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27+ Awesome Musical Instruments For Babies

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Did you let your baby listen to Mozart music for babies while he/she was still in your tummy? I certainly did 😀  And even though it might not turn every kid into a Mozart or an Einstein it’s certainly a pleasant, calming and relaxing experience.

As they grow older, rhythms and harmonies take a vital part of their growth and development. These include their fine motor skills, verbal abilities, emotional development, creative skills and many more. 

Now that your little one is ready to explore the world of sounds from a whole new perspective, here’s the list of my favorite musical instruments for babies.

27+ Awesome Musical Instruments For Babies That Grow With a Child!

As always, here’s the line of my thoughts while picking the best (IMHO) instruments for babies and young toddlers.

  1. Give preference Instruments that require active participation to produce sound rather than “push-a-button” music toys.
  2. Musical instruments that can keep your little one’s interest and be used for a longer time – all the way to toddlerhood as opposed to one-time-use toys.
  3. Having said that, some of the instruments should be modified for safety reasons.

For example, if you get a musical instruments set that can be used for years, remove some of the instruments that are not suitable for little baby and introduce them at an appropriate time later on. I’ll explain more about all this below.

  1. Whenever possible choose real instruments or their baby versions that looks like real instruments.
  2. For the youngest and/or heavily mouthing babies choose wooden musical instruments that can be safely put in the mouth.
  3. With plastic musical instrument choose baby safe plastics.

Always make sure that the instruments have no small parts that the child can put in their mouth. Be aware of the musical instruments size, and be sure that the child can grasp it.

For small babies, musical instruments are a good medium to enhance listening skills and get exposure to new experience.

As they grow older, rhythms and harmonies take a vital part of their growth and development. These include their fine motor skills, verbal abilities, emotional development, creative skills and many more. 

But first, be ready that you’ll be the one playing all the band instruments. All your little one grows they will join you in the band 🙂

Here’s a quick list of most favorite baby musical instruments: 

  • Maraca
  • Clatter
  • Rainmaker
  • Egg Shakers
  • Bells
  • Castanets
  • Roly Poly Doll/ Wobbler
  • Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Bongos
  • Guiro/ Güiro
  • Washboard
  • Xylophone
  • Ukulele/Guitar

Wooden Percussion Instruments For Babies – Mouthing Safe & Easy Grasp

If you’re looking for baby safe first musical instruments that babies can handle/play on their own these wooden percussion instruments made with natural wood and non-toxic, child-safe paint are absolutely the best. They are small and easy to grasp for small hands and will spark curiosity from the first glance.

Presented by 2 of my favorite brands – PlanToys and Manhattan Toys.

The wooden tambourine above is not all wooden but is a pretty solid first baby instrument. The metal discs are covered with plastic. It also has bead chaser and textured rings for sensory exploration.

Xylophones & Guitars

Choosing a xylophone for my baby has been a hit and miss. It’s not that there are not enough xylophones on the market. Probably just on the contrary. My biggest challenge has been finding a well-rounded and IN TUNE xylophone. I also didn’t want just random colors but rather sequence colors of the rainbow.

So I ended up picking 3 xylophones. 

  • Pound & Tap Bench by Hape with slide out xylophone is a great one as you can make music simply by pounding the balls and hear them hit the xylophone. So it’s 2 in 1 toy/instrument. And a great deal for that price. However the xylophone is more often than not out of tune.
  • So my next xylophone choice is The Caterpillar Xylophone by Melisa and Doug. It includes song cards and self-storing wooden mallets that you might want to consider replacing with a thicker wooden sticks (drum sticks, guiro stick from this set or a simple DIY – rounded and sanded of course) when giving it to a little baby. This xylophone is mostly in tune but not perfect.
  • So my BEST PICK for a xylophone instrument that will last years to come is the 8 Keys Professional Xylophone by Musicube. It’s perfectly in tune and the sound is gorgeous. It also has song cards, and 8 keys of rainbow colors with engraved notes. If you choose to get this xylophone, like with previous one make sure to use thick drum sticks or similar instead of original mallets as they’re too thin for small babies.

Aesthetically beautiful first banjo for babies to explore. The only downside is that it can’t be tuned.

Drums & Tambourines

Solid Drum by PlanToys

Another beautiful and fun wooden instrument by PlanToys. 

It creates different sounds when tapped on different spots. 

Drum stick has a rubber tip to soften the sound so it’s more gentle for everyone’s ears.

Tambourine by Hape

Jig and jive to the beat of the jingles. More than a lively musical instrument, it also promotes dexterity or skills using the hands. Perform Mr. Tambourine while tapping it with the tips of your fingers, your knuckles, or your palms. Shake it or even pat it on your legs. Either way, you’ll make a lovely beat out of this cool percussion.

Ocean Drum by EduShape

With gentle tilts from side to side, you can bring the sound of the sea right into your living room. Your little one will love shaking and tapping and watching the color beads move. Keep in mind that it has to be handled with care, no sharp objects, no banging or hard slamming if you want this ocean drum last.

Bongo Drums by Melissa & Doug

If your baby loves to tap his/her hands on different surfaces and make noises they’ll love this bongos. The bongo drums are covered with soft, bright, simple colored cloths. 

They can be played with the sounds on (make somewhat realists drum sound) and sound turned off for quiet play.  I also love the knotted fringe adds that are perfect for even the youngest who just start to practice grasping.

Shakers, Rainmakers & More

Egg Shaker Trio by Skip & Hop

These three brightly-colored egg shakers will no doubt be one of your tot’s favorites! The little Owl, Hedgehog, and Fox shakers are designed for easy grasping thus allowing your child to explore early music sounds. Each of the three eggs creates a unique sound.

They also have textured tummies for sensory exploration.

Beaded Raindrops by Hape & Rainmaker by PlanToys

The trickling sounds of raindrop beads are a soft lullaby to your baby’s ears.

Rainmaker also help stimulate your little one’s senses as it imitates the sound of soothing rain. After a long (hopefully!) nap, this instrument will be just the right stimulus as your baby watches the raindrops go up and down whenever you turn it over. A great exercise for eye coordination too.

Penguin Musical Wobbler by Hape

An adorable simple roly-poly egg shaped doll that doesn’t need any batteries. It’s literally child-powered.

It is round-bottomed which makes it wobble when touched and pushed. It’s makes a very gentle and pleasant tinkle when moved which is produced by the bell that’s inside. The bell will stop once the penguin sits itself up again and stops wobbling.

If you push it lightly the penguin will just wobble but a larger push makes it roll around to an unexpected location. It’s a unique cause-effect experience for babies.

You might also like: 12 Classical Music Books {Perfect for Babies & Toddlers}

Musical Instruments Sets For Babies & Toddlers

As I mentioned before, I really love toys that grow with the child and that can be enjoyed for long. Musical instruments are no exception.

What I found is that musical instrument sets are the best.

Of course, while my little one is still a baby I hand picked instruments that are safe and age appropriate for him and introduced other instruments from the set as he got older.

What I also love about the sets is that even if some instruments are not suitable for babies to play alone we can still play them ourselves (parents and family) and expose our little ones to a whole new world of music.

There you have it, an extensive list of musical instruments for babies that will grow with the child.

Happy Playing!

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