Instruments for Kids

October 5, 2010 at 10:34 am 1 comment

Listening to the Beatles and Neil Diamond on the record player this morning made me think of all the musical things I had as a kid.  I think at one point I had a xylophone puppy with wheels that I could pull around on a leash which was lots of fun.  I already mentioned the drum set made from Tupperware and I might devote a whole page to the tuba later!  Since my son was born, we’ve been collecting lots of musical instruments for kids that are easy to play with and easy on the ears.

I think one of the best musical toddler toys has to be the xylophone, which combines the percussive with the melodic.  It’s exciting to watch a young child bang on something and quickly have something resembling a song come out!  Babies and toddlers love banging on things and a xylophone gives them instant gratification in audio creation, and also begins to develop a sense of the structure of music.  Any instruments that combine a fixed musical scale with percussive manipulation, such as a piano, keyboard, or steel drum, are perfect developmental instruments for first explorers.  Most xylophones today for babies are well designed, with a large stick on a string for banging and large keys to play with tiny fingers.

Next best thing is any type of drum or percussion.  For long road trips early on, I bought a good sounding shaker from a music store and let my son play with that for hours.  It was much better than most rattles and fit in the diaper bag easily.  Tambourines, wood blocks, hand bells, and anything else worthy of banging all make great instruments.  This is an area that many families have enjoyed creating together, and there are lots of great ideas if you want a family activity.

This year at the Iowa State Fair a guy named “Freight Train” Frank was handing out harmonicas and giving quick lessons for free in the Fun Forest, and the kids loved it.  Harmonicas are easy to play and carry around, the only downside is the slobber!  Kazoos are always fun, portable, and begin to help kids use their voice to start making music.  The best musical instrument for a kid is their own voice, so start singing with your kids and I’ll talk more about recording their music in other posts.  Please post your own stories and ideas for great instruments for kids, thanks and talk to you all again soon!

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Singing Spanish Colors music video games

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Susan  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Make some of your own instruments by putting dried beans or rice between paper or plastic plates fastened together. They make great tambourines. Also use cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towels to fill with beans, rice or small bells to make “shakers”. They also make good horns to “toot”. The kids can have fun decorating them with stickers, markers, paint, streamers, etc. Just look around the house & use your imagination. You can find many things to use for making music!

    Reply

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