As a dad, I ‘m sure that the sheer amount of musical toys on the market leaves you dumbfounded. Hilton Music Center Inc. is one of the authority sites on this topic. We all like the idea of bringing music to our children, but which resources should we buy? Does my 3-year-old kid really need a guitar for $300? I will try to significantly simplify the process for you as a practising musician and father of a toddler who is currently grappling with this issue in a way that will save you money without sacrificing the musical explorations of your boy. My focus will be on offering cool alternatives (wood, handmade, Fair Trade, Eco-Friendly) to the cheesy plastic tools sold at most toy stores. I like the concept of discovering resources with staying power — those that have the ability to be played for a lifetime if they survive the years of the toddler — or can be saved as keepsakes at least. After 5 years of age, the toy drum adorned with famous cartoon characters will not have much use, and is intended for a landfill.
The first thing I would do is to make musical toys different from musical instruments. I describe a musical instrument as any device that has a clear connection between the behaviour and the pitch of a child for clarification. Hitting a drum, plucking a string, hitting a key, or blowing air through it all result in the development of a tone or pitch, for example. I’m also going to go one step further and say there has to be a way to play a real melody on the toy (note for note) in a way that resembles a real musical instrument (excluding drums and percussion instruments such as shakers). This is hard to put into words, but as you read on, it will become very simple.
Working from this definition, most Musical Tables and Toy Guitars do not count as musical instruments with no strings and plenty of flashy buttons. I’m not saying these toys are terrible or useless (purists would disagree vehemently)-they’re just not musical instruments. We have an activity table that I thought I would hate, but I started to see some benefit when I noticed my son learning more stuff on it and “commanding it”. He was able to perform the ‘Counting to Ten Song’ and the ‘Alphabet Song’ at 2 as he sang along. Nevertheless, we strive to keep at a minimum the flashy battery-operated toys.
I should note that handmade and imported are some of the alternate tools. To ensure that they are not made with hazardous materials, a few of the distributors screen the products. If you have questions or concerns regarding a specific tool, please contact the shop directly before purchasing it.
I should also note that this article is only intended to be a small guide to get your quest underway. There is obviously no way to cover every musical instrument on the market, but hopefully my research will save you a lot of time and help you make sound (pun intended) purchase decisions.