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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best musical toy for toddlers is, I’d recommend the Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano.
Musical toys are a great idea for toddlers. They are engaging and can be a great way to introduce your child to music. It can be hard to know which are the best musical toys for toddlers with so many options. So we’ve compiled this list filled with some great choices to help you find the right one for your child.
Here are the Musical Toys for Toddlers I will be reviewing:
The Benefits Of Musical Toys
Before we look at the musical toys on offer, let’s take a moment to talk about the benefits of musical toys. There is actually a lot of scientific evidence to support the idea that musical toys are advantageous for toddlers.
Develop Motor Skills
Both playing music and dancing to music can help your child practice their motor skills. Co-ordinating their body to move to a rhythm uses their gross motor skills. Clapping or banging a drum works on fine motor skills. Any toy that encourages these sorts of activities will have a positive effect on your child’s development.
Help Their Brain Development
A five-year study at USC showed that children who learn to play an instrument have accelerated brain development. This extra development was seen in the areas of the brain responsible for speech, listening, language, and reading.
To maximize these benefits, it’s accepted that children should start to learn an instrument before the age of seven. Musical toys are a great way to spark a child’s interest in music and prepare them to learn an instrument once they’re ready.
Build A Strong Relationship With Your Child
We all know that spending time with our children is essential. But what we do with our children is important too. Research has shown that sharing music with your child is a predictor that you will have a positive relationship with them when they are older.
Musical toys are a great tool for encouraging you to share music and singing with your child. It’s a good habit to get into and will reap benefits for both of you.
What To Consider When Choosing a Musical Toy
Now that we know the importance of musical toys, it’s time to develop some criteria to help narrow the choices. There’s no perfect answer here. You know your child best, and what would appeal to them. These are some of the most common options that you might want to consider.
Type Of Music
There are three general categories of music you find with toys that play music.
The first is nursery rhymes and well-known kids’ songs. This is things like ‘Old Macdonald’ or ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider.’ These are good for singing with your child. You can also do the motions that go along with them.
Classical music is another choice. These are often less grating on your ears. Nursery rhymes can get annoying quickly. Classical music tends to be more bearable, even when you’re hearing it for the 100th time that morning. Whether you enjoy the music matters too. Your child will pick up on cues from you, and if you really hate the music in their toy, they’re going to notice.
The final option is pop/jazzy music. These can be totally new tunes or new versions of songs, you know. How you feel about these is a personal thing. I enjoy these ones, but I know I will be hearing them in my dreams if there are lyrics.
The volume you prefer and the volume your child likes is likely to be at odds. That’s why it’s a great idea to look for toys with volume controls. That way, you can turn the sound up or down as you need to.
Passive or Active
There are two classes of musical toys. There are more passive ones, where the toy plays music for your child. The more active ones involve your child making the music. This could be by pressing keys on a piano or banging a drum. Both are good, but you need to think about which will appeal most to your child.
Are you looking for something that is going to actively teach your toddler skills? Or do you just want to get them excited about music? Some toys can do both, but they usually lean one way or the other.
You don’t always have to go for the educational option. Choosing something that they will love is a good choice and can be a choice that will make them want to learn when they’re older.
On The Go Or At Home
Do you want a musical toy for when you’re out and about, in the car, for instance? Or is this going to be an at-home toy? This can really help you to narrow your choices.
The Toy’s Lifespan
Toys that are perfect for your child right now might not last that long. It can get expensive to keep buying toys that are perfectly matched to their age.
The alternative is to look for toys that can be played with in more than one way. Choosing a toy with features that your child will grow into can keep it a favorite toy for longer. It can be worth considering toys that have functions that your child doesn’t need right now, but they will love in a year or two.
My Musical Toys For Toddlers Reviews
We’ve reviewed a wide range of toys for your music loving toddler below.
If you’re looking for a toy to introduce your toddler to the world of playing music, then this is a great option. Younger toddlers will love being able to touch the board to make different sounds. As they get older, they can be more selective and make the sounds they want. Older toddlers and preschoolers can learn to play songs and get an introduction to reading music. It’s a great toy that kids will keep coming back to.
The piano is a magic touch. This means that there are no keys to get broken or for crumbs to get stuck under. Instead, the keyboard is a single piece of smooth wood. The keys are bright and colorful.
