It is a well known fact by … well, me … that I don’t normally condone battery operated toys. Noise-makers is what I call them. I believe that most battery operated toys only serve to entertain and not educate. I believe that the best toys are ones that are simple and plain. I believe that toys work best when children can learn a useful skill from them.
But, I have to say that Baby Einstein’s Discovering Music Activity Table is different. Even though it is very clearly operated by batteries and makes a lot of obnoxious noises, there are five distinct and useful reasons why this toy is truly one of the best for babies and toddlers.
1–It Is Multilingual
If you know me and my background, you know that I pride myself on my ability to speak more than one language. As a result, I love toys that teach languages in addition to English. I strongly believe that languages are best learned at a young age — in fact, the younger the better. This activity table in particular features three language modes — English, Spanish, and French.
My four year old was playing with this table the other day. She suddenly looked up and informed me that the number five was ‘cinco.’ I agreed with her, inwardly proud that this toy was enforcing foreign language skills. Even though she is bilingual, my goal is for her to be able to speak as many languages as possible.
2–It Grows With ‘Em
It is common knowledge that baby gear and toys are expensive. That is why it is cost efficient to buy things that can grow with the baby. I love that this toy can be used from the time that the baby is, well, a baby up until age four or even five depending on the the interest of the child. It starts off in ‘sitting mode’ sans table legs and then ends with ‘standing mode’ with table legs.
In my case, both my 8 month old and 4 and a half year old love playing with this table. They are both mesmerized by the colors, the lights, and the sounds. It is a combination that is designed to enchant even the most stoic, stubborn child.
3–It Teaches ‘Em About Music
Music is commonly thought of as the universal language. You can communicate with many diverse groups of people and cultures through music, even if you don’t know how to speak the language. Even though I myself don’t have a lot of experience with music or playing music, I still realize the value of music. I still want my children to be able to see, to hear, and most of all, to feel the music.
This table teaches kids about eight different instruments: drums, guitar, trumpet, flute, harp, xylophone, violin, and piano. You can press and hear the sounds of the respective instruments. You can play the piano keys and watch in fascination as it lights up.
4–It Teaches ‘Em About Numbers, Colors, and Shapes
Now, this table seems to have it it all: multiple languages and instruments. But, did you know that it can also teach the child their numbers, colors, and shapes? I love to repeat the numbers one to five in a fun, sing-song voice, and then watch as my baby smiles back at me. As he gets older, I can ask him what color is this, or what color is that. I can do the same with the shapes on the table.
5–It Encourages Their Creativity
A toy that encourages creativity is a keeper. Now it may seem that this noisemaker of a toy may be limited in terms of creativity. But I can tell you first hand that this toy can in fact encourage kids’ creative thinking abilities. For example, as I sit here writing this, my son just tried — and successfully — to crawl under the table. They can pretend that the table is a tunnel and they have to go solve the musical riddles in order to get to the others side.
As he gets older, I can encourage him to play a tune with the five piano keys Or, I can ask him to play a catchy song using the various instruments on the table.
But, what I love most about this table is that there is a huge smiley face in the middle, as a constant reminder to even the youngest of kids that we should never stop smiling. I look at that smiley face, and I just can’t help but smile back. That is the kind of attitude that I want my children to experience day in and day out.
To recap, the Baby Einstein’s Discovering Music Activity Table teaches babies and toddlers three different languages and eight different instruments. Despite the noise, it is a classic toy that does provide value to small children for many years to come. Also, unlike many baby oriented items on the market, it likely won’t break the bank as it retails for less than thirty-five bucks on Amazon.
Speaking of toys, what was your favorite childhood toy?