From your child's first Fisher-Price tape player to musical instruments for the older child, musical play toys are some of the most satisfying of all childhood pastimes.
Benefits of Music Play
Recent research that relates learning music with improved spatial-temporal reasoning has motivated educators and parents to push for more music education for children. Further study suggests that passive listening to music does not have the strong effects on intelligence that come with actively making music.
In addition to the intellectual benefits of learning music, social and emotional benefits are obvious to any parent who has made music a part of family life. Parents can introduce music through a variety of musical toys and experiences that are enjoyable and fun, then let their child's own interest and aptitudes guide the choices of music lessons and activities.
Preschool Music Play
For the preschool child, begin with musical toys such as drums, bells, xylophones, or a rhythm band set. Your child will enjoy children's music CDs or tapes, and if you choose wisely, you will find that you enjoy them too! Check out the great Music for Little People online store to get some ideas.
Elementary School Music Play
For your early elementary child, consider musical instrument toys such as kid keyboard, guitar, clarinet, recorder, drum, or autoharp. These inexpensive toys will give you and your child clues to which instrument he wants to learn through formal lessons. Can't find these special toys at your local toy store? Shop the excellent selection at Doe-A-Deer Musical Instruments and Toys or Music for Kids.
As your child gets older, choosing music CDs that she likes, and that you can tolerate, gets more difficult. They outgrow the kiddie music, but you don't want them exposed to the negative influence of much of the teen pop music. Look for titles such as Top Pop for parent-friendly pop music for middle schoolers.
Best Kids' Toys