The 10 Best Piano Mats
10. BigMouth Inc. Potty Piano
- comes with a song book
- fits around most toilets
- difficult to keep clean
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
9. ALEX Toys Step & Play
- promotes healthy play time
- rolls up to store almost anywhere
- doesn't include batteries
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
8. Winfun Step To Play
- very responsive keys
- produces rich tones
- needs to be used on hard floors
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
7. Constructive Playthings
- folds up for easy transport
- can get very loud
- hard to step on just one key
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
6. Smart Planet PM-4
- easy to switch modes
- strong enough to handle adults
- very slippery if used with socks
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
5. Kidzlane Mat
- four different play modes
- auto power-off to conserve batteries
- starts off on max volume every time
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
4. Rhode Island Novelty Giant
- built-in amp for cd or mp3 players
- good for ages 5 to 15
- not tuned to a440
|Brand||Rhode Island Novelty|
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
3. Little Virtuoso
- includes tempo and volume controls
- special sound effects for more fun
- easy to fold up for storage
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
2. Click N' Play CNP0199
- volume is adjustable
- traditional black and white colors
- allows for multi-child play
|Brand||Click N' Play|
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
1. FAO Schwarz Big Piano Dance
- built-in amplifier
- has record and playback modes
- includes a convenient carrying case
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
Bigger Than The Movies
If you’re old enough to remember the Tom Hanks classic hit “Big” or if you are at least familiar with top 80s movie references, then you have probably watched Tom Hanks dancing on the giant piano in FAO Schwarz.
It’s no longer just a fun daydream to have a toy like this in your home. These piano mats work best on hard floors and operate on batteries. Some are made to be compatible with CDs and MP3 players so your kids can enjoy their favorite music and learn to play along.
Many are designed for getting toddlers and young children interested in music and are equipped with buttons for a variety of musical instrument sounds. Some are even versatile enough to provide recording and playback modes so your little Mozart can compose his own tunes and play them back for you at a later time.
Some of these mats are more than just piano mats. They are fully functional activity mats that are equipped with additional sound effects and can double as a play area for running toy cars and trucks across while music plays in the background.
The piano keys are good for more than just haphazard play time. Each key corresponds with the correct note and helps your child learn about music as they play.
Not only are these piano mats great for musical learning, they are perfect for getting in some indoor exercise and preventing children from being sedentary even if the weather isn’t cooperating. These large piano mats encourage your child to jump around in an effort to create his next great tune and can be used with friends for even more fun.
Music For The Mind, Body, And Soul
It has been long believed that music is beneficial to mind, body, and soul. Music is especially important to children in that it greatly enhances their mental and emotional development from an early age. It encourages their body and minds to work together and, many would argue, helps them to become more successful, well-rounded individuals.
It’s not only beneficial to listen to music - it is highly beneficial to learn to sing and play music as well. Dancing is helpful for motor skill development. Singing and listening to the words of songs helps encourage language development. It is also a strong avenue for learning self-expression. All of these things are important to a child’s physical and cognitive development.
One could argue that participation in music can be important to social learning for people from a wide variety of age groups. They not only learn how to develop new friendships, but they also improve their concentration, discipline, creativity, and ability to cooperate with others.
Music benefits infants by helping them learn to mimic sounds and recognize melody and rhythm. Toddlers improve their motor skills and memory by participating in dancing and word repetition. Preschoolers learn to express their creativity by going with the flow and singing and dancing in whatever manner suits them best.
Grade school children improve their memories and teamwork abilities by learning to play actual instruments, memorizing songs, and learning what types of music they like and dislike. Teenagers use participation in music to establish friendships and a form of creative expression.
Music can be a great social experience for all ages. It can be a strong bonding experience for siblings and other family members and can even help children form lifetime friendships.
This is why purchasing a piano mat for fun and learning can be greatly beneficial to your child, no matter his age. The right piano mat for the appropriate age group will encourage your child’s natural interest in music and fun.
A Brief History of the Piano Mat
The history of the piano mat begins with the history of the piano itself. Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori invented the piano in 1709 in Padua, Italy. He was a professional harpsichord maker who wanted a way to vary the instrument volume. The harpsichord, while able to play varying notes, could only play at one volume. The piano, however, allowed for better musical expression due to the musician’s ability to control the volume while playing.
It was originally called the gravicembalo col piano e forte which roughly translates to “soft and loud keyboard instrument.” The oldest piano surviving today is from 1720 and is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Many types of pianos have been produced over the years that extend beyond the basic hammers, strings, and ivory keys.
Player pianos are just like the original pianos, except that they use electronics and an internal memory system to play previously recorded titles automatically creating a beautiful live performance. They are great for learning more about music in general or simply sitting back and listening.
Digital pianos are more than the electronic keyboards purchased in stores. They produce a rich, genuine sound that is difficult to rival. They include a number of features to aid beginner piano players in learning to make quality music.
However, none of these advancements have replaced the traditional acoustic piano. Nothing can quite reproduce the sound, and conductors, composers, and songwriters still prefer the rich traditional sound of the concert grand piano.
All of these advancements have led to the introduction of keyboards and piano mats to children to spark an interest in music early in life and teach them the basics while having fun until they get their hands on the real thing.