Toys to Encourage Musical Play.

In all my training as a music teacher, it is often reiterated that music supports all types of learning. Early musical experiences support brain development, promote creativity and nurture the parent-child relationship.

Below are my recommendations for some fun musical toys that encourage musical play. To really optimize brain development, it’s important that children are allowed to become music MAKERS — not just passive listeners. You will also notice that my recommendations include authentic types of instruments and toys that allow your child to create music in realistic, genuine ways. (This post contains affiliate links.)



We actually keep a set of these egg shakers in the car. Since they don’t make an overly loud or obnoxious sound, I don’t mind at all when the kids go nuts with them when I crank their favorite Raffi tunes.



This adorable toy piano is what we gave Yaya on her first birthday, and it is now Baby Boy’s absolute favorite toy. He loves to bang away on it, and then give himself a standing ovation. The piano is an important instrument in our house, and both our kids love being able to “imitate” mom at their own pint sized piano.



Drums are just FUN for kids, am I right? (Maybe not so fun for us moms….) I use these gathering drums to teach rhythm in my piano group classes, and their large size allows both Yaya and Baby Boy to gather around and have at it.


Both our kids gravitated to these small hand drums when we participated in Music Together class. I think they love being able to move around while still banging away.


Bongo drums are fun for kids since there are TWO surfaces to bang on:



A set of rhythm instruments is a fantastic way to provide your little one with some variety for an affordable price. This set from Hohner includes a tambourine, triangle, rhythm sticks, cymbals and a wood sounder.9105IvWRqXL._SY450_


Moving to music is SO important — it encourages the development of rhythm and musical expression….and it’s a good way to keep your child active when the weather is bad outside!  I keep a set of these movement scarves in my piano studio, and while I’m busy setting up my classes, I turn on some music for Yaya and let her dance around.


No matter what types of musical toys you select for your little one — be sure to keep them accessible and give him plenty of free, unstructured time to play with them!



  1. Music fills our lives, whether at home or in the van. These are wonderful suggestions for music instruments. Thanks for sharing via Family Fun Friday!

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