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My daughter, now 4, was given this set for her first birthday. It's real percussion instruments, shaped perfectly for small hands, in a box a little like a fruit crate. The box is long gone, but the instruments are in regular use by both my daughter and her little brother.
The instruments in question are a triangle, tambourine, maracas, thumb cymbals, woodblock and castanets. In our set, the traingle lost it's holder quickly, and we've obviously had to replace that, but I think that's a common problem with triangles.
All the instruments are made of smooth wood, and all have a pleasant sound. The tambourine and cymbals aren't tinny at all, the triangle makes a nice clear 'ding', even the woodblock has a pleasant tone. The coloured instruments are stained, not painted, so they've kept their colour throughout a lot of use.
As for ease of use, apart from the finger cymbals and triangle, my 9 month old can get a sound out of everything, and enjoys trying. When my daughter recieved them at a year old, she had a great time making music. I find them pleasant to hold as an adult, too. They're really well made, and well shaped, to be appropriate for the job for the whole family.
It all started a few months ago when my daughter asked for a wooden kitchen and a wooden shop for her birthday..... and she kept insisting to me it had to be wooden and not plastic.....well although she is renowned for being a little bit of a princess (well in her daddies opinion or though I would probably call her a few other words sometimes) .... I kept wondering why she was so insistent on wood, and then it dawned on me, that everything she played with at school was wood.
Well after thinking about it more I thought that it was probably a sensible idea to pay that bit extra and get wooden toys rather than plastic as they do last longer and can be passed down again and again, my children have many wooden toys, and I had never really thought about it until this time, but they have stayed beautiful and have served my son, my daughter and some have even now been passed to me niece and nephew.
So while talking to my friend about this, she introduced to the Melissa and Doug range as she has used many of their products in the nursery which she works for and highly recommends them.
The company Melissa and Doug are an American husband and wife team, that started their business over twenty years ago in their parents garage and have built it up from there, they sell a range of products for children such as, puzzles, puppets, play food, classroom supplies etc etc, but every product is in my opinion a high class standard that can be passed from generation to generation.
So my first purchase was the band in the box set, which I knew she would love, as she had already had a plastic version, which she had loved, although it had seen better days....especially the maracas that had been over her brother's head more than she had shook them to music!!!
I brought mine from Amazon for approx 20.00, and although this sounds a bit expensive, I think for the quality its worth every single penny.
The set comes in a little wooden crate, which is great for storage, and also it's nice that your child can learn that this is where the toys belong, and not as my daughter likes to do ...throw everything under her bed or in her dolly's pushchair!!!
The instruments included are
A pair of maracas
Clacker's type thing
A wooden block scrape thing.....makes a clocking type noise - it says on the site it's called a tone block! Whatever that is...my daughter calls it the banger!!!
I am really very happy with the purchase as again I have already seen the value in the purchase as not only has my daughter been playing with this but my little god son whom is ten months old and my niece whom is nine months old have both enjoyed playing with it, although it does give a recommended age of 3 yrs plus.
I think that this product is great to obviously encourage your Childs development through music, as most of us know, a lot of children can learn so much through song, dance and music, but also the quality of the product, you know that your child will get years of enjoyment from your purchase.
Also Melissa and Doug also do another instrument set called the beginners band set which has a xylophone, kazoo and castanets, which I also have purchased, but can not really write two reviews on nearly the same products, but again I purchased this from Amazon for 16.99 but at the moment it's available for 15.95. Again it's the quality that shines out to me, its all packaged again in a wooden crate, and all instruments again are wooden and as the first instruments I purchased my daughter has loved them.
In summary I do not think you can go wrong with this product, ok you may have to pay slighlty more than the plastic sets avaliable, but the quality shines out in my opinion.
Got a budding musician in the family? This set of six instruments will keep them busy. One of the most successful developmental ranges of toys to come out of the USA is the Melissa & Doug range of puzzles and toys. Flair is very proud to be presenting this range for the first time in the UK. Melissa & Doug are a husband and wife team who have been creating award-winning wooden toys and puzzles for over 16 years. Every product invites the consumer to contact the company with comments and suggestions. From this dialogue with like-minded parents they create products that are both educational and fun.