If you know me, you know that reading and literacy are really important to me, so I’ve made sure that my boys have been surrounded by books their whole lives. What you might not know is that I feel similarly about music.

I grew up playing the piano and my dad is the most amazing piano player, and some of my best memories are of me literally sitting on his lap playing duets together. Chopsticks, but still.

I’ve also always insisted that my boys be involved with music whenever they can. In the evenings we like nothing more than to have a dance session in the TV room, and they both go to isiXhosa music classes every week. Presents in our house are usually clothes, books or musical instruments.

Why is music so important to me?

  • Playing a musical instrument speeds up brain development, especially in language development, listening and reading skills.
  • Listening to music also helps with mathematical reasoning – even more so when older kids study music but also helpful when they are little.
  • Depending on the instrument, playing will help build either gross motor skills (playing a drum) or fine motor skills (playing a piano).
  • Making music when there are no rules improves creativity.
  • Playing instruments improves concentration and helps with patience.
  • Creating sounds and music encourages self-expression and increases self-confidence.

In our playroom you can find a bunch of musical instruments, all in various stages of disrepair.

But needless to say, when we were offered a couple of musical instruments for the boys, I wasn’t going to say no. S was gifted the Happy Music Band Drum and J got the Happy Music Baby Star Guitar, both from Chicco.

The drum has three different play modes, 25 differemt tunes and sound effects, flashing lights and even cymbals. It doesn’t come with drumsticks but S would eat those anyway so he’s better off just using his hands.

The guitar has 3 different musical styles (rock, pop, and blues), 3 different play modes and 23 pre-recorded melodies. I’ll be honest, even I haven’t quite figured out how this guitar works, but there are so many buttons to push, handles to pull, and flashing lights that J is not worried about the specifics of playing.

I must say, I’m very impressed with the quality of these instruments and the music! You can imagine the noise these add to our already crazy zoo we call home, but thankfully the pre-recorded tunes and the musical sounds are decent and not annoying at all.

The boys have loved them from the minute I gave them to them, I enjoy jamming with them, the Beard likes to try and teach them how to play properly, and I even caught grandpa trying out the guitar!

These toys get a definite thumbs up from us :-) and I would totally recommend them for a Christmas gift.

Available at Loot and the Kidzone for approximately R350 for the drum and R600 for the guitar.

Disclaimer: These toys were gifted to us but all opinions are my own and the photos are totally real and unstaged. (Can you imagine trying to stage a 1- and a 2-year old for a photo?!)

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