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This article is mommy approved by Miriam Slozberg, mother of two.
It is a known fact that music is suitable for kids and their development, which is why they are introduced to it during their early years. And when it comes to kids with autism in all areas of the spectrum, music is hugely beneficial for them as it can help improve their overall skills and cognitive ability. It is also an excellent idea for them to play musical instruments for this reason.
Music helps to stimulate both brain hemispheres, and this is why it is good for the growth of kids on the spectrum (and typically developing kids as well). However, kids on the spectrum, regardless of where they fall on it need the exposure to music even more for the apparent reason, which is that they need extra help for developing, which is why music is a type of therapy for autistic kids as well.
However, the type of instrument that kids on the spectrum can use and gain benefits from depends on is their level of functioning. That is why listed below are the top 5 musical instruments (which are toys) for kids with the condition that are moderate to severely affected. And, there are top 5 real musical instruments for kids that are on the higher end of the spectrum.
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Best Musical Instruments For Children On The Moderate To Severe End Of The Autism Spectrum
Listed below are the 5 best musical instruments which are toys for kids that are moderate to profoundly affected by autism:
Hape Pound, Tap, & Shake! Music Set
- INTERACTIVE AND COLORFUL: The pound a ball toy has bright colored hammering balls and a slide out xylophone with 8 keys — great for learning colors. Play alongside your little one and help create songs with the Tap-Along tambourine.
- CHILD SAFE AND WELL DESIGNED: The bamboo wooden construction is durable, sustainable, and built to withstand years of play. The toys are finished with safe, scentless, water-based paint. The tambourine surface is intuitively designed to keep the volume down to comfortable levels
- DEVELOP FINE MOTOR SKILLS: This toy set introduces logic, coordination, audio recognition, cause and effect, and matching all in one! Inspire musicality in your little one by teaching classic, easy to learn songs.
- Wooden bench for pounding is included
- Tamborine for tapping along is also part of the set
- Baby xylophone included
- Safe for kids and designed to be used easily
- It helps kids develop motor skills and other skills
- Hape won the 2018 Cribsie Award for Favorite First Musical Toy
Kids that are on the moderate to severe end of the autism spectrum are a lot younger cognitively than their typical peers or their autistic peers who are on the higher functioning level. However, this musical instrument will help them evolve as it helps typical toddlers and kindergartners.
The set includes a xylophone with 8 different keys with different colors to teach them different colors, and it has a wooden pounding bench as well. They also will get a tapping Tamborine and these instruments are there to help kids on the moderate to severe end of the autism spectrum gain better motor skills as well as gaining the understanding of cause and effect.
The Hape Pound, Tap, & Shake! Music Set won the 2018 Cribsie Award for Favorite First Musical Toy.
- Colors are vibrant
- The set is well-made and durable
- This musical set is engaging and holds the interest of the kids
- It is visually appealing
- Some customers have said the xylophone is somewhat not in tune
- The wood grain on the side of the box makes the set appear cheap
ToyerBee Musical Instruments Toys Set for Kids, 15PCS Wooden Percussion Instruments
- A Complete Musical instrument Set: Shaking, tapping, beating and blowing, 12 pcs 8 types of rhythm instruments can give kids various game experience. This percussion set includes tambourine, Maracas, Castane, Triangle With Striker Xylophone, Rainbow Bell Stick and Whistle is a great and creative birthday gift for kids, boys and girls.
- Super Security: Made of reliable and non-toxic wood and plastic material for children, our instruments create a healthy and safe play environment to toddlers and build more interactions between the parents and the kids from playing.
- Easy to Storage and Carry: A lovely yellow plastic bag can help you to take in all instruments. You can carry on it with the help of durable strap of bag and just right weight. Besides, you can put part of our music set into your kid's package as a packet toy, this cute musical toy will bring your child into magic music world anywhere. It's a good choice to put this baby instruments as a gift.
