Musical Gift Guide 1: Instruments and Toys

Holiday shopping season is almost here, and I wanted to share some of my favorite music-related gift ideas for little ones (and not so little ones!)  A few disclosures about where I’m coming from:

  1. I have a job that is Full of Aural Stimulation, so I am very selective about the sound-producing toys I allow in my house.
  2. I am the opposite of a hoarder.  Getting rid of things gives me great satisfaction, and if things are not being used regularly, they get the boot.
  3. I find that kids always gravitate towards things that are “Real.”  Real instruments may be more expensive than toy instruments, but they will have better sound quality, last longer, and give more enjoyment in the long run.

The following items are some of my kids’ favorites; they have stood the test of time, and made it through my Extreme Vetting Gauntlet of Judgement and Snobbery. 😉

Tabletop Midi Drum Pad IMG_4408This is basically a large mousepad that sounds like a drumset.  It has jazzy little tunes to play along with, several different sound options, annnnnd……. HEADPHONE JACK AND VOLUME CONTROL!!  My son also used it as a Halloween costume so he could be a Musical Robot from the Animusic DVD’s (which will be mentioned in my next post!)

Sing Along Microphone 61-hr6ierml-_sy355_This microphone has an applause button, a light show, and a few accompaniment loops that don’t drive me completely crazy.   You can connect it to an external music source for karaoke if you want, but usually my kids just stand next to the radio and sing.  Hearing them sing with all the joy in their hearts cancels out most of the annoyance the electronic sounds give me. 😉  The microphones are legit too — my husband may or may not have used it for a conference call on his computer when his headset broke….. 😉


Tymptone Drum You can beat on this drum as hard as you want and it won’t sound too loud indoors.


Gathering Drum  1126554_22749_popupIf you don’t mind your drums sounding too loud indoors!  The 22″ drum has a nice fat sound and can fit 3-5 kids around it comfortably.





Orff Xylophone –  products22482-1200x1200-488148Xylophones have a great sound, SO much nicer than dinky toy glockenspiels.  The bars on Orff instruments are removable, so you can set up a limited pitch set for kids to improvise.  It also teaches about big:small::low:high and the music alphabet as you are removing and replacing the bars.  These are instruments meant for use in schools, so they are very durable and child-friendly.  Sonor and Studio 49 are the gold standard for xylophones and they do sound *REALLY* good, but Peripole makes a solid product as well.

Coming up next: DVD’s, Books, and Music!

*This post was not sponsored in any way, nor do I receive anything from the links I posted.  All opinions are my own, shared to offer my experiences with these products.



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