It’s often difficult to get a good balance when choosing stocking presents for kids, but with these 10 Great Gifts for Musical Learning your presents will be wonderfully educational and lots of fun too.
Everyone wants to include a bit of fun and frivolity at Christmas, but you don’t want too many funny five minute wonders! I once had a great comment on the blog about how to choose Christmas stocking gifts, and it suggested that you should include a small present for each of the senses. This lovely idea is a great way to really make a lasting impression on a child, and is sure to bring more amusement and stimulation than the latest fad or commercial fancy. So in this post I will be concentrating on gifts for the sense of listening and sound.
10 Best Gifts For Musical Learning
Rhythms On Parade is a fantastic CD for getting kids moving and using their imaginations. It has 20 catchy tunes that encourage kids to sing, march and play along. There’s lots of variety, using different musical styles, dynamics and moods to provide plenty of contrast. A great way to develop little imaginations and musicality. (Recommended age from 3 yrs upwards)
There are loads of different glockenspiels and xylophones available these days, they are not cheap and particularly if you are ordering online it’s difficult to be sure of the quality of sound and build of the instrument. These Basic Beat 8 Resonator Bells do not disappoint, they have a lovely ringing tone and are robustly made to withstand plenty of enthusiastic bashing! Although you might prefer a fixed xylophone set, these separate note ones offer more versatility as they can be played in the box provided, or they can be split up to play different games or concentrate on learning particular intervals. (Recommended age from 2 years upwards)
These beautiful bold maracas are exactly the same as the ones that I have used for many years teaching music to children. You do have to be careful when choosing maracas that you don’t get taken in by the pretty decorative ones, it’s the tough ones you want. These make a satisfying shaky sound and are really, very hard wearing and mine have certainly had a lot of use! (Recommended age from 18 months upwards)
When choosing a tambourine you should try to avoid a toy brand product as the quality of sound and build will not live up to expectations. However a lot of the higher end tambourines intended as a real instrument are simply to big for little hands to manage. This model ticks both boxes, it is small enough for little ones to play, while it still makes a good sound that withstands a decent amount of beating. Like all things it will break if for instance, it was hit with a metal beater instead of a wooden one, but part of learning about playing musical instruments should be how to play and take care of them properly too. (Recommended age from 18 months up with a little help)
There should always be some lovely sleigh bells in any collection of musical instruments especially at Christmas. Everyone loves to jingle bells from babies to grown ups and these are great quality and good value for money. (Recommended age from 18 months)
Wooden tone blocks are invaluable when learning all about rhythm and these ones do the job perfectly . They are nice and solid with a good ringing tone, but silky smooth to touch and aren’t too big for little hands either. (Recommended age from 18 months)
Triangles are always popular too, and children from two upwards have great fun learning how to play them properly to make them ring, and then they are amazed by how the sound stops immediately when you touch it. (Recommended age from 2 years)
This wooden crow sounder is similar to a guiro, and makes a very satisfying sound when scraped rhythmically with a stick. It’s an impressive sound for very little effort and this one in particular is very good value compared with the larger guiros.
The Three Rapping Rats book offers the chance for kids to use their instruments, with rhythm and singing to tell traditional tales with old folk tunes. They’ll need a bit of help to get started but it really brings the stories to life, the kids get thoroughly involved and before you know it each story become a magical little improvised performance.