- 15 pieces of wooden percussion
- Includes a xylophone, maracas, a Tamborine, a Castanets, triangle with striker, and more
- Made with non-toxic materials
- Colors stand out
- Features a bag to keep the instruments in so the kids can store it away after they are done with it.
ToyerBee features a 15-piece percussion set and the set includes instruments such as a xylophone, Maracas, Tamborine, Castanets, a whistle, a triangle, and striker as well as a rainbow bell stick.
The materials the toys are made with are non-toxic and are safe for kids to use. The musical set can help these kids develop better fine motor skills and gain sound and musical recognition, as well as color recognition.
Additionally, this product has a bag so that once the kids are done with using the instruments, they can place it in there as that can teach them skills that they need when it comes to cleaning after themselves.
- The set is safe and sturdy
- The set keeps kids engaged for a long time
- It is quite enjoyable
- Caregivers and parents enjoy the instruments well and it creates a nice family activity
- The colors and sounds may be overwhelming for kids with extreme sensory issues
- Customers have said that some of the instruments don’t provide a high-quality sound
B. toys by Battatt – Drumroll Please – 7 Musical Instruments Toy Drum Kit
- Toy drum set: Drumroll please from b toys is a portable parade kit, with 7 musical Instruments for toddlers.
- 7-Pieces: comes with 1 toy drum, 2 drumsticks, castanets, 1 Whistle, 1 tambourine and 1 Shaka egg.
- Storage included: Easy to store and carry. All 7 children’s musical instruments fit in the drum.
- B. toys – Drumroll Please is a 7 piece set percussion set
- Included are a drum, a whistle, a castanet, a Shaka egg, a tambourine, and drumsticks
- Instruments fit into a drum which makes it a great storage space so it does not take up space
- The set can be good for sensory issues as it provides the kids to feel any types of textures
- It can help improve eye-hand coordination and motor skill development
- Safe and non-toxic materials are used
B. toys – Drumroll Please is a fun instrument that kids with moderate to severe autism can use as it is a 7-piece set that includes a variety type of percussion instruments. It has a Shaka egg, drumsticks, a tambourine, a castanet, a whistle, and of course, a drum.
What makes it great is that the pieces are designed to fit right inside of the drum so it can be stored and safe will be saved. The instruments have a variety of textures so that the kids can use them for sensory work.
These instruments as well are excellent for helping the kids develop better eye-hand coordination and it can help their motor skills as well. The materials that the set is made from are durable, safe, and non-toxic.
- The drumset can be carried safely by the neck with a strap which makes portability easy
- Fun and engaging for the kids, caregivers, and parents
- The set is highly durable which means it will still last even after repeated dropping
- The design of it is smart for storage purposes
- Unwrapping each piece is difficult to do as they are sealed in separate wrapping
- The lights are bright on the instrument which can be a sensory disturbance
AGREATLIFE Wooden Xylophone
- This wooden xylophone is made with keys that are multicolor and comes with 2 mallets
- It comes with an Eagle whistle
- The sounds that produced are very clear and on key
- The mallets are very easy to hold as kids with moderate to severe autism often have poor muscle tone and motor skills
- The music they produce from the instrument is soothing
- The materials this instrument is made from is free of phthalates as well as BPAs
The AGREATLIFE wooden xylophone is another excellent musical instrument for kids with moderate to severe autism (however, for severe autism it is better suited for kids that are closer to the moderate end). It also comes with an Eagle whistle.
The keys are made with wood and are multicolors, and the set comes with 2 mallets that are easy for kids to hold considering often they have poor muscle tone and coordination.
The music that the kids can produce by using this xylophone is soothing as music is calming to kids on the autism spectrum. The materials and wood are safe, durable, and are BPA -free and phthalates- free.
