Gymboree's line of educational activity books includes this musical set, which carries the subtitle "Inspired Ways to Explore Music". That sums up this book perfectly.
It is a colorful 30-page board book filled with suggestions for exploring music in its many forms with your children. As with all Gymboree products I've sampled so far, the ideas are easy to follow and certain to entertain. The set includes the book, a pair of plastic maracas, and a Gymboree class pass for one free session (check your local listings for classes in your area).
Some of the fabulous ideas in the book include making tap shoes out of old footwear and a pair of canning lids, producing a demo with your spotlight-seeking pop star, and learning to appreciate different musical genres as cultural art. Many of the activities involve making crafts or discovering sources of musical inspiration in our daily environment.
I expected that the book itself would engage my kids, that they would be excited to read through it - it is a board book after all! They were much more interested in stealing the maracas from each other and racing around the house like hooligans, banging on walls and doors as they passed for those satisfying ka-thunk noises. Some of the crafts were a little complex for their short attention spans, and didn't survive long enough to be enjoyed as musical devices. I won't even get started on the water glasses episode. As I read through the activities, I realized that I have been doing many of those ideas already - only a few were truly new to me. However this is very subjective, as I grew up in a musical family and it's all familiar.
I think this set would be fabulous for someone who is less familiar with music, or for homeschoolers looking for a good resource for Pre-K through primary school-aged kids. The price point is not bad considering what is included with the set. As always, I love the way Gymboree organizes their activity kits - they are really well rounded and in my limited experience seem to cover all the bases.
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.