Let me guess… your kids have hundreds upon hundreds of toys that they probably don’t play with after 2-3 times. Trucks, cars, baby dolls, strollers, Barbies, Shape blocks, Legos (on Legos on Legos), etc. Most families that I know of have entertainment, non educational toys beyond imagine. Granted, most have many educational toys as well, but how many families do you know that have more than one or two musical toys in their home? Maybe a baby’s electronic trumpet toy, a children’s electric piano, a plastic drum that came with other small instruments inside of it? These are all great and I have absolutely nothing against having them for your children! But there are more options that you can have in your home to expose your children to music that are inexpensive, acoustic (which basically means not electronic), and can be used for social and educational purposes. We’ve compiled a list of 18 instruments and where to find them to help you bring music into your home!
Glockenspiel- Glockenspiels are fantastic instruments! Most are color coded and allow for early music reading with color-coded music! They are small and easy to travel (and not too, too loud either) which makes a great instrument for car rides! http://www.westmusic.com/p/sounds-like-fun-glockenspiel-204754
Remo Sound Shapes Pack- Sound shape drums are great for babies and toddlers! They make learning shapes and colors even more fun! Hold up two options and ask them to hit the one you want. They’ll be identifying shapes and colors in no time! http://www.westmusic.com/p/remo-sound-shapes-ss-3000-05-shape-pack-204617
Remo Kids Ocean Disc- Ocean drums are soothing and relaxing while also intriguing for little ones or children with special needs! The best kind are the drums that have one side clear and one side covered, it allows for both drumming without distraction on the covered side and the soothing seen of the beads running over the drum head on the transparent side. http://www.westmusic.com/p/remo-kids-make-music-et-0108-8s-sd051-ocean-disc-204757
Remo Baby Drum- Basically, this is a “My First Drum”. The best part about this specific one is that it is a higher quality than the plastic drums and the mallet is double sided which allows for sounds no matter what the rotation of the wrist, there will be an auditory response and reward! This is great for learning cause and effect. http://www.westmusic.com/p/remo-kids-make-music-hd-2005-lk-baby-drum-200923
Harmonica- Harmonicas are fantastic for respiratory strength building as well as oral motor control. And sorry parents… they can get quite annoying when overplayed, but believe me… it’s worth the noise when you see the smiles and hear the creativity! https://www.toysrus.com/product?productId=52374016
Violin- String instruments of any kind benefit a child’s fine motor skills and cognitive functioning. Most stringed instruments (cello, violin, etc.) do not have frets which then requires spatial awareness on the instrument to make the correct sounds. They are educational and have the potential for growth with lessons! https://www.walmart.com/ip/4-4-Violin-Fiddle-Basswood-Steel-String-Arbor-Bow-Stringed-Instrument-for-Music-Lovers-Beginners/153098045
Rhythm Drum Sticks- Rhythm sticks are fun for gross motor exercises or just to click and clack! They are also fantastic for grip work with little ones. You can even buy them fairly cheap in bulk for playdates or mommy groups! https://www.walmart.com/ip/KKmoom-Pair-of-Rhythm-Drum-Sticks-Birch-Kid-Children-Musical-Toy-Gift-Percussion-Instrument/915668346
Recorder- Recorders are awesome for breathing and oral motor work. THey also benefit fine motor movements by covering up the holes to make different pitches. https://www.walmart.com/ip/White-ABS-Resin-Instrument-Children-Musical-Soprano-Recorder-Long-Flute/253971620
Melissa & Doug® Musical Instruments Sound Puzzle- Puzzles are obviously a great cognitive and fine motor workout. This puzzle specifically rewards the child with sound the second they get it correct! https://www.target.com/p/melissa-doug-174-musical-instruments-sound-puzzle-wooden-peg-puzzle-8pc/-/A-50989767#lnk=newtab
Melodica- Like the recorder and harmonica, the melodica works on breath control and fine motor control. It is a combination of a piano and a harmonica! It is fun and entertaining for pretty much everyone! https://www.target.com/p/schoenhut-piano-25-key-melodica-blue/-/A-13513330#lnk=newtab
