Learning a musical instrument can be a valuable life skill for children. It teaches them commitment, perseverance and concentration. More importantly, it's fun.
It doesn't need to be expensive either. There are plenty of musical instruments available created just for kids, and DVDs are available for the older children so they can teach themselves. There are even lessons to be watched on YouTube for free, so there's no reason not to get your child playing straight away.
Here are a few of the best musical instruments aimed at children.
The Baby Music Box on the right is from Amusica, and is aimed at babies aged 3-12 months. The set comes with 14 different pieces, so there's plenty for baby to play with.
You can buy it for £45.99
The classic recorder. I spent most of my time between the ages of 9 and 11 driving my mum up the wall with my off-key attempts at a tune.
I was never destined to be a top flute player. That's not really the point with the recorder though, it's cheap, small to store and gives children the opportunity to learn a basic instrument without much hassle.
You can get this brown school recorder for £8.99 from ToysRUs.
For the older children, a keyboard is a compact and budget friendly alternative to a piano. This keyboard from Argos is only £4.99, down from £9.99. It features various other instrument sounds too, so it won't get boring too quickly.