excited dad and baby playing with xylophone.
profile picture of Emily Platt
Emily Platt
Associate Editor

18 Unique Musical Toys That Hit the Right Note

Not to toot our own horn, but we've found some stellar musical toys for babies, toddlers and kids.

Multipurpose toys are music to our ears, which is why we love musical toys! These special playthings aren’t just entertaining—they can boost your child’s mood, get them moving and even help them learn. The category is divided up into two main types: toy musical instruments and toys that play music. Both immerse kids in the wonderful world of sound, which helps develop their senses and might even strike up an interest or talent in the art form. Best of all, there are unique musical toys for babies, toddlers and older kids. So no matter what stage your little one is at, you can incorporate music into playtime. Ready to tune up your child’s toy collection? Check out our favorite musical toys below, conveniently organized by age.

Musical Toys for Babies

Believe it or not, by the end of month one, baby’s hearing will be fully developed! That means it’s time to start capitalizing on the benefits of music. The best toys for babies include activity mats, teethers, rattles and soft toys, all of which come in musical form.

Photo: Courtesy Manhattan Toy

Manhattan Toy Lullaby Squirrel Pull Musical Crib and Baby Toy

Talk about a creative (and super-cute) design. Pull the squirrel from the acorn to hear Brahms’ “Cradle Song”—the lullaby will play as the critter wiggles back up into the nut. The song serves to comfort baby, while the tactile experience (it doubles as a crinkle toy) plus the moving animal will further stimulate baby’s senses. It works as a musical crib toy (just be sure to remove it when baby is sleeping) or an on-the-go plaything.

Age: 0 months+
Buy it: $19, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Baby Gund

Baby Gund Flappy the Elephant Musical Elephant

When you push this sweet stuffed elephant’s right foot, it flaps its ears and plays a song. When you push its left foot, it moves its ears over and off its eyes for a game of peekaboo. Who knew musical toys for infants could be so cool?

Age: 0 months+
Buy it: $40, Nordstrom.com

Photo: Courtesy Baby Einstein

Baby Einstein Octoplush Plush Toy

Like many of the best musical baby toys, this octopus music toy does a whole lot. The legs are embroidered with colored designs. Squeeze them to hear each hue’s name in English, French and Spanish, followed by a classical melody. These features make the stuffed animal great for cuddling, but also for learning as baby gets older.

Age: 3 months+
Buy it: $10, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Melissa & Doug

Melissa & Doug Musical Farmyard Cube

Capture baby’s attention with a whole host of sounds, sights and textures. This plush cube is equipped with everything from mirrors and graspers to pressable noses. The latter play farm animal noises as well as delightful songs when pushed.

Age: 6 months+
Buy it: $16, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Tiny Love

Tiny Love Gymini Deluxe Activity Play Mat

Here’s yet another musical toy for babies that seems to do it all. The modern play mat offers plenty of sensory experiences—30 songs and 18 separate activities, to be exact.

Age: 0 months+
Buy it: $48, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Done by Deer

Done by Deer Musical Toy Antee

We’re obsessed with the shape of this musical toy for babies, which is designed to resemble a surprisingly adorable anteater. Use it as a musical crib toy or attach it to your stroller. Then, simply tug the tail to hear a tune.

Age: 0 months+
Buy it: $29, Kidly.com

Musical Toys for Toddlers

Now that your child’s a toddler, the play possibilities expand. There are musical versions of toddler go-tos like pull toys, but you can also begin buying toy musical instruments. Here, a few of the best musical toys for toddlers.

Photo: Courtesy Scandiborn

Scandiborn Kids Concept Grey Drum

While there’s nothing wrong with using spoons and pots as percussion instruments , sometimes you want something a little prettier for your playroom. Cue this toddler drum that has us starry-eyed.