A button on the piano will play music if pressed, which adds a nice extra element.
The piano comes with three pieces of ‘sheet music.’ These cards have a score and color-coded musical notes. This introduces your child to the idea of reading music and lets them learn the introductions to six different songs. It’s not going to turn them into Mozart and teach them entire songs, but it is an excellent way to extend this musical toy’s lifetime.
The only thing to be aware of with this toy is that it is not designed for toddlers to pull themselves up on. If your little one is still grabbing everything to stand up, you will have to watch them with this toy. If they pull down on the keyboard, it will tip over towards them.
The look of this little piano is great. It’s a kid’s toy that you’ll be happy to have out in your living room. The design is cute and appealing. It’s the sort of thing that both kids and adults alike will find hard to resist.
This is a great little activity table. With the legs on it’s the right height for toddlers to use comfortably. For younger children, you can easily remove the legs to put it on the floor.
The table has over 70 different songs and musical responses, so it’s engaging for your child. The variety is a plus for the parents too. Included are some classics like ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ and ‘Old Macdonald.’ The versions this toy plays are upbeat and jazzy. You’ll find yourself humming them after a while.
There are instruments to interact with on the table which make realistic sounds. These include piano, trombone, xylophone, and guitar. Pressing the instruments and getting a response is an excellent way for toddlers to learn about cause and effect.
The ‘book’ in the center of the table allows you to change the mode by turning the page. As well as the music mode, there is a learning one as well. This introduces your child to colors, numbers, and their ABCs. There is also the option to toggle the language between English and Spanish.
This is another option that offers a long lifetime. The recommended ages are 6 – 36 months, so it’s a good investment, over a toy that your child will quickly grow out of.
Being able to remove the legs and put it flat on the floor is good. However, once you start using it with the legs, you should be aware that it is not designed for kids to pull up to standing on.
You will need to consider where you are putting this table with care. The feet slide quite easily when kids lean on it. It works best if you can put it on a thick carpet or with one side against a wall.
This lovely toy is a great way to introduce a toddler to music and nursery rhymes and to encourage a love of books.
The book is made of thick and durable plastic. It stands up to all the abuse that a toddler can throw at it. It’s also easy to wipe clean and will survive a trip inside a toddler’s mouth, with no problems.
The pages are thick and have tabs to help with turning the pages. From a young age, kids will be able to practice turning the pages themselves. On each of the pages inside the book, there is something to fiddle with. This could be something your child twists or slides. It’s a useful feature for encouraging toddlers to practice their fine motor skills.
As well as the book pages, there are 5 piano buttons on the side of the book. These buttons introduce colors and instruments to your child. They also play music when pressed.
Whenever the book is making music or sounds, a star lights up and keeps young kids’ attention focused. All in all, this toy is good for engaging kids for a significant chunk of time.
There are two main drawbacks to this toy. The first is the volume. There is a volume control button, which is excellent. But, the loudest setting is very loud. It can be a little overwhelming for some toddlers and their parents too.
The other niggle parents have with this book is the pictures of the people. There is a distinct lack of diversity, which can make this toy less appealing.
This toy is a nice combination toy. If your child likes hitting things (what toddler doesn’t?) and they also like music, then this is the perfect combination.
The balls can be hit or pushed through the holes. They then drop on to the xylophone and roll down it, making nice tinkling sounds as they go. This is a great way to help toddlers develop an understanding of cause and effect.
Your child will probably end up using their hands to push the balls through. The mallet has a plastic head, which is good for avoiding injuries, but not so good for knocking the balls through the holes efficiently. It can take a good 20 hits to get the ball through. But the mallet does work well on the xylophone.
The balls are wooden and feel solid in your hand. This is a plus for the toy and durability. However, if you have a toddler who throws everything they get their hands on, that’s why you avoid this toy. There’s enough weight that these would hurt if thrown at you.
The xylophone is nice and colorful and easily slides out for standalone play.
The downside to this toy is that all the pieces are separate. There is nothing that joins any of the parts together. So you have to be prepared to keep an eye on the balls, mallet, and xylophone to make sure they end up back together at the end of playtime.
