My Top 10 Instruments to use with Babies and Toddlers

top 10 instruments.pagesBabies and toddlers have lots of toys and as a parent or teacher you are constantly bombarded with new toys to purchase or gift. If your baby or toddler tends to love music (what baby doesn’t) you probably considered purchasing some small instruments for him for his music making and discovery.


I urge you, please purchase quality instruments and not music toys! Why? Well for one, you will be a lot happier hearing music made from quality instruments rather than the cheap sound of plastic which tends to be more noise than music. While most of these are made of plastic (great for cleansing!) the sound quality of these is very different from cheaply made plastic toys. Two, your child probably has sensitive hearing and will appreciate the quality sound. Also he is learning and experiencing music that he can make. He will enjoy it more if it has a quality sound.


There are several places to buy these instruments. My two go-to places are and Also I have seen a few of these at local quality toy stores and even at Bed Bath and Beyond and Buy Buy Baby (see instrument #1).


Here are my top 10 quality instruments that I recommend for babies and toddlers:

  1. Hohner Kids Mini Tube Shaker – a mini rainstick perfect for chubby little hands. More a shaker than an rainstick but it has a beautiful sound and is colorful!
  2. Hohner Kids Baby Maraca – this tiny maraca makes a wonderful soft sound and is so perfect for even the tiniest hands.
  3. Hohner Kids Maracitos – Perfect for small hands with a quality shaker sound.Babies will mouth these but they do not pose the same choking risk as the traditional egg shaker.
  4. LP RhythMix Animal Shakers – These colorful animal shakers are fun to look at and easy to hold while offering a nice shaker sound.
  5. Hohner Kids Rainstick – this 8″ is not as small as the mini tube shaker but not as large as the 16″ rainstick. Offers a gentle rain sound or shaker sound depending on how it is used.
  6. Hohner Kids Ocean Drum – While this ocean drum does not provide the same quality ocean sound as the larger adult ocean drums, it does make a soothing sound as the beads roll around. The fun fish images delight as well! Most of the instruments I recommend are pretty indestructible but I would hesitate to say that this would hold up to too much roughness (i.e., stomping, banging, etc)
  7. Hohner Kids Cage Bell – Kids love jingle bells but many jingle bell instruments pose a choking hazard for little ones. The cage bell has the bell enclosed to solve that problem. The Hohner Kids Musical Shapes (orange circle) does not have the bells enclosed but they seem to be pretty secure. I’ve never seen them some off.
  8. Haba Musical Eggs – 5 wooden eggs with different sounds. Great for sound discovery!
  9. Remo Baby Drum – This tiny drum offers the quality Remo is known for but it made for little hands. There is a mallet available for it but I prefer just to have babies use their hands. Not sure how great it is for babies to chew on the mallet (if you care about that kind of thing!).
  10. Remo Lollipop Drum – A favorite among all kids of all ages, this drum comes in 3 sizes. I find the 6″, which is the smallest, is perfect for toddlers to hold. Its so tempting to lick it or chew on the mallet but soon kids learn that its not quite as sweet as a real lollipop!


Looking for more recommendations of quality instruments? Check out our recommendations here!


What are your favorite instruments for babies and toddlers? We’d love to hear from you!


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