Gift Guide

little girl singing
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17 Brilliant Gifts For Kids Obsessed With Music

Especially singing very loudly.

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Dear parents of musically-inclined children, apologies in advance. The following are all things your children will love... though you might not share their enthusiasm. But consider this: The musical curiosity you help to foster today could evolve into a lifelong passion, hobby, or even career. So yes, the banjo included below may be agonizing to listen to now, but consider the pay off. Three words: college music scholarship. Hey, it could happen. Especially if these musical Christmas gifts and singing can nurture their musical talents.

And really, if you take a closer look, you’ll find that many of these musical gifts for toddlers could be fun for the whole family. Gone are the microphones that just made kids’ voices echo. Today’s children's mics can connect to Bluetooth so you can sync them with a song of each child’s choice — the ultimate in living room karaoke performances. But that’s not the only innovation. Rather than invest in a baby grand, brands like Melissa & Doug have made mini pianos to introduce children to the ivories. The classic keyboard mat of Big fame still exists and still rocks, but there are also new musical gifts like the Munchkin Mozart Cube that will blow your baby away.

1

A Blue’s Clues Music Maker

Does your child love Blue’s Clues? Do they also love slamming pots and pans, tapping on the dinner table, and singing at the top of their lungs? Then they need this all-in-one drum, chimes, xylophone, and cymbal music board. Built into one easy to carry, portable percussion system, your musician can carry their accompaniment everywhere they go. Perfect for kindergartners, the set comes with two drum sticks (with Blue’s paw’s on the end) so they can easily make a joyful noise. Plus, the board is designed to empower young children while also teaching them fine motor skills in the process.

2

Feel The Beat

If you have a tiny Dave Grohl in the making, encourage their drum line instincts with this VTech Drum Set. Composed of three drum pads and cymbals, it’s more than just four instruments in one. Thanks to four different play modes, toddlers can rock out nine melodies in styles including rock, dance and pop. Plus, the toy teaches letters, numbers, and music. For instance, as a drum lights up, a child can hit it, teaching them rhythm and counting at the same time. Designed for two to five-year-olds, the set also comes with a pair of orange drumsticks so your little one can feel like a real rockstar.

3

Cool Wireless Headphones

Listening to KidzBop Kidz may not always be your jam. But chances are it is for your kid. Let them bop along with their favorite band via a pair of wireless headphones. eKids makes headphones designed just for little heads and since there’s no cord, you have less chance of accidents (like a computer being yanked to the floor or a child tripping). Even better? The headphones come in all different fun designs like Spider-Man, Frozen, and Mario themes. If you’re worried about volume, you won't with these. They’re designed with volume protection technology so that little ears are protected. And with Bluetooth capabilities you can connect them to a car stereo, iPhone, computer, or any other Bluetooth-compatible device.

4

A Just-the-Right-Size Guitar

Little hands can have trouble with string instruments but not with the Schoenhut acoustic guitar. This instrument was made to be played by children and is a great introductory tool for future guitarists. Equipped for right and left hand players, the guitar proximity between the fretboard and strings is reduced to mitigate finger fatigue so little ones can jam out for hours. And to make the introduction to the instrument complete, this guitar is outfitted with six strings and comes fully assembled. All you need to do is have it tuned up and your tyke will be ready to play.

5

A Learn-to-Play Piano

Billy Joel didn’t become the piano man overnight. While he was a piano playing prodigy, it still took hours of practice, not to mention lessons at the Royal Academy of Music in London beginning at age 11. Set your child on the same path with this mini piano. It’s 25 keys provide two full octaves, so even though it’s tiny, it packs a musical punch. An illustrated songbook is included so that your child can begin to learn how to read music. At 11.5"H x 9.5"L x 16"W, no seat is necessary. A child can sit on the floor and play just like Linus of Peanuts cartoon fame.

6

A Banjolele Set

Want to get your child a real musical instrument, but aren’t prepared for the sonic horror of a recorder or the price tag of a piano? Meet the kid’s banjo, a small wooden toy-like instrument they can enjoy without costing you a fortune. Weighing just a little over a pound, this instrument is light enough for a child to handle and is designed for children as young as 36 months to 10 years old. The replaceable parts include three adjustable strings and three tuner pegs. And parents love it. “In my personal opinion, this is a great transition before taking the plunge on ‘real’ one,” writes one Amazon reviewer.

7

A Music Cube

You can encourage even the youngest listener’s passion for music with this Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube. With sounds of the harp, flute, French horn, piano, and violin, lights flash to the tempo of the music allowing even little babies to work on their composing skills. Does your baby want to hear all those instruments at once? No problem. The orchestra button plays them in unison. To teach children rhythm, lights flash in tempo with the music thanks to 3 AAA batteries that last up to 5 hours. And while the cube weighs one pound, soft rounded corners make it gentle for a child to play with.

