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“Please, please buy the loudest toy for my child,” said no parent – unless, of course, this toddler musically inclined to be the next Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Mozart, or whoever in between. Some of the best musical gifts for kids don’t have to come in the form of shiny plastic instruments or (worse) a baby shark singing toy with no stop button. Whether you’re buying from pint-sized producers or elementary-aged audiophiles, there are plenty of cool toys out there for the youngest music lovers in your life.
Here, we’ve rounded up some of the coolest musical toys for kids of all ages – check out our top picks below.
1. Blipblox toy synthesizer
We wouldn’t blame you for stealing a toy from a 3-year-old, especially if it’s that fully functional synthesizer from San Francisco. Blipblox. (French composer Jean-Michel Jarre, Canadian musician Tyler Armes and Dani Thorne are fans.) Created by an electrical engineer, the device allows children (and adults) to create their own rhythms by pulling a lever or by pushing a button. It contains over 300 melodies, 12 oscillator modulation schemes, a low pass filter, two envelope generators, a built-in drum machine and more features.
We love that you don’t need to download an app to play. If your pint-sized hitmaker wants to take it to the next level, the synth’s MIDI input lets you connect the synth to a keyboard, drum machine, or digital audio workstation (DAW) to record songs. originals of your little one. On top of all this, kids will love that the colorful LED lights create a fun, synchronized light show.
Got a budding DJ after hours? The company will soon begin shipping its After the dark version ($ 199) which is packed with even more music-making features in December.
2. FAO Schwarz Toy Piano Dance Mat
Creepers, toddlers and children at heart can pound ivories with their feet on FAO Schwarz’s iconic piano dance mat. It’s 101 inches long by 29 inches wide and only measuring two octaves – so players can at least tap “Heart and Soul.” This G keyboard can also record songs.
3. Lullabye Renditions of Wu-Tang Clan by Rockabye Baby!
Who Said Wu-Tang Clan Isn’t For Babies? GZA, RZA, Ghostface Killah and the rest of the hip-hop crew get the lullaby treatment on Rockabye Baby’s 12-track album with instrumental renditions of the band’s iconic hits.
4. Yoto Player
Provide screen-less entertainment with Yoto’s Bluetooth-enabled audio player. Designed for ages 3 to 8, the device connects to your WiFi and uses content cards who play the best-selling books (think of Diary of a Wimpy Child series and classics by Roald Dahl), music, meditations, activities and more – there’s even a story written and recorded by Grandpa Sir Paul McCartney. You can also stream from Yoto’s app (although a phone isn’t required to play), and kids can use blank cards to record and play their own songs and stories.
Okay, so it’s not entirely screen-less: The speaker cube’s pretty face features charming pixel graphics that are easy on the eye, and the unit also doubles up as a customizable clock and clock. a sleep trainer.
5. Musical tapping bench with removable xylophone
Children ages 1-4 can work on their hand-eye coordination and musical chops with this non-toxic wooden set from Hape. Available in the Adventuretown online toy store, the instrument includes a removable xylophone that plays a melody as the kids hit the colorful balls on the bench.
6. Loog Pro VI acoustic guitar
Don’t be fooled by the baby size of the Loog guitar: this child-friendly instrument even its vibrating like its full sized counterparts. Available in three, four and six string options to suit all ages (3+, 8+ and 12+), the guitar includes chord cards and a free app equipped with a tuner, songbook. songs with tunes by artists like the Beatles and Taylor Swift, and an augmented reality feature for easy learning.
Beginners can also attend Loog’s free 30-minute live lessons on Zoom. Several colors and accessories (including straps, bags and cases) are available. The company is also taking pre-orders for its electric guitar ($ 99 +), which has a built-in amp and speaker.
7. Fisher-Price Music Box Record Player
Unless you buy the world’s most careful little one, we wouldn’t trust them to handle our precious vinyl either. Until they can leave the wax intact, Fisher-Price’s retro record player – the same design that was originally released in 1971, then known as the Change-A-Record music box – can help foster analog devotion among future audiophiles. The set includes five discs with two songs per side, and kids can store the accessories conveniently inside the player.
8. Schoenhut Five Piece Drum Set
Everything is cuter in pint form, including the drum sets. This one by heritage children’s instrument makers Schoenhut produces the same loud rhythms as large ensembles (much to the dismay of parents and neighbors) and features an eight inch mounted tom drum, snare drum 10 inch bass drum, 16 inch bass drum and pedal, adjustable foam set, tuning wrench and drumsticks.
9. VTech Kidi Star karaoke machine
Investing in a professional-grade karaoke machine might not be the best gift for clumsy little mic counters – this flamingo-like singing station from VTech might be a more entertaining option for budding crooners. Sync it with a smartphone or plug in an MP3 player to play music, then use “magic” mode to lower the main vocals of the songs.
The machine also allows singers to record for up to five minutes. It also comes with six built-in games, and the 180-degree disco lights turn any room into a kid-friendly rave.
10. JLab JBuddies Studio Bluetooth Kids Headphones
When youngsters want to play loud, these on-ear bluetooth headphones will protect their music-loving eardrums. These comfortable cans feature eco-leather cushions and a padded headband, and we love that the built-in volume controls keep sound in a safe range below 85 decibels.
Roaming listeners can wander up to 30 feet from their device and will enjoy approximately 13 hours of wireless playback. We like that the volume and playback controls are conveniently located on the left earbud, and the earbuds also have a built-in microphone for phone calls.
11. Lyric Pop Children’s Books
Our editors are big fans of Akashic Books’ LyricPop Series – a collection of children’s books featuring song lyrics by renowned songwriters reimagined as illustrated picture books. Introduce your kids to classics like the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” or Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” (which is like a built-in spelling lesson for your little ones). Meanwhile, Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” is being redesigned as uplifting message for children to work hard and keep their heads up.
These books are officially licensed by their musician counterparts, and yes, all questionable lyrics are removed or changed. “The idea of giving parents, grandparents, teachers and caregivers a way to connect children to music early on through picture books is exciting,” says Johnny Temple, publisher of Akashic Books. “And when the adults sing the lyrics while reading the books, it becomes a multimedia experience, presenting books and music at the same time.”