Which piano mats are best?
If your child has expressed an interest in music, but they’re too young for a real piano, then a piano mat may be the product for you. These mats look like giant keyboards that play notes depending on where you step.
Unlike some instruments for youngsters, piano mats are durable, lightweight and can be easily folded up and stored when not in use. For a spacious mat designed to look like a real keyboard, the Click N’ Play Gigantic Keyboard Play Mat is the top pick for a spacious mat designed to look like a real keyboard.
What to know before you buy a piano mat
Benefits of a piano mat
There are many potential benefits to playing with a piano mat. Not only can the toy teach your child the basics of how a piano works, but a piano mat can also help develop fine motor skills and build memory through cause and effect. Playing with a piano mat requires loads of healthy physical activity, and a mat with different sound settings can teach your child about other instruments like the xylophone or the trumpet. If your piano mat has a recording or playback feature, the toy can foster creativity and confidence through simple melody writing.
Piano mat activities
Certain mats will feature built-in games and activities, but you can also create your own by customizing any of the following fun activities:
- Copycat: The first player plays a short series of notes that the second player must duplicate, adding more notes every round. Whichever player fails to memorize the melody first loses the game.
- Guess the note: For older children learning music theory, one player can play a note that the second player has to guess.
- Playback: If your piano mat has a playback feature, the child can learn simple songs by playing alongside the recorded music.
- Multiplayer jam: For mats with a polyphonic feature, two players can make music together by stepping onto different keyboard parts.
Piano mats are generally safe toys, but make sure your child is playing in a room free of clutter before starting the activities. Some mats use a material that can be slippery with socks, so your child will have safer fun (and better control) if they play in shoes or bare feet. Never let an infant or toddler play with a piano mat unattended.
What to look for in a quality piano mat
In addition to the recognizable sound of a grand piano, many keyboard mats come with other sound settings like xylophone, trumpet and guitar. Certain toys will have sound settings that resemble animals, offering additional entertainment and educational value.
Since these toys resemble standard floor mats, they can be easily folded or rolled up without damaging any of the electronics. This can be great for quickly moving the toy from one room to another. Some models also come with a carrying case for added convenience.
Most piano mats come with some volume control, which is a particularly helpful feature for households that are already somewhat noisy. Some models even come with audio output so that you can plug in external headphones or an amplifier for parties.
You can find piano mats with dozens of other features not listed here, from multiplayer and recording mode to automatic safety shutoff. Some models prioritize durability, offering features like stain resistance and non-slip materials, while others may feature high-tech extras like Bluetooth capability. Consider your lifestyle and how you plan to use the mat before settling on a product.
How much you can expect to spend on a piano mat
The cost of a piano mat can vary widely depending on the quality and included features. Most users can expect to pay around $10-$50 for a high-quality mat.
Piano mat FAQ
Can adults play with piano mats?
A. Yes, but check the toy’s weight limits to ensure it won’t break with adult use.
How can I make my piano mat more responsive?
A. If you’re using the piano mat on a soft carpet, try moving the mat to a harder surface or place something hard and flat underneath it.
What is the best piano mat to buy?
Top piano mat
What you need to know: This piano mat is spacious, loaded with features and looks just like a real piano.
What you’ll love: Perfect for children ages 3 and up, this large mat has four playing modes and eight instrumental sounds, including clarinet, saxophone, violin and banjo. It’s also crafted from heavy-duty vinyl.
What you should consider: Even with volume control, users felt that this mat was quite loud.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top piano mat for the money
What you need to know: Perhaps best for babies, this piano mat is still affordable with great features.
What you’ll love: This cute piano mat comes with eight keys and six different animal sounds. Crafted from fabric, this toy is also very lightweight and easy to store. There’s also an automatic shut off feature to save batteries.
What you should consider: It could potentially shift during use and is only suited for the youngest musicians.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Piano mat worth checking out
What you need to know: This popular mat is colorful, reasonably priced and loaded with fun features.
What you’ll love: This vibrant mat comes with six feet of sensitive piano keys with eight different instrument sounds. There’s a record and playback feature for young composers, and the durable padded surface is built to last for years.
What you should consider: Despite its popularity, a few users questioned the overall quality and others received an item with poor sound.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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