If you’re a fan of classical music and find most of the music from kids’ toys hard to stand, this is a great option. This cube plays 8 different pieces of Mozart music.
The buttons around the side of the cube either play individual instruments or the whole orchestra. Your child can listen to the individual instruments to learn how they sound and how they combine to play together.
Pressing one instrument starts a song played by that one instrument. Press another instrument, and it joins in with the first. You can keep pushing until all the instruments are playing. As a parent, this is nice because every button press doesn’t start a new song.
As the music plays, the light inside the cube flashes. It goes along with the beat of the music, so it’s an excellent introduction to the idea of rhythm. The only niggle with it is that the light glows the same color though all the buttons, even though the buttons are different colors. It just feels like a missed opportunity.
If your child likes to sit and listen to music, then this is a great toy. However, if they are more interested in making music or are quite active, then they may get bored with this toy quite quickly. It’s more of a passive toy than an active one. So, it’s great for some quiet music time. It just might not be a match for every toddler.
If you’re looking at musical toys for toddlers, then you had to know there would be a drum kit in the mix somewhere. You may have an opinion on drum kits already, especially if a ‘thoughtful’ relative already bought you one. If you don’t like noise, then this is not for you.
If you’re still here, then let’s talk about this drum set. What’s really lovely about this drum set is that it is actually a set of percussion instruments. There are a total of five instruments in this set. As well as the main drum, there is a slide whistle, castanets, shaker egg, and tambourine. The smaller percussion instruments fit inside, the larger drum for storage, which is a really nice touch.
The big drum, which is going to be the most loved piece, is well designed. There is a strap that allows your child to carry the drum around their neck so they can march around while they bang on it. The skin of the drum is made from clear plastic. It’s durable, and the sound it makes isn’t too obnoxious.
The drum is big enough that it’s easy to hit, but it will help your child develop their hand-eye coordination. The smaller instruments are at a size that will work for younger toddlers too. The whistle is an excellent addition as it requires both breath control and coordination, so it helps your child practice multiple skills.
The small instruments and the drumsticks are made from a nice tactile plastic. This makes them fun to play with for younger children. This is a nice set if you have more than one child. There is something for everyone to play with together.
As a word of warning – if you buy this as a present, you might want to unpackage it before gifting it. The toys are all individually packed, and it can be a little hard to get everything open. It takes some time before you’re up and running.
This simple little toy is a great option for when you’re out and about. It’s small and compact, so it can easily fit in a bag.
This toy is essentially just a kid-friendly music player. The large button on the front makes a satisfying click as you change through the 10 songs on offer. They are all well known classical pieces, which you will recognize. There are also two volume settings and an off switch, features that are welcome on any musical toy.
As the music plays, some lights dance on the screen, which keeps little ones engaged. The lights flash along with the music’s tempo, which is a good way to introduce ideas about rhythm.
There are colorful beads that are perfect for your little one to play with on the handle of the toy.
This is a really simple toy, but it has all the features that appeal to young kids – The lights, the music, and something to fiddle with. It really is a well thought out toy.
The only issue that some parents have found with this toy is that the button that the child presses has a sticker on it. This sticker can come away if you get it wet to clean the toy. Also, it won’t stand up to a child picking at it.
This is a good choice if you are looking for a small portable toy that plays music. If you are looking for something more exciting with many functions that this will not be the right option.
This fun toy packs a lot of different features into a reasonably compact toy. Kids spin the center to pick a letter. A song and a message play depending on where it lands.
As the ball spins, some lights flash. There are also balls that your child can watch inside the spinner. They make a pleasing sound and are fun to watch.
The message that plays will depend on the mode the toy is in. In music mode, it will play a song and encourage your child to get up and dance. In alphabet mode, it plays a quick tune, says the letter’s name, plays the tune again, and then makes the letter sound. In animal mode, it follows the same pattern, only with the animal name and sound instead.
The tune that plays between the letters and animals is the same every time, which does get quite repetitive. This is an issue for parents more than the kids. Thankfully there is a volume control.
The fact that this toy makes animal sounds and letter sounds is really great for speech development. Practicing these sounds will help your child to learn to speak clearly as they grow.
