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Coolest sound toys for young children?
December 13, 2013 3:04 PM   Subscribe

My 1-year old niece was entranced by my bluetooth speaker last time I visited. What are some cool sound toys for kids?

I know there's lots of neat sound apps for tablets but 1. the fam isn't big on screen time and 2. real-world objects are so much cooler. What's the state of the art for cool sound toys for kids?

Some ideas I had that I want to exist:

1. Portable speaker that you can load with a few songs. Big fun buttons to push to play the songs. Like a Buddha Machine for kids?

1a. Better: load with loops and buttons toggle loops on/off.

2. 6 buttons on a box keyed to the pentatonic scale. Another button that switches the key.

I'm open to any ideas y'all might have!
posted by wemayfreeze to Technology (13 answers total)
 
Please be careful buying noisy toys for little kids. As the father of a two-year-old, it drives parents nuts listening to the same sound effect 173 times in a row, or even the same song over and over and over and over...
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 3:34 PM on December 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am sure you have seen this FPP
posted by rockindata at 3:36 PM on December 13, 2013


I got a fake plastic "iPod" for a one-year-old's birthday that played nursery rhymes sung by groups of British children, and I'm not sure his parents have forgiven me yet.

Seconding "be cautious."
posted by Linda_Holmes at 3:39 PM on December 13, 2013


The FPP is about the new Korg littlebits synth kit, which looks pretty cool- though beyond a 1 year old.
posted by rockindata at 3:41 PM on December 13, 2013


Oooh yeah, should have probably said: I'm very skeptical of toys that make sounds! I'm looking for things that have more to them than the standard noise making trains and tools and squeaky barnyard animals etc etc.

And of course have an off switch, which way too many noise toys do not have. Ridic.

And yes, I've seen littleBits. So cool! If they made that 10x simpler we would be in the ballpark.
posted by wemayfreeze at 3:43 PM on December 13, 2013


My dad bought my daughter a ukulele for Christmas this year, and I sort of feel like that will be 1) a lot less annoying than most of the electronic toys, and 2) more educational/"hands-on" than just button-pushing toys. A ukulele is probably too advanced for a 1-year-old (and maybe for a 2-year-old, honestly), but other musical instruments and "analog" sorts of toys might be good options, too.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 3:46 PM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


We find the Mozart Cube pretty tolerable to listen too. For instruments, I've been coveting these fruit and vegetable shakers (you don't have to buy all 36) for a while. There's also Melissa and Doug's Band in a Box.

I recently did some Google searches for electronic toys with buttons that make inoffensive noises and came up empty handed, so I'll be watching this ask.
posted by Xalf at 4:42 PM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seconding the Mozart Magic Cube. My kids loved it at that age and older.
posted by candyland at 5:51 PM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not hi-tech at all, but my 15 month old enjoys her toddler band. We can each grab an instrument and jam with her, which is nice.
posted by smalls at 6:45 PM on December 13, 2013


I haven't actually seen this in person yet, but it is on my Christmas list for a music-loving kiddo in my life, and I am excited because it seems SO COOL. Basically I want it but I'd feel weird buying a toy for myself...

It's called Symphony in B (video) and you can get it at Amazon ($60) or Target ($40).
posted by charmcityblues at 7:06 PM on December 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The ukelele rec reminded me: when I was very young we had a toy grand piano in the house. Maybe ukelele-sized or smaller. I played the HELL out of that thing - it sounded kinda like a tinny version of the real deal and was lots of fun.

We also had an organ in the house and I probably spent a fair bit of time on there too as a tot.
posted by divabat at 8:40 PM on December 13, 2013


It's kind of expensive, but they still make Merlin, which can do some pretty cool things with sound input and playback. A lot of the games would be beyond the reach of a one-year-old, but it'd continue to provide amusement as she grows. I loved using my sister's when I was a kid. Even today, it's still fun to mess around with.
posted by rensar at 11:41 AM on December 14, 2013


Hey thanks everybody! Some great suggestions. I picked up the Mozart Cube and definitely going to check out the Symphony in B, too.
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:33 PM on December 17, 2013


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