Age: 2 years old+
Buy it: $36, Scandiborn.com

Photo: Courtesy VTech

VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

Shopping for musical toys for a 1-year-old? Push and pull toys are always a hit at this age. This puppy-shaped plaything is a fun choice. Your kid can develop their motor skills by moving it around, which is encouraged thanks to the 60+(!) songs these movements activate.

Age: 6 months to 3 years old
Buy it: $13, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Manhattan Toy

Manhattan Toy Musical Tiger

This geniusly designed wooden tiger serves as a xylophone, a cymbal, a maraca and a drum! Your kid will have fun hitting, detaching and shaking the pieces to make music. Add it to the list of musical toys for toddlers that promote motor development.

Age: 18 months+
Buy it: $50, Nordstrom.com

Photo: Courtesy PlayMonster

PlayMonster Mirari Pop! Pop! Piano

This musical toy for your 1-year-old (or 2- or 3-year-old) is an early introduction to pianos. When your tot taps the keys, they’ll hear musical notes or silly sounds and see stars pop out of the pipes. How’s that for a stellar toy musical instrument?

Age: 12 months+
Buy it: $23, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Hape

Hape Mighty Echo Microphone

Musical toys can also teach your toddler to use their voice. This wooden plaything makes your kid’s songs echo sans batteries—we’ll raise a mic to that.

Age: 12 months+
Buy it: $10, Store.MetMuseum.org

Photo: Courtesy LeapFrog

LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Mat in Green

You’ve let your toddler listen and sing. Now, get them grooving! Develop their coordination (and wear them out for naptime) with this educational musical toy for a 2-year-old and up. It helps teach numbers and the sounds of musical instruments, encourages dancing, plays 50+ songs and more.

Age: 2 years old+
Buy it: $27, Amazon.com

Musical Toys for Kids

Looking for musical toys for 3-year-olds and up? Shop these creative musical toys for kids. As you’ll soon see, there are some awesome toys that play music and toy musical instruments for older children.

Photo: Courtesy Darkling Designs 10

Darkling Designs 10 Personalized Engraved Xylophone Musical Instrument Children’s Toy

Get personal with custom toy musical instruments. Engrave this colorful xylophone with your child’s name and a message. It comes with a music sheet to teach them five different tunes.

Age: 3 years old+
Buy it: $21, Etsy.com

Photo: Courtesy PlanToys

PlanToys Plan Preschool Clatter Music

Preschoolers will love this noisy clatter instrument, which they can click-clack in a range of ways to their heart’s content. (And boy, do you know how much your kid loves making noise.)

Age: 19 months+
Buy it: $18, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy PlayMe

PlayMe Musical Pat Bells

Have you ever seen musical toys quite like this? This unique set of bells, which are sized for small hands, comes with song cards for classic dittys like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Tap each bell to play a different note, which the instructions show kids how to combine. The kit also helps children learn their colors, since each bell comes is a different shade.

Age: 3 years old+
Buy it: $150, UncommonGoods.com

Photo: Courtesy SunnyLIFE

SunnyLIFE Wooden Tambourine Toy

Brighten up playtime with this vibrant tambourine, which your kid can wiggle and wack to make their own music. We love the wooden, visually stimulating design.

Age: 4 years old+
Buy it: $14, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Mukikim

Mukikim Rock and Roll It Rainbow Piano

Need some toy musical instruments you can easily transport? A roll-up piano might be right up your alley. This one, ideal for big kids, has 49 standard keys to practice on. They can experiment on their own or get inspired by the songs it comes programmed with.

Age: 6 years old+
Buy it: $60, Store.MetMuseum.org

Photo: Courtesy B. Toys by Battat

B. Toys by Battat Symphony Musical Toy Opera for Kids

Your kid might still be too young to sit through a real symphony, but that doesn’t mean they can’t appreciate one at all. This unique toy features an orchestra pit plus 13 removable instruments. Swap them in and out to hear different music, demonstrating how a performance comes together.

Age: 3 years old+
Buy it: $55, Amazon.com

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.

Published February 2019

Plus, more from The Bump:

Photo: Getty Images