Kids love making music, and when you are ready to let them unleash their inner rocker, try the durable Winfun Sing N Play Magic Keyboard ($50). Younger kids will like the microphone and playing with the tempo of built-in sounds, while older ones will like using the recording feature to play back their own riffs. All kids will like the scratchpad and exploring the beats and styles. It also comes with 4 AA batteries, so it’s ready to play right out of the package.
Introducing music to kids as early as babies is a fun way to play. While most toys and activities skew on the side of being visual/tactile, an audio-tactile toy is helpful for development and learn music and songs. Kids may be graduating from a musical xylophone of their early toddler years, so a keyboard introduces much more: more octave range, sharp/flat notes (the black keys!), as well as all the bells and whistles that the electronic side can provide (prerecorded beats, alternate instrument sounds, etc.).
Starting a kid on a keyboard like the Winfun isn’t relegated to just child’s play. It’s good to show that real music can be made with toys as simple as this one. Songs like “Happy Birthday” and “Joy to the World” would be easy ones to pick up and teach. This music keyboard for kids can be used to enhance the songs that families sing together. Singing songs together is a very effective teaching tool, and adding a keyboard to the mix can show how teams help make music together.
But additionally, the keyboard is a draw even for singular playtime. Kids enjoy exploring what all the options are, and how they can work together. Prerecorded beats are chosen to represent, or even influence, their mood. From dancing fast, to stomping around slow, a music keyboard for kids can get them moving, learning, singing, and playing.
Whether you are familiar or a fan of the popular Jake and the Neverland Pirates show on the Disney Channel, being able to play along with Jake’s Musical Pirate Ship Bucky ($45) is be fun for any kid. Little ones can fire water-ball projectiles from the spring-loaded cannon, or engage with the Tick Tock Croc which springs out from behind a door. Lots of audible action phrases, and a pirate adventure song. Note – it’s not a bath toy(!), but even on dry land, this is a fun one for kids to enjoy.
As a parent, you may have been waiting for this book your child’s entire life. Capture the interest of your young chef with Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat ($14), written by teens for teens. This well-written book features easy-to-follow recipes with great illustrations. Enjoy wide range of tasty meals for all taste buds. Teens can learn how to cook alternatives to what they normally eat when dining out, and enjoy building confidence in the kitchen in the process. If you’re ever going to get served breakfast in bed, you might as well give your teen the right tools to make it happen! A solid kitchen instruction book for teens like Teens Cook is the manual they need.
Babies love to gnaw on hard wood surfaces, so Camden Rose Cherry Rattle ($15) is built to handle babies’ first teeth. This rattle is organically sculpted and sanded baby smooth, and are the perfect size for little hands. The rattle makes a clacking sound unlike other plastic rattles. Babies are sure to enjoy this natural wood toy and teether.
The fun starts as high as you can reach. With the Wall Coaster Extreme Stunt Set ($25) marble run, kids can let the imaginations roll, building tracks consisting of zig-zags, change-ups, coasters, and catchers. Unlike a floor-based stacking marble run, this is a wall marble run, where pieces adhere to the wall using reusable adhesive. The adhesive is pretty much the same kind of putty used to tack posters to the wall, and it peels off easily. Once the track is set up, just drop in the glow-in-the-dark marbles and let gravity take care of the rest, as kids watch how their tracks affect the direction, velocity, and speed of the marbles on their bedroom wall. This toy helps kids feel constructive, and gives them a desire to optimize their designs. Though this set comes with several different types of pieces, older kids may find that they want to expand their sets to see how far they can take their creation.
Summers are great for sprinklers and water toys, and one of the most fun-looking water tables is the Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark ($31). With plenty of different moving things to keep kids moving from one station to the next, or playing with a friend. Drop balls down the giant spiral, watching them go round and round, and down into the lazy river, powered by the spinners. Turn the ferris wheel to scoop up and drop off balls. Fill the cup and pour into the funnel to power twin water wheels. This water table will be a consistent summertime fun favorite.
For the inquisitive child who would appreciate a concrete hands-on education on how electronics work, the Snap Circuits SC-300 ($40) offers 305 do-it-yourself projects from a 60-piece set of components. Snap Circuits is the award-winning product for kids to build a radio, doorbell, burglar alarm, and much more from a clearly illustrated manual and without any tools. We only wish it showed how the Professor from Gilligan’s Island built a radio from a coconut, but alas, we’ll have to settle for this awesome set of real-life snap-together circuitry.
For the baby boy, this colorful six-pack of Jonny’s Hightop Tennis Shoe Socks ($20) by Trumpette will keep his little piggies warm while also looking adorable. The variety of colors available in this selection mean that there is always a matching pair to wear. Who says you have be able to walk in order to sport some cute high-tops? These socks look like the classic tennis shoes and come packaged in the signature Trumpette gift box.