- The mallets are easy to grasp and it can help develop their motor skill sounds
- The colors are not too bright which will not be a risk for sensory triggering
- The music is calming and comforting
- The instrument is engaging and will hold the child’s interest for a while
- Customers have said the sound can be a bit dull
- The xylophone is a little small
iPlay, iLearn Kids Drum Set
- 【Musical Instrument】This 6 instrument percussion set comes with 1x Marching Drum, 2x Stickers, 2x Maracas, 1x Tambourines, 1x Trumpet, 1x Flute and 1x Harmonica.
- 【Educational Musical Toys】This toy helps children develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as well as higher intelligence and greater emotional understanding.
- 【Storage Function】The drum itself also can be used as a storage box, convenient for your little ones to collect toys, and easy to carry when going out — the perfect size for preschoolers and early elementary children.
- This drum set contains a drum, a Tambourine, a maraca, a flute. a trumpet. and a harmonica
- Musical instruments were tested with CPSC and laboratories of a third-party accepts them
- The materials that are made with is high-quality and durable ABS plastic
- These instruments help kids on the moderate to severe end of the autism spectrum develop better eye-hand coordination
- The drum has space inside which allows kids to use it as a storage box for the other instruments
Children that are on the moderate to the severe end of the autism spectrum can get a lot of benefits from playing with the iPlay, iLearn percussion set. This set contains a drum, a maraca, a tambourine, a flute, a harmonica, and a trumpet.
They are made with the best quality ABS material and do not have any toxins, as they were tested with CPSC and third-party laboratories had given them a pass. They are safe for use.
This percussion set will help kids improve their eye-hand coordination and will help their mouth muscle tone development as well as they need to blow into the trumpet, flute, or harmonica.
Additionally, the great thing about this set is that the drum can be used as a storage area for the other instruments as it will help save space.
- The price is good for what comes with it
- Instruments are highly engaging and will hold the interests of the kids
- The storage room in the drum is large
- They are resistant to dropping and will not break
- Some instruments have inaccuracies in the notes such as the trumpet
- The noises have been said to be high-pitched which can be a sensory trigger (the ideal solution is for kids to use earplugs if they have auditory sensory issues).
Those are the most recommended musical instruments which are toys for children on the moderate to severe end of the autism spectrum. They will help them improve their overall development, especially their eye-hand coordination skills and help them become more engaging.
Kids that are on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum can use real musical instruments. They can as well help them with their overall development. Listed below are the 5 most recommended instruments for kids that are on the higher end of the autism spectrum.
Best Musical Instruments For Children On Th Higher End Of The Autism Spectrum
Forum Novelties Gold Trumpet Party Kazoo Play Musical Instrument
- Party Kazoo trumpet in metallic gold is sure to liven up any party
- Perfect for children, teens and adults
- Combine with dress up items by Forum Novelties for a complete costume
- Party Kazoo trumpet is made out of a gold metal
- It can be used for kids on the higher end of the spectrum of all ages
- It not only is a trumpet that creates tunes but can be used in settings to stimulate the imagination for play
- This trumpet has been a leader in the Halloween industry for a long time
Kids on the higher end of the autism spectrum of all ages will enjoy using this trumpet as it will help them improve their mouth muscle tone as they are required to blow into it.
However, this trumpet can also help them with make-belief play as it can be a tool to help stimulate imagination which will bring out creativity. And in the end, this can help with the development and ability to think on a more abstract level.
For example, they can play dress-up and pretend they are performing at a concert. Forum Novelties has been a leader in the Halloween industry for several decades.
- It is a great tool for imaginary play and goes well with costumes
- The instrument is sturdy
- It will keep the child engaged for a while
- Kids really love it
- Customers have said it doesn’t work overly well as a kazoo
- It is a little large from what customers have described
M SANMERSEN Electronic Piano Keyboard
- POWER SUPPLY & BATTERY OPERATED: This piano only works with the left speaker.Keyboard piano comes with a power cable,use the US-standard power adapter(NOT Included) and plug into the wall to charge the keyboard, Or just power with 3 AA batteries (Not included). Product size: 43*16*5cm/17 * 6.2 * 2 inch, easy to carry, whether you are traveling or at home, kids can use it whenever they want.