8

A Mini Keyboard

Y’all, if it was good enough for you in 1997, it’s good enough for your kids in 2020. Casio has been hitting all the right notes in the keyboard department for decades, so share a nostalgic tune with your children on one of these bad boys. The reason Casio keyboards endure is because the 44 mini-sized keys and five percussion pads work so well to introduce young musicians to the keyboard. Not to mention the 100 sounds and rhythm patterns your child can play with. An easy-to-read LCD screen helps budding maestros plot their next hit. And thanks to the keyboard’s light weight, they can easily pack this instrument and go on tour.

9

A Harmonica

Stevie Wonder took the harmonica and made it sound like rock and roll. Your kid may very well do the same and the best part is, all this instrument takes is some good lung capacity. But an instrument alone does not a musician make. That’s why blues artist Kevin Burt created an accompanying six lesson book to introduce students grades 5-8 to playing basic cross-harp blues harmonica. By following the color-coded instruction manual, budding harmonica players can follow the curriculum to learn breathing techniques and four-part harmony to become true masters of what’s sometimes called the blues harp or jaw harp.

10

Retro Record Player

This Fisher Price record player may be the very definition of peak retro toy nostalgia. You bopped your little diaper bottom to this awesome toy. Now your kids can too. The design has stayed almost entirely the same. Basically, this toy is a fake record player complete with five plastic records that play 10 songs. And all of those records fit comfortably inside so your tot can carry their player and their fave tunes wherever they go. One thing that has changed is it has been a tiny bit digitized. Instead of a music box mechanism in the record needle it has four buttons that play recorded songs. That could be a bummer to some parents who had the original 1971 model, but your child won’t know the difference.

11

A Pair of Maracas

The beauty of many percussion instruments is that they don’t have to be child size for kids to enjoy them. Some are already designed for even the smallest hands. Consider maracas. Historians believe these gourd rattles date to as far back as 500 BC to the Araucanian people, who live in what is now central Chile. Many cultures, from Africa to South America to the Caribbean, have used a variation on the instrument for centuries. Introduce your child to this beautiful musical tradition with a pair of authentic Haitian Maracas. Made from gourds and hand painted, they can shake them and enjoy a sound that’s been keeping time for ages.

12

A Piano Mat

Give your child the joy of saying “And on back up vocals, my little sister, Kimber!” with this double mic stand. Might as well go ahead and make your living room into a performance hall. Kids will never stop singing with this machine that’s not only a double mic stand, but also a karaoke machine in one. With two adjustable microphones, the kit also comes with a flashing stage light base. In addition, hand drums and speakers are included to give your children’s performance a professional feel. But the real selling point? This set can be connected to streaming devices so you can play their favorite songs for them to sing along to.

13

Double Mic

Give your child the joy of saying “And on back up vocals, my little sister, Kimber!” with this double mic stand. Might as well go ahead and make your living room into a performance hall. Kids will never stop singing with this machine that’s not only a double mic stand, but also a karaoke machine in one. With two adjustable microphones, the kit also comes with a flashing stage light base. In addition, hand drums and speakers are included to give your children’s performance a professional feel. But the real selling point? This set can be connected to streaming devices so you can play their favorite songs for them to sing along to.

14

15

An Ektara

Music can be a gateway to learning about the world and other cultures. This journey can begin by showing your children instruments from around the world. For instance, this Ektara is a traditional one string Bengal instrument. Inexpensive, small, and a great tool for kids to learn on, children hold the instrument upright, gripping the neck just above the resonator and plucking the playing string or strings with the index finger of the same hand. From there, you could introduce your child to other instruments with more strings to grow their love of music and improve their cultural understanding and appreciation.

16

Thumb Piano

The thumb piano, or ilong, is related to the xylophone and comes from West African cultures. This one is made of bamboo and has a sweet tinkling sound. Easy for even the smallest hands to play, this would make a great addition to a family’s instrument collection while providing even the youngest players an instrument to tinker with. Basically they pluck the bamboo keys which are held in place by a metal cuff that causes a sound to reverberate. A great addition for a family that loves Afro Cuban music or has a Djembe drum on hand, it’s a fun sound any child can appreciate.

17

Rhyme Antics

Love hip hop? Pretty sure you could have been a major MC given the chance? Want to teach your kids how to flow and spit great rhymes? Then you need Rhyme Antics. This pass-the-mic game challenges players to see who can rhyme words the fastest. Developed by Chantel Calloway, the game has been given the educator stamp approval for helping kids work on linguistic skills as well as develop literacy while having fun.

Ready to set your child on a course for future stardom are at the very least a successful season in the high school band? Get them one of these instruments and let the playing begin.