There are some unusual choices of animals. For instance, Q for Queen Bee is not the best choice. Some animals don’t have a ‘sound’; instead they have a sound effect, e.g., splashing for a narwhal.
There are little extra ‘twiddly’ toys on the base as well as the main spinning section. There is a bee to slide from side to side and a pop-up and down rabbit and frog. It adds up to a toy with a lot of fascinating features that will keep your child occupied.
This is a great toy for keeping your little one engaged. It can be a little for any adults who have to spend long periods in a room with it.
This kid’s piano is a great introduction to learning to play an instrument. It’s packed full of features and does more than you might expect from a kid’s keyboard.
The piano can be used in four different modes – piano, violin, xylophone, and saxophone. This lets your kid explore the different sounds. Changing mode is done using a big slider at the top of the keyboard, so it is easy, even for young kids.
There are buttons to press that make the keyboard play a selection of songs. These are split into two sections – sing along and play along. The sing-along songs encourage your child to sing into the microphone that comes with the keyboard. The cord is a little short, but that’s for safety reasons. It might get frustrating as your child gets older, though.
The play-along songs make the keyboard light up to show your child which buttons to press so that they can play the music too. It’s a nice feature to help your child learn to play. The lights on this toy do turn on a lot, so it can be very stimulating.
As well as the keyboard and microphone, there is a plastic record disk that sounds like a DJ record scratch, the zebra’s tail makes the sound of an electric guitar, and there is a spinning ball on the zebra’s head. So, a lot is going on, and there’s a lot for your child to explore.
This is an excellent toy for keeping little one engaged. It makes a lot of noise and flashes a lot, so it can be overstimulating for some kids.
This is a drum kit that comes with volume controls. The most common concern about the volume, from parents, is that it isn’t loud enough. Which might make it more appealing to parents who usually avoid drums like the plague.
This cute little drum kit aims to be more than just a drum kit. It comes with many different modes that help your child develop a range of skills. There is the memory mode where you have to remember the order the drums lit up in. There is a counting mode that helps to teach them numbers. There’s even an ABCs mode!
With all the settings, it does mean you have to hunt for the option to play it without background music. It also likes to encourage your child to keep playing. So even if it’s not been hit for a while, it will keep talking until you turn it off.
Younger children will enjoy being able to hit the pads to make sounds and lights appear. It works without the sticks, so you don’t have to worry too much if they go walkabout, which they probably will. Older kids will be able to make use of all the different modes. This means it has a longer lifespan than it otherwise might.
The pads are very responsive and don’t need a lot of force to play.
The drum kit is on the small side, which is not necessarily bad, just something to be aware of. Its smaller size does make it a good toy to practice hand-eye coordination.
This kid’s piano has loads of really great features. There are also a couple of things that might put some parents off. If they don’t bother you, then it is a topnotch little toy. If they bug you, though, it will be one to avoid.
This compact little toy has a drum kit, xylophone, and piano all in one. Both the xylophone and piano can be played in different modes. This gives you different instrument sounds as well as colors, numbers, and animals.
This brings us to one of the concerns some parents have. The voice has a Chinese accent, which is not an issue until you get the word for ‘horse.’ With the speaker’s accent it may sound, to some ears, like it’s saying ‘whores’. This might be a deal-breaker for some parents. Others may find it funny. But, now you know so you can decide which camp you fall into.
The drums have a couple of different modes to play with. First is a simple drum kit mode. The next option is a follow along mode. In this, it uses lights to show which drums to hit in order, and you have to copy it. A final mode is a whack-a-mole option – the drums light up, and you have to hit it as fast as possible. I say you because we all know that these two games will probably be played by the adults in the house as much as the kids.
The drums sticks that come with the toy have a storage space on the bottom of the piano, which is a really lovely touch. Unfortunately, they are on the small side, and it’s not beyond some kids’ ability to get them in their mouths. So you do have to take some care with them.
For a small toy, it has a lot of exciting and enjoyable features. You just have to be aware of its ‘quirks’ before deciding if it’s right for your family.
This is an entertaining, little interactive music toy. It’s the kind of toy that parents will probably want to have a play with as well because it’s genuinely quite interesting and attractive.
The toy has four holders that you can put different pods into. Each pod represents a different instrument. It has three play modes that change how the pods are used.