- UNIQUE RECORD & PLAYBACK FUNCTION: Record & playback design, to record what kids play and playback, professional and suitable for beginner to practice. Let children and parents enjoy played wonderful music. Piano can use of both hands at the same time can promote the development of the left and right brain.
- DEVELOP CHILDREN MUSICAL TALENT: M SANMERSEN keyboard piano is a educational musical piano toy, can develop the kids sensitivity of music and cultivating music interesting and sense of music, help instill in children a lifelong love of music and creation. And the musical spark can ignite when they feel encouraged and excited about playing music, also can develop children stage performance.
- Keyboard piano with 37 keys
- Keys have multi-functions and purposes
- It has a record and playback feature
- Kids can use the piano with both hands which are good for developing both brain hemispheres
- Helps kids develop an interest in music
- Made with safe and durable ABS plastic
- Combined with demos, rhythms, animal sounds, tones, and percussion
- Good for promoting eye-hand coordination
- Adapter which is not included plugs into the wall for charging, or operates on 3 AA batteries which are not included
The M SANMERSEN Electronic Piano Keyboard is a keyboard that kids on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum would enjoy a lot to play. The keyboard consists of 37 keys and the sounds that come from it are different tones, demos, rhythms, percussion sounds, as well as animal sounds. It also has a record and playback feature.
And it is good for brain development as both hands are used on the piano which will help develop both hemispheres of the brain. Additionally, it is good for the promotion and development of good eye-hand coordination.
The product is made with ABS plastic that is very durable. It needs to be charged with an adapter that is not included, or it can operate on 3 AA batteries which are also not included.
- It can run on a rechargeable battery
- It does not lag
- The sound is clear
- Kids love it and it keeps them engaged
- Some chords are off-key
- It is a little small
Abco Tech Giant Piano Mat
- INTERACTIVE & ENGAGING TOY — Bring out ABCO piano mat & start the dance party! Our piano play mat is designed to encourage physical activity in your child & let his/her creative juices flow to compose some incredible music, while ensuring hours of fun!
- MULTIPLE INSTRUMENTS — Introduce your child to various instruments in their young years with our floor piano mat, as this single mat allows you to choose between Guitar, Piano, Clarinet, Trumpet, Saxophone, Violin, Banjo & Xylophone sounds — 8-in-1!
- 4 UNIQUE MODES — Our giant piano mat has 4 different play modes — Play, Record, Playback & Demo, for your child to create, play & store her music according to her taste & imagination!
- The 70-inch playmat is meant for kids to play a giant keyboard with their feet by stomping on the keys
- The keyboard features 8 different musical instrument sounds
- Features a record and playback mode
- It has a demo mode
- There are 24 keys on this floor keyboard
- This instrument is good for the development of gross motor skills
- On and off switch that is automatic
- Runs on 2 AA batteries that are not included
This giant floor keyboard is 70-inches long and it is meant for kids to play music by stomping on the keys with their feet. It has 24 keys and it features a demo, record, and playback mode. Additionally, it features 8 different musical instrument sounds as well such as the xylophone, piano, banjo, violin, saxophone, guitar, clarinet, and trumpet.
Kids with high-functioning autism would get a lot from this as they would find this floor keyboard enjoyable, and it also helps to promote good gross-motor skills. It has a switch that is automatic and turns on and off, and it runs on 2 AA batteries that are not included.
- The sound is on key and clear
- The floor keyboard is large
- Kids playing it can get their exercise while strengthening their gross-motor skills
- It is enjoyable and engaging
- There no labels of where to find the types of sounds on the keys
- The battery door does not always screw shut and may have to be taped up
Tosnail Kids Piano Percussion Accordion Musical Toy
- Portable and Gripable Size - 7-1/2" x 6-3/4" x 4"; 1.8 lb weight. Perfect size for young hands. Recommended for children ages 12 and up.
