet). The good thing about a Ukulele is that, by default, it is in tune when you strum it and doesn’t need any kind of finger placement to sound “right”, compared to a guitar. Did you know that?
I think my childhood had one of those pull and sing puppies. I loved pulling it to make music. I’m pretty sure mine was less technically advanced, but I recall pulling a toy to make it play music. How fun!
Hi Melinda. Sorry for my late response. Yeah, I guess most modern toys are technical a bit more advanced that they were back in the days. I do, however, not consider that a bad thing. Many toys are more fun this way. However, I try to keep things balanced: A good old, classic marble run or wooden building blocks also eat up big portions of our playing time. The key is to keep things balanced, I believe 🙂
All the best,
Hi Chris, Thank you for this great post. I loved that you and Benji have so much fun with all the musical instruments. Music is so important in anyone’s life and when introduced to a child early on is such fun. I gave my husbands Honer mouth organ to our grandson, Benjamin and he loves it. The great thing is that when he blows into it, the sound that comes out is pleasing and doesn’t drive everyone mad. Wishing you and Benji many happy musical occasions.
Hi Jill. Thanks for your kind comment! How cool that we are on the same page here 🙂 Benni’s full name is Benjamin as well, by the way! I’ll probably gonna get a mouth organ for him as well. Currently he loves his Ukulele (which is a real instrument, not a toy). It doesn’t sound exactly great, but he has so much fun playing it 🙂
All the best to your loved ones as well,
Oh my goodness I love the little hand bell set! I think my daughter would really enjoy those. What a fun and easy way to learn some music. Thank you for these suggestions! 🙂
Hey Sarae, how cool that you took the time to comment on this post! Thank you so much. I’m glad you liked it and I could provide some inspiration 🙂 All the best to you and your family, chris