Acoustic Guitar or Ukulele- Guitars and ukuleles are just generally fun to have around the house! It can be a relaxing instrument for you and your child to just pick up and play, but it also has the potential for lessons and life-long use in the future. Guitar lessons are offered for all ages, so think about buying a few so everyone can have one! https://www.target.com/p/adam-levine-by-first-act-acoustic-guitar-pack-multicolored-al363/-/A-13669631#lnk=newtab
Boomwhackers- I. LOVE. BOOMWHACKERS. I cannot say enough good things about them! We have a blog already about the benefits of Boomwhackers both in the home and in the classroom. Click here to read “Make it a Boomwhacker kind of day!”. https://www.target.com/p/boomwhackers-wack-pack-bell-tuned-percussion-tubes-em757/-/A-14648964#lnk=newtab
Piano/Keyboard- Pianos are great for fine motor work and cognitive improvement. This goes for anyone at any age. The piano is one of those instruments that can be adapted, so it’s never too late to learn! Lessons are offered for all ages! For little ones, try to find one with the colored keys. This makes learning easier! https://www.target.com/p/melissa-doug-174-learn-to-play-classic-grand-piano-with-30-keyscolor-coded-songbookand-non-tip-bench/-/A-10259242#lnk=newtab
Remo Floor Drum- Floor drums are great for taking turns and even social group activities! Gather around the drum and play together with your hands or take turns with the mallets! Great for playdates with little ones or just individual play as well! You can use the mallets for loud play or take them away and encourage using hands or fingers for quiet play! https://www.target.com/p/remo-kid-s-7-5-x10-floor-tom/-/A-50724168#lnk=newtab
Tambourine- Tambourines are gret for both gross and fine motor movement! You can tap on the drum head or you can tap it on your hip or hand. It’s a great instrument to use while listening to the radio or TV! https://www.target.com/p/remo-pretuned-tamborine-8-set-jingles-white-ta521000/-/A-11049840#lnk=newtab
Drumset- Parents… this may not be your favorite thing to have in your house, but boy will it bring about creativity! Percussion and rhythm are fantastic for children with ADHD or other attention disorders because it allows freedom but can be structured at the same time! If you have a little extra change laying around, invest in an electronic drumkit (they can be as cheap as $150 if you look in the right places!). https://www.target.com/p/gp-percussion-gp50-3-pc-complete-junior-drum-set-metallic-red/-/A-10579997#lnk=newtab
Lollipop Drum- Lollipop drums are great for hand-eye coordination and movement activities. The child can hold the drum themselves, or the parent can hold the drum and move it around to work on targeting, eye-tracking, etc. I use this a lot for gross motor movement even while recorded music is playing. https://www.target.com/p/remo-kids-lollipop-drum-8-diameter/-/A-11049822#lnk=newtab
Piano Dance Mat- These are the best! This is such a fun and motivating way for your children to get up and moving! They come in all shapes and size, for all ages! I promise you that floor piano mats will entertain for hours! https://www.amazon.com/Click-Play-Selectable-Instruments-Demo-mode/dp/B00ZIW4AZ6/ref=pd_day0_21_1/141-0951595-0467729?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=MSYB7G2BSKC154SA6S3F
A few other good sources for instruments is Music in Motion and West Music (I mostly included Target and Walmart since they are literally everywhere). Having music in your home exposes your children to all different types of emotional and creative outlets. It will increase their hand-eye coordination and their motor skills, no matter what their age. Music has so many benefits. Especially for our youth! Get your kids some of these instruments and even better, get them signed up for some lessons! Children as young as 3 can begin to take music lessons at most music centers. If you are in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area, we can help you with that! We offer music lessons for all ages and abilities, so get you and your child signed up today! If you are not in the area we serve, check out your local community music centers or comment below where you are and we can help you!
Do you know of any other instruments parents should have in their homes? Let us know in the comments below!
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