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Creative Child

How to: Buying the Right Baby Musical Toys

By, Joe Kanooga

Musical toys make wonderful gifts but how do you know which ones are right for your kids? These toys offer more than just fun and entertainment; they are also one of the best kids learning toys available. But the challenge is to provide kids with age-appropriate toys that can challenge them and motivate them to engage in active play time. This article provides some facts to help you know how to buy the right musical toys for your kids from the baby years to school age years.

Musical toys come in various forms. From newborn babies up to teenagers, there is something to fit every child's needs. For young babies, simple rattles and shakers are appealing. In the early years, the best kids learning toys are the ones that meet multiple needs with the same toy. For example, a toy can provide both soft plush characters with musical features, giving kids a new friend with a smiling face and a soft cuddly body that makes musical sounds when played with. Other toys combine musical elements into teething rings, interesting textures, squeaky parts, and colorful inter-active options. Look for toys with a variety of textures, colors, sounds, moving parts or lights. Babies and toddlers get more use from these multi-faceted toys because they meet different needs.

Baby InstrumentsLike with any toys, there are safety considerations, especially with babies and toddlers. The ideal size is a toy that is all one piece, too big to be swallowed yet lightweight so they are easy to grasp. Avoid toys with small pieces that can pose a choking hazard. Even toys that are all one piece should be durable enough to avoid the risk of small pieces or buttons that could break off to become choking hazards. Since the little guys put everything in their mouths, the toys should have smooth surfaces. Wooden painted toys should use only lead-free paint.

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Kids of all ages like toys they can interact with. Some musical toys encourage interaction by playing different tunes depending on how they are touched. For babies and toddlers, musical toys are available with flashing lights and other interactive options. For added benefits, look for toys that combine musical tones with color coded buttons which can help teach color recognition. Older babies and toddlers enjoy selecting their favorite songs by recognizing the appropriate buttons.

From about three years old, kids are ready to be introduced to small musical instruments. These classic kids learning toys introduce them to a variety of ways to make sounds, from rattling tambourines, clashing cymbals, clacking wood pieces, and vibrating triangles. Even though kids cannot read music, that is okay because many of these toys include color coded notes and pictures for early note recognition.

Some musical toys have optional song sheets for kids who want to play music on their own. Melissa and Doug is a popular brand that offers a variety of wooden musical toys that provide excellent quality musical sounds and are specially designed for young kids.

For older children, toys begin to transition into expensive musical instruments, which are the ultimate kids learning toys. While younger children might not want to pick out a tune or follow notes, school-aged kids love to play solos. They readily learn the underlying math concepts of whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and so on.

Counting is also important to making the right tune. From a recorder or keyboard to guitar or violin, a lifetime of learning and enjoyment can lie ahead. To select the right instrument, parents should follow the child's lead on taking up an instrument, as this is more likely to ensure commitment and all-important practicing.

Related Article: 7 Ways To Raise A Musical Baby

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