9 Best Musical Toys for Babies and Toddlers of 2021
Best Musical Toys
October 15, 2021

Best Musical Toys

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Got a baby who likes to groove? These musical toys can inspire a love of rhythm and sound with the touch of a button or the beat of a drumstick.Best Musical Toys

Have you noticed your baby’s eyes light up when you turn on music? Does your toddler like to rock out when they hear their favorite song? It’s no coincidence.

Most babies and toddlers love listening to music, and for good reason. Hearing is one of a baby’s first senses to fully develop, and, just like us, little ones love listening to songs, rhythms and beats.

As early as when they’re still in the womb, your little one can reap the benefits of listening to music. Music can help your baby and toddler with everything from creativity and language development to memory and emotional intelligence. Music can help soothe a crying baby or lift the mood of a cranky toddler. Some studies even suggest music should be part of therapy for premature babies because it can aid in development and weight gain.

How Musical Toys Can Help Deaf Babies

If your little one is Deaf or hard of hearing, music can be just as beneficial to their development. Deaf babies are often able to sense rhythm, and may be able to sense certain tones of sound. Babyhearing.org—run by Audiologists, Speech-Language Pathologists and other professionals at the Boys Town National Research Hospital in Nebraska—has lots of suggestions for how you can help Deaf children learn from music.

Our best advice: look for toys that allow baby to manually produce sounds themselves (by shaking objects or banging on them) rather than toys with electronic, button-triggered sound output. Toys with manually produced sounds allow baby to have a more full experience of feeling the rhythm or vibration by making the sounds on their own.

How to Do Music Time with Your Baby

There are lots of ways to enjoy music with your little one. Something as simple as incorporating music into your baby’s bedtime routine or spending a few minutes each day rocking out (literally and figuratively) to your favorite tunes can help with soothing and comforting your babe. And as you reach the toddler years, music can become a much more interactive experience. Toddlers love learning through musical play by singing, exploring rhythms and making their own music.

When it comes to the best musical toys for your baby and toddler, we’ve rounded up our favorites that will make it easy for you to incorporate music into your everyday routine. So have fun and rock on! (Just be sure to pick up some earplugs somewhere along the way.)

Shake, Rattle and Roll

These adorable animal shakers are the perfect way to introduce music to your growing baby. The bright colors will immediately capture baby’s attention, and the fun noises (each animal makes its own unique sound) will keep them coming back for more. The larger size and grippy rubber patches make them easy for little hands to hold, and they stand up on their own, so they’ll be great for pretend play as your little one gets older.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 months+

Multi-Sensory

Babies love feeling different textures to help them learn more about the world around them, and this toy combines texture and sound to help develop baby’s tactile and auditory senses. When they push on the different bumpy buttons, baby is rewarded with brief playful tune, encouraging them to explore each of the buttons and learn cause and effect.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 months+

A Classical Primer

Let your little one control the playlist with this on-the-go toy complete with classical melodies, lights and, best of all, parental volume control! Babies and toddlers alike will love pressing the buttons to play one of the seven different classical tunes. It’s the perfect size for tossing in your stroller or diaper bag for whenever you need to keep your little one entertained.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 months+

Double the Fun

This brightly colored toy offers two ways to play: toddlers can use the mallet to pound the balls and send them sliding down the xylophone, or pull the xylophone out to play it solo. Either way, playing this instrument helps babies develop hand-eye coordination, dexterity and, of course, sweet music skills.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months–3 years

Baby's First Piano

With four settings and eight notes, this tiny keyboard is everything the youngest music learners could want. Choose from song mode (where every key plays a different familiar song), learning mode with colors, numbers and shapes or the two silly sound modes that let baby play a tune with quacks or moos coming out of the keys. The handle and small size mean you can fit it in your diaper bag to take it with you wherever!

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 6 months-3 years

Band on the Move

Looking to take the band on the road? This colorful, portable drum handily stores everything your toddler needs to play their act on the go. There are seven playable pieces, including jingle bells, a tambourine, a shaker egg and more for hours of jamming. The drum even has a neck strap so your little one can lead the parade. Just keep in mind that you may want to hide this one during naptime!

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 18 months+

Llama Llama Band-o-rama

Xylophone, maraca, mallets, clackers and spinners—all in one little llama! With a variety of musical and tactile activities to keep any toddler busy (and a Montessori-friendly design that would look good on display practically anywhere in your home), it’s no wonder this is becoming a new favorite music toy among little ones and adults alike. Who know llamas could be so musical?

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+

Get Meow-sical

This cat-shaped keyboard has everything your toddler needs to compose their first piano masterpiece. The keyboard plays a host of different beats and sounds (including tuned meows!), has a record button for playback later and even comes with a microphone for singing along. It’s the perfect toy to grow along with your child for years of musical fun.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 2 years+

Bathtub Jams

Just because it’s bath time doesn’t mean music time has to end! This little five-piece band includes a rattling drum with bead maze, five-note xylophone with rust-resistant keys, drumstick and two starfish shakers, and each piece can easily go from dry land to water and back again.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+
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