Remo is a US-based company that’s been around over 60 years. They’ve been recognized for “environmentally responsible manufacturing” since 1997. Remo has a reputation in the professional music community for quality instruments and I have done sound recordings of many Remo instruments in my work. So, I was excited to find out there are Remo instruments for kids! (note: I have no relationship with Remo – Just a fan of their products!)
Playing instruments doesn’t have to be about learning or making music. It’s about using your ears – and your sense of sound!
Why quality matters
As a parent, I know it’s easy to look for the best deal or buy a cheaper knockoff. But, when it comes to instruments you have to think about how it’ll hold up to wear and tear over time. A drum is designed to be hit forcefully so quality and safety matters. A good quality instrument can last for years, too. There’s not many toys that an infant will still want to play with years later but many of these may hold their interest.
As a sound person, the Thunder Tube might be my favorite. It makes so many unique sounds from thunder, didgeridoo, spaceship, music drone, creeky door, bass guitar… there is so much room for creativity. Remo recommends this for age 5 and up. Younger kids would probably find it interesting, too, under supervision. This video by Robert Fishbone shows a lot of the different sound colors you can create with the Thunder Tube.
Remo’s Lollipop Drum has a vibrant design and is fun to play. It’s recommended for ages 3 and up but my toddler got these drums at 22 months and loves them. The main concern is probably the mallet head, which is made of foam. So, use with supervision with younger kids.
What I like about these drums is they have a nice sound and aren’t too loud. The Lollipop drum comes in multiple sizes (6, 8, and 10 inches). The larger drum has a lower pitch and smaller drums higher pitch. If I had to choose one I’d say the 8″ but if you can get two, I’d get an 8″ and 10″. My son and I take turns holding both drums while the other plays, or holding one and playing together or playing each other’s drums.
Remo Sound Shapes are great if you’re looking for a drum good for a wide range of ages. It’s simple enough for a baby or toddler but opportunities for lots of play and games as they get older. They’re sold individually or in packs (in different shapes or all circular). This video explains well the different “timbres” you can create with a Sound Shape drum.
A good starter drum (if you’re looking for a more traditional instrument) is a Remo Hand Drum. Drums have different tone depending on the size and larger hand drums tend to sound more appealing than small ones. It’s for ages 3 and up but again can be used by younger kids with supervision. It can be played with the mallet (which has a foam head) or by hand.
Instruments are a great way to get kids excited about sound.
There’s a lot of ways to get sound out of an instrument, too, so there’s no need for rules (unless it’s a matter of safety). The handles, sides, bottom or inside of an instrument might have an interesting or unique sound. Try using your palm, fingernails or knuckles vs a mallet. Sound, as a sensory experience, is about learning to hear a lot of different tones and timbres – loud/soft, high pitch/low, but also bright/dull, clear/muffled, and many others.