Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Music

 


2012 Award
Guitar Confetti
(Janod $30 Score:)

A handsome colorful first guitar. This is not a toy, but a first instrument with a bright painted wooden body and six steel strings. The instrument does not come with music or instruction, though the company plans to put music on their website. This French company is new to American markets. They also make a ukulele and a neat xylophone. These are marked 3 and up, but more appropriate for older preschoolers and early school years children.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Janod Grand Xylo Confetti
(Janod $19.99 Score:)

We were delighted to find that this beautiful line of French toys is now available in the US market. The music line is particularly welcomed.  Most of the musical toys on the market in the past several years have had terrible tone. As Randy would say - way too "pitchy". This oversized wooden xylo is cheerfully designed in white with bold dots of color. Take a listen to the video so you can hear the lovely sound quality. 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Awards
Poppin Play Piano
(LeapFrog $24.99 Score:)

Toddlers will like the action of hitting the keys and making the color balls jump. But this poppin' piano goes way beyond that simple play mode. It is an electronic toy and has a load of built-in bells and whistles. As electronic toy pianos go, this one has pretty good sound. It plays a variety of instruments --piano, organ, harpsichord, synthesizer, and something called popping sounds. But you cannot go from one instrument to another without going to another activity and returning to the "choose an instrument" mode and then striking a different note on the keyboard. In other words, there is nothing easy about the choices. There are several modes, most well beyond the 12-36 month age group on the package. Mode one is a number drill with the audio telling children to hit the numerals on the big colorful keys. Mode two tells children the color of the key they are striking and makes a ball jump up. Another skill set that does not match the age group. There is another mode that plays premade music and kids can hit whatever notes they choose while the song is playing. Kids need to be in the instrument section to have free playtime. It has loud and soft volume settings.

SNAP: This child friendly keyboard will encourage children to use fine motor skills as well as giving them the powerful satisfaction of making music with a swipe of the hand. 

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Awards
Maracas
(Schylling $7.18 Score:)

Give these wooden painted maracas a shake. Painted in bug-like colors-red and black ladybug, yellow and black bumble bee, green and black grasshopper, these are smooth to the touch and have a good sound. Fun for keeping time with music or dancing time. 2 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.   We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP: Here's another way to enjoy music..keeping the beat. This is an entertaining way to build listening skills and encourage movement. These smooth maracas are smooth to the touch and appealing to the eye. Use them to motivate children to use their hands for gripping. To adapt, attach Velcro to the handles and to mitts that will help kids hold onto them. These will be enjoyed by kids with the mobility to dance as well as those who can participate in a wheelchair.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Step 2 Basic Rhythms Maracas
(Step 2 $7.99 Score:)

Designed for little hands, these two colorful maracas have pretty good sound values for keeping the beat. Each of them has a distinctive sound. These are another element in the new Basic Rhythms line that Step 2 created for toddlers, that will also be enjoyed by preschoolers.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

 

SNAP IDEAS: Put on some music and let the shaking begin. Whether they can dance or keep the beat while sitting on the floor, being able to make "music" is empowering to young children.  These have chubby handles that may be easier to grasp than other musical rhythm instruments.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2009.

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1995 Awards
Chimalong
(Woodstock Percussion $39.99 Score:)

Unlike most musical toys for kids, the tone of this metal-chime xylophone is lovely. Can be played by number/color or musical notation. Can be enjoyed by a preschooler, but becomes a true musical instrument for older children--also reinforces reading from left to right. Mini version is less expensive, but is not as sweet sounding. That said, this is a pleasant travel take-along toy. Says 3 & up; we'd say 4–8.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 1995. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Awards
Lynn Kleiner Rhythm Sets
(Remo $24.95 Score:) Many instruments for young kids make noise instead of music and are basically unsafe. Strike up the rhythm band with these kits that are well crafted with sound and safety in mind. Babies Make Music includes jingle shaker, wrist jingle, and a small drum and scarf (safe enough for toddlers who still mouth their toys). 2 & up. Kids Make Music includes a 7" tambourine, triangle, wrist bell (with big jingles), rhythm sticks, and one maraca; Kids Make Music, Too has an 8" drum, scarf, finger cymbals, woodblock with mallet, and one egg shaker. 3 & up. SNAP Activity: Use drum or rhythm sticks for a math game. Make a stack of cards labeled with numbers 1-10. Put them face down. Player draws a card and taps that number. Other player must guess the number on your card. If she gets it, give her the card. At the end of the game switch parts. Now the other player does the reading and tapping. (800) 397-9378.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: .

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2000 Awards
Lollipop Drum
(Woodstock Percussion $25 Score:) Preschoolers can easily hold onto the handle of this lollipop-shaped drum. Makes a pleasing sound, according to both kid and parent testers. New and small enough for little hands, Chick-itas Maracas ($6.50), small maracas that have great sound and a perfect fit for little hands. This lollipop-shaped drum makes a pleasing sound and is ideal for games. Adaptation: For kids who can't grasp the handle, tape the handle to a tabletop with drumhead hanging off. SNAP Activity: One person hits the drum and the other person must change positions with every beat. When you are moving, use exaggerated goofy motions and freeze into funny poses. Switch roles-kids love the power of making you move. Also top rated, Chick-itas Maracas ($6.50), small maracas that have a great sound and a perfect fit for little hands. (800) 422-4463.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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2004 Award
Disney Classic Karaoke Microphone
(Disney $49.95 Score:) We've seen a lot of karaoke players-this is streamlined for ease of use and can even be carried along to family gatherings or parties. It's a red & yellow microphone with controls on the handle. You simply plug it into the TV and magically the songs lyrics show up on the screen along with graphics that indicate what "voice" you have chosen. Young readers will enjoy following the words to pop Disney songs and changing their voices from high to low; from funny to sweet. You can harmonize with yourself or simply sing. Unlike most you can actually slow the words down-which makes it a great reading tool that is also fun! Our testers ranging in age from 5-11 had a giggly good time with this one. Too bad it came too late for the book. Also available in "princess" pink. [Please note: the Disney Classic Version is available exclusively until the first of the year at Circuit City. The Princess Version is available exclusively until the first of the year at Toys R Us.]

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2006 Awards
Neurosmith Music Blocks
(Small World Toys $45 Score:) Welcome back! This Platinum Award winner was gone for a few years. It returns with five colored plastic blocks, each side making a different sound. Match the shapes on the blocks or play them in random order—there’s no right or wrong way. The “composer” allows you to record and play back your composition. Comes with one jazz cartridge; we’d suggest bringing home the classical cartridge ($15), too. (800) 421-4153. SNAP Activity: This is a great product for developing shape matching concepts as well as dexterity. Play a game of putting up all the triangles and play them...next try all the circles. Or how about making a pattern as in circle, square,cirle, etc. A satisfying toy for making things happen. Sound quality is also a major plus when it's a toy you are going to hear again and again.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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