- Made of food grade ABS plastic, 100% safe for kids to learn and play. The bellow made from kraft paper and brass reed ensure the sould and quality of accordion.
- Easy to Lean and Play - Pulling the bellows to make sound, there are 7 vocal keys on the right, and another three buttons on left which are harmony, bass and deflated button. Instruction also included.
- Accordion made of wood and ABS plastic which makes it durable
- The keys are basic and provide easy learning for kids with high functioning autism
- It creates an accordion sound that is authentic
- The key of C has a 2-octave range
- This accordion is geared for kids from ages 3 and up
- This instrument will help kids develop and fine-tune the fine motor skills
The Tosnail accordion is not a toy as it is a starter musical instrument for kids, and kids with high-functioning autism will gain a lot from using this instrument. It is made of wood, and ABS plastic, and is crafted to perfection which means it will last a long time. The keys are extremely basic and very easy to learn and creates an accordion sound that is authentic.
The C-key has a 2-octave range as well, and this is the perfect toy for kids that need to work on their fine motor skill development as kids that are on the spectrum have a lot of difficulty with this as it is. Therefore, this accordion has the great potential to be highly therapeutic.
- This instrument is durable and long-lasting
- It is enjoyable and engaging
- The price is good
- It is a great starter musical instrument for kids
- The keys can be somewhat stiff when it is brand new
- Some of the tones are off-key based on what some customers have said
Goplus Classical Kids Piano
- ♬Baby Grand Piano - Proper size for children from Toddler to 7, miniature scale fits to your child's room or anyplace of your house. Width of the keys promotes comfortable finger placement and provides easier playing for small hands.
- ♬Awesome Gift For Kids - This learn-to-play children grand piano features 30 great sounding keys producing a charming tune which can make our little pianist mesmerized and spark their interest of music. Impressive design, chic pink outlook, girl's favorite.
- ♬Safety Design - Firm construction with smooth surface, curve-shaped corner and safety-hinged lid opens and closes, prevent kids from hurt. Environment friendly paint coated, non-toxic and tasteless, harmless to children.
- Wooden starter piano for kids with a wooden bench
- 30 ABS keys are featured
- Piano keys are wide as this instrument helps kids learn how to hit the keys properly
- Constructed firmly and made with safe, non-toxic, and eco-friendly paint
- The piano comes in black or pink
Goplus makes a starter piano just for kids and this instrument is perfect for kids with high-functioning autism. It features 30 keys that produce a gentle sound, and they are made of durable ABS plastic.
The keys are also wide which makes it ideal for learning, and the piano is well-constructed. It is made with paint that is non-toxic and eco-friendly, and safe. The wood is safe and firmly shaped so no slivers will happen.
This piano is great to be used in music therapy as well as in occupational therapy as it can help with the development of eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. This piano comes in black or pink color.
- The piano itself is quite sturdy
- It is perfectly easy for kids to learn to play piano with
- The price is good for the quality
- Enjoyable and engaging
- The bench itself is a little floppy from what customers have said
- The piano sounds more like a xylophone than a real piano
Those musical instruments are ideal for kids on the autism spectrum based on the level of functioning. The first half includes the recommended instruments which are really toys, for kids that have moderate to severe autism. The second half has the top 5 recommended instruments, which are basic for kids that are on the higher end of the spectrum.
Each of these instruments listed is an excellent tool for music therapy. Music therapy is highly effective for kids in all areas of the autism spectrum. That is because music will stimulate both brain hemispheres. Therefore, their cognitive ability can be promoted when both the right and left brain are activated. Increased cognitive ability will help with self-awareness as well as having the ability to have relationships with others.
All kids on the autism spectrum deserve to have a chance at having the best quality life possible. And music will help with making that happen.
Miriam Slozberg is a Canadian author, blogger, and mom to 2 kids. One had combined autism and ADHD. After years of trialing different forms of therapy, she learned how to best support her son. She writes on publications such as BabyGaga.com. She also is a mental health advocate as she lives with ADHD and has experienced depression.