13 Unique Musical Toys That Hit the Right Note

Encourage their love of music young with these musical toys for babies and toddlers
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By Emily Platt, Associate Editor
Updated November 18, 2022
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Multipurpose toys are music to our ears, which is why we love musical toys! These special playthings aren’t just entertaining: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, some of the many benefits of music for children are increased attention and reasoning skills, an increase in pro-social behavior and a decrease in impulsivity. Babies’ music toys can be found in 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 both babies and toddlers, so you can incorporate music into playtime no matter what stage your little one is at. Ready to tune up your child’s toy collection? Check out our favorite musical toys for toddlers and babies below.

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 by selecting some of our favorite musical toys. The best toys for babies include activity mats, teethers, rattles and soft toys, all of which come in musical form.

Musical Crib and Baby Toy

Manhattan Toy Lullaby Squirrel Pull Musical Crib and Baby Toy

Talk about a creative (and super cute) design. With this musical toy, you and baby can 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 their senses. Perfect for an on-the-go plaything! Age rating: 0 months+

Musical Stuffed Elephant Toy

Baby Gund Flappy The Elephant Musical Stuffed Animal

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 babies could be so cool? The plaything serves as an interactive companion that will definitely bring a smile to your little one’s face. Age rating: 0 to 12 months.

Octopus Plush Toy

Baby Einstein Octoplush Plush Toy

Like many babies' music toys, this octopus music toy is multifunctional. 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 rating: 3 months+

Farmyard Musical 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. The adorable musical toy will keep baby entertained for hours. Age rating: 6 months to 2 years.

Activity Gym Play Mat

Tiny Love Gymini Deluxe Activity Play Mat, Into the Forest
Tiny Love Gymini Deluxe Activity Play Mat, Into the Forest
Image: Amazon

Here’s yet another musical toy for babies that seems to do it all. This modern play mat offers plenty of sensory experiences—30 songs and 18 separate activities, to be exact. The adjustable arches allow for different activities, and the toys are detachable so baby can take their favorite forest pals with them wherever they go. Age rating: 0 to 12 months.

Musical Toys for Toddlers

Once your kiddo hits toddlerhood, the play possibilities are practically endless. There are musical versions of toddler go-tos like pull toys, but you can also begin buying toy musical instruments. Below are a few of the best musical toys for toddlers.

Musical Puppy Pull Toy

VTech Pull and Sing Puppy
VTech Pull and Sing Puppy
Image: Amazon

Shopping for musical toys for a one year old? Push and pull toys are always a hit at this age, and this puppy-shaped plaything is an especially fun choice. Your little one can develop their gross motor skills by moving it around—which is encouraged thanks to the 60+(!) songs these movements activate—while colorful buttons promote the development of fine motor skills later on. Age rating: 6 months to 3 years.

Musical Toy Eggs

HABA Musical Eggs

Let your little one explore the wonderful world of sound with these beechwood eggs from HABA. Brightly colored and easy to grasp, each wooden egg makes a different sound: one clicks, another jingles and yet another rattles, along with other fun sounds. Tots can hone their motor skills while also increasing their awareness of cause and effect with this fun set of musical toys for babies. Age rating: 2 years+

Toy Guitar for Toddlers

Baby Einstein Together in Tune Musical Guitar

Encourage your little rockstar with this fun musical guitar from Baby Einstein. Four musical modes capture the attention of any budding musician. Discovery and performer modes allow your kiddo to explore different tunes, while play mode simply makes fun noises and animal sounds. Use band mode to connect to other Together in Tune instruments and help your toddler create their first band! Age rating: 12 months+

Wooden Drum Set

Plan Toys 2-Piece Drum Set
Plan Toys 2-Piece Drum Set
Image: Nordstrom
Buying Options
Nordstrom  | $30

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 with a colorful triangle pattern that has us starry-eyed. It comes in a set of two so your little one can jam with a friend, and also includes easy-to-hold mallets. Age rating: 18 months+

Wooden Forest Musical Toy Set

Manhattan Toy Musical Forest Trio

This threesome of forest friends doubles as a plastic-free musical toy for little ones to enjoy. Using recognizable animals in bright colors finished with lead-free paint, this set features a llama clacker, a bear rattle and a hedgehog with a mallet for one of your toddler’s first introductions to “real” music-making. It never hurts to start them young! Age rating: 12 months+

Toddler Piano Toy

Mirari Pop! Pop! Piano
Mirari Pop! Pop! Piano
Image: Target

This musical toy for toddlers is an early introduction to pianos. When your tot taps the keys, they’ll hear musical notes or silly sounds and see balls pop out of the pipes. How’s that for a stellar toy musical instrument? Age rating: 12 months+

Toddler Wooden Percussion Instrument

Hape Mighty Mini Band Wooden Percussion Instrument
Hape Mighty Mini Band Wooden Percussion Instrument
Image: Amazon

Featuring five instruments on one table, Hape’s wooden musical toy for toddlers is one of our top picks. Let your little one have free reign of the sound system when they bang, clash and tap out their favorite tunes. This musical table has a guiro, a drum, a xylophone, cymbals and a wooden clacker, and is made of non-toxic materials for a jam session you can feel good about. Age rating: 2 years+

Musical Dance Mat for Toddlers

WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Official - Step & Sing Piano Dance Mat

Baby Shark fans will adore this fun dance mat, one of our favorite musical toys for toddlers. This three-foot-long piano mat features brightly colored keys with some of your little one’s favorite characters, and two activity modes for endless fun—and of course, the popular tune is built right in. Age rating: 2 years+

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