Which piano mat is best?
It has been proven that music helps children to develop their bodies and minds, and even accelerates cognitive development in early childhood. Learning becomes especially fun when you combine music and play, and piano mats are great at doing just that. Not only do they help children express themselves through music, they also help them to understand the relationship between musical notes and develop a musical ear as they grow.
If you are looking for an affordable and versatile piano mat, the Click N’ Play is a great example.
What to know before you buy a piano mat
The best piano mats come with a choice of modes. These usually include a demo mode, a playback mode, a record mode and a free play mode. These features allow children to listen back to what they play and also to play along with recordings.
Look for a polyphonic piano mat, as these play more than one note at a time. This is important in helping a child understand which notes sound good in unison. It also means that they can duet with their friends. Take a look at the piano mat buying guide from BestReviews for a range of top polyphonic models.
Choice of instruments
Most piano mats allow children to choose from a selection of instruments. These can include pianos, xylophones, strings and woodwind options. This is especially effective on mats with recording functionality, as children can see how different instruments sound when played together.
What to look for in a quality piano mat
Young children can’t be expected to switch off electronic devices to preserve battery power after a fun music session. The automatic power-off function saves you from buying more batteries or disappointing your child with a lifeless piano mat next time they want to play.
While mats are made to be trampled on and are generally quite sturdy, they can begin to break down with regular use. Those made of durable vinyl as opposed to cloth tend to last longest. If an adult is likely to join in on the fun, it’s also a good idea to check the weight limit of a piano mat.
Effective touch sensitivity makes playing the piano mat all the more fun, whether the child is applying soft touches or stomping on the keys. Good piano mats should always respond when keys are pressed, even after several months of regular use.
Games feature on most high-quality piano mats. These are effective learning tools that are also plenty of fun to play. They can involve mimicking a pattern, memory games, speed games, guessing games and musical participation games.
The addition of an input jack can really bring a piano mat to life, as you can plug in a music source and let your child jam along to their favorite songs. Just be sure to place any electronic devices well out the way to avoid them being stepped on.
How much you can expect to spend on a piano mat
Piano mats start at just under $10 for a budget model. These tend to be made of fabric and are not as durable as their vinyl counterparts. A midrange model will set you back around $18, whereas for $28 or above, you will find larger, more durable mats with better features.
Piano mat FAQ
Are piano mats safe to use?
A. Piano mats are generally safe to use. However, children playing on piano mats can be very active, so the mat should be placed away from steps or sharp edges where a child could hurt themselves if they slip and fall.
Where is the best place to put a piano mat?
A. Piano mats work best on a solid surface, as soft carpet can affect the responsiveness of the keys. If you wish to use it outdoors, ensure that the mat is well-supported on a flat, even surface to avoid breakage or slips and falls.
What are the age limits for a piano mat?
A. Toddlers can appreciate the sounds that a piano mat makes, even before they are old enough to participate in games or memorize simple tunes. At the other end of the spectrum, adults can enjoy joining in with the fun that piano mats offer.
What’s the best piano mat to buy?
Top piano mat
What you need to know: This 70-inch long, heavy-duty vinyl model has 24 large keys and built-in buttons.
What you’ll love: There’s a choice of eight instruments to play, and children can either build their own songs from scratch or make them up as they go along. Its auto power-off function preserves battery life after use.
What you should consider: This is not a colorful option, and it might not hold the attention of younger children.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top piano mat for the money
What you need to know: This brightly-colored, soft fabric model is well-suited for toddlers and children age 3 and up.
What you’ll love: The front of this mat is decorated with fun animal characters that produce farmyard noises when pressed in addition to playing musical notes. It switches off automatically after two minutes without use, and it has adjustable volume and tempo settings.
What you should consider: This model has no sharps or flats and is very basic in its functionality.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This piano mat is 6 feet long and is adorned in bright colors. Its durable padded material is built to last.
What you’ll love: Ten built-in classical tunes can be recalled at the touch of a button. It comes with color-coded cards to help kids to memorize these songs, or they can simply play their own. Its eight instrument sounds are activated by pushing their colorful images on the front.
What you should consider: There is no auto shut-off function on this mat, so supervision may be required to ensure batteries aren’t wasted after use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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