In the music mode, your child can mix their own song. They can choose the instruments, how many of them, the style of music, and the tempo. Rocktopus will mix up this information to make a fun light and music show.
The number mode asks your child to do some simple addition and subtraction by taking instruments in and out of his arms. There is also a whack-a-mole setting where your child has to hit whichever instrument is flashing orange.
Rocktopus comes with an impressive selection of 15 different instrument pods that you can put in his tentacles. However, there is no storage for these included. So if you plan to get this toy, you should also have a quick think about storing all the bits so that they don’t get lost.
There is an app to go along with the toy that lets you make music videos to go with the music. However, I don’t think it adds much, especially for a toddler toy. It feels a little bit more like something added to tick a box. It’s certainly not a reason to buy this toy if you otherwise wouldn’t
After a little bit of playing, you can see why this won the toy of the year award in 2019. It’s fun and interesting. It teaches your child some skills and is bright and colorful. You just need to have a plan for storing all of the music pods; otherwise it might be a source of frustration instead of fun.
I love wooden toys. They provide a nice alternative to plastic toys. That said, the look of this toy might appeal to parents more than children. Plastic toys are popular because they are bright and colorful. These toys have a lot to offer, though, so I think it’s worth giving them a try.
This lovely set of wooden instruments it nicely thought out. There is a range of instruments that are safe for young children to play with. There are castanets, an assortment of shakers, bells, and a tambourine.
This set is a lovely introduction to percussion instruments. The variety of sounds that can be made will keep older toddlers engaged and would be great for using during sing-a-longs.
The size of these instruments is just right for little hands. The textures on the different instruments will also appeal to younger toddlers who just want to explore them.
If you are looking for a simple musical toy that is easy for any toddler to pick up and play with, this is an excellent choice. It’s ideal for playing with your child and having some music time. If you are looking for something all singing and dancing, then this is not the right choice.
This is a great musical play mat. It can play musical notes, songs, or animal sounds, all with the touch of a foot, hand, or bum!
This is a lovely mat for toddlers because they can play with it while they are crawling and once they start walking. It’s a really simple way to introduce them to the idea of cause and effect. They press a button, and it makes a sound.
The only thing to be aware of is that the mat can be a little slippy to use. So kids who aren’t steady on their feet need to be supervised. To get the best results, you’ll want to use it on a grippy surface like a carpet. It’s also best to have bare feet, as this will give you the best grip while walking on it.
The playmat has an adjustable volume dial, which is a very nice feature. It means you can set the volume how you want, it’s not just a choice of loud or quiet. This means both parents and kids can be happy.
The mat is sized for toddlers. That means it is around 40 inches (1m) in length. So, it’s not huge. Personally, I think this is a bonus. It makes it easier to find a clear space to put it. It is something to be aware of. Often when people envision a piano playmat like this, they imagine something a lot larger. For a toddler, though, it’s just right.
This is a fantastic budget option if you are looking for a toddler’s musical toy but don’t want to spend too much money.
This toy is a soft, snuggly character. When you press the button on his tummy, he plays upbeat, pop-style music. The songs are catchy and fun. His tummy lights up, and the lights flash in time to the songs. He’s sort of like a portable toddler dance party.
The music is fun, and the voice is upbeat and not too annoying. However, the clips of music that play are quite short. This means you or your child will have to keep pressing the button to keep the party going.
As you might expect from a budget toy, it doesn’t have a large repertoire of music. You are going to hear the same five songs and catchphrases a lot. Fortunately, though, there is a volume control so you can turn the volume down before you lose your mind.
A real plus with this toy is that it’s machine washable. You can remove the sound and lightbox and pop it through the wash. If this does become your little one’s favorite cuddly toy, it’s going to need a wash at some point.
Because of its small size, it’s a good toy for going out and about with. There’s no attachment to go on a stroller, but if that’s an issue, you could easily tie a string on him.
The Top Pick
My top choice for a musical toy for toddlers is the Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano. It’s a toy that toddlers can use to both play and listen to music. The single-piece keyboard means it’s easy to keep clean, unlike other options that offer the same features. The sheet music means it will have a longer lifetime and introduces your child to the idea of reading music, something that none of the other options do.