Although they most likely won’t be writing symphonies at the age of five, it’s never too early to start nurturing a musical ability in your children. From the age of one, babies can begin learning about music, from kids musical instruments made for playing. Use these six kids’ musical instruments to start developing your children’s musical abilities.
1. Drums (Ages 1-3)
Most parents cringe at the thought of their toddlers owning a drum set, but drums for toddlers are not the kind that you see on stage at a concert. Real drum sets can be bought for children when they’re twelve and older, but buying toddler-friendly drums for your 1-3-year-old could nurture their ability to be a percussionist. Drums for toddlers are small, light, and colourful. Mostly manufactured out of wood or plastic, they’re great for toddlers to bang on when they’re having fun. Although they might make a noise, young children love hearing sounds that come from direct action on their part, and eventually, you can teach them to bang the drum to the beat of their favourite songs. This can start teaching them counting, sequence, pattern, and timekeeping skills, so don’t shy away from a noisy toy when they provide many more benefits other than only making a sound.
2. Xylophones And Glockenspiels (Ages 1-3)
Similar to playing on a drum, xylophones and glockenspiels make noise when the keys are struck. Except now, with these instruments, you can create tunes for your children or recreate their favourite songs that they enjoy listening to. Your toddler won’t be playing their toy xylophones like a pro, but they will enjoy hearing different notes when they strike the various keys. By using kids’ instruments like this, your toddlers can graduate to bigger chord-based instruments as they grow. They’ll learn percussion skills, as well as learn how to recreate or recognise tunes when they’re older.
3. Handbells (Ages 2+)
Another toy not for the faint-hearted parent, handbells are great for toddlers. You’ve probably seen them – they come in a set of four or five, and each bell rings a different note. They’ll range from high to low notes, and each will be in a different colour – representing their varying notes. They also have long handles, making them easy to grasp for small hands. Handbells are great for toddlers who are starting to learn fine- and motor skills. Their fine-motor skills are developed as they learn to grasp and hold the bell in their hands. Their motor skills are developed in their arms when they ring them. They’ll make a glorious noise, and can even be used to play simple tunes.
4. Guitar Or Ukulele (Ages 3+)
A small guitar is a great musical instrument to graduate to, for children who have grown up playing with other toy instruments. Guitars are simple to learn if your children are serious about playing them, but you shouldn’t expect that until they’re about seven years old. Fortunately, you can find child-sized guitars and ukuleles that come with strings, frets, and plectrums. You can change the strings if they snap, and even tune them so that they play the right notes.
They’re the next step up from playing to make noise and playing to make music. Your children can learn the motion of strumming without knowing any proper chords, and how to hold it correctly. It’s a foundational step into your kids learning musical instruments to make music when they’re older.
5. Piano (Ages 3+)
Do you think you have a young maestro on your hands? In the future, you might, but nothing is stopping you from nurturing an interest in piano playing in your children when they’re young. Kids as young as three years old can have an interest in playing the piano, so why not allow them to explore it? You can buy them small keyboards that come with keys, songs that play from a speaker, and buttons that change the sound effects from pressing the keys. Just developing an interest in your child could lead them to take piano lessons when they’re older. Playing on the keys also develops their fine-motor skills as they learn how to touch specific keys with one finger at a time.
Trying to nurture individual skills and abilities in your children from a young age has proven to assist them later in life when they start school. Kids’ musical instruments are no different. They might not become a child conductor at the age of seven, but they will have fun while they learn a new skill that can be developed as they grow older.