It is never too early to introduce children to music. Especially if you choose durable, versatile, and easy-to-use toys like Hape Pound and Tap Bench with a xylophone. This multifunctional play-station combines the pleasure of music with color recognition, plus the fun of a game that engages manual and motor skills. To the eye, it looks like a small wooden bench, light but sturdy, well polished, and finished

with brilliant watercolors that stand the test of time. In the upper part, there are three circular holes where to place the spheres, half above and half below the surface of the bench. Since the diameter of the holes is imperceptibly greater than the balls, hitting them with your hands or the hammer is enough to make them fall.

And when they fall, they land on the xylophone below: hitting the metal keyboard and generating harmonious sounds that children will enjoy repeating over and over again. With such simplicity, this toy stimulates both touch, sight, and hearing. Yes, it is simple but also brilliant. So much so that it has received numerous awards, including the 2018 Cribsie Award for Best Musical Toy, the 2015 Gold Award in the Eco category from Independent Toy in the UK, and the 2011 Golden Rocking Horse in Germany.

Are you looking for a fun and educational toy that combines music, colors, and dynamic play? Discover with us all the features of the Pound and Tap Bench.

Hit the balls, play the xylophone, explore the colors

The Pound and Tap Bench is a multifunctional toy for children aged 12 months and up. It consists of a solid wood base with three holes, a removable xylophone, three colored balls, and a wooden hammer. Conceived to promote the development of fine motor skills, colors and sounds recognition, and the motility of the limbs, it allows different ways of use.

The first and most immediate one is to insert the balls into the rings of the corresponding color. Children love to touch objects and learn to measure their strength: so, it will be natural for them to hit the balls with the palms of their hands or with the mallet. By pounding the balls, they will slide them down like Alice in the rabbit hole. Except, instead of Wonderland, there will be the xylophone keyboard.

As the law of cause and effect teaches us, every action has consequences: in this case, they are as pleasant as the sounds of the xylophone. The musical instrument will irresistibly attract the little ones. To make it easier to play and explore, we thought it best to make it removable. Just detach it and slide it to the side to discover the second use of the hammer: powerful when it hits the balls, it becomes gentle on the keyboard to generate pleasant melodies.

Xylophone or Glockenspiel? It’s a matter of materials  

Xylophones come to our rescue whenever we need a word that begins with the letter X. This peculiar name derives from the Greek ξύλον (xylon, wood) and φωνή (phone, sound). Originally the xylophone consisted of wooden bars arranged in a row like a piano keyboard.

In most toy xylophones, the bars are made of metal. So, technically, it should be called glockenspiel, another word not easy to pronounce (unless, of course, you are a German speaker), which means “ringing bells”. In general, however, when we say xylophone, we refer to a percussion instrument with wooden, metal, or plastic bars arranged and tuned like the piano keys.

Easy and fun to play, xylophones are very popular with children. And to make them even more attractive, Hape Pound and Tap Bench comes with rainbow keys and all the fun games of a multipurpose play station.

A musical rainbow to explore notes and colors 

You may have noticed that the wooden bench, the three balls, and the keyboard feature a rainbow of coordinating colors in the gradation scale. The blue ball finds its place in the blue ring, which corresponds with the keys and decorations in the chromatic scale of purple-blue-light blue. The same goes for the green and the red balls.

Of course, it is not by chance: one of the skills your children can develop through play is color recognition. And you can help them by saying the name of the colors aloud when they touch the corresponding ball. Color identification and recognition are milestones in children’s cognitive process. This preschool skill can promote the ability to connect visual cues and words. That’s why, as parents, we want to support our children in recognizing colors and learning their names.

How to teach colors to your son

Colors can affect us in various ways, influencing our moods and emotions, supporting productivity and focus or inducing a state of calm and relaxation. We already talked about the importance of colors for children’s development. Today we want to give you some tips to help you teach colors to your kids.

To understand the concept of color, children must acquire a series of information that adults often take for granted but involve different cognitive processes. Before introducing the abstract idea of color, it is helpful to associate it with concrete objects that are identical in everything except hue. The variation stands out, immediately clarifying the concept.

The Pound and Tap Bench with xylophone offers the perfect opportunity to spontaneously introduce primary colors and gradually dwell on more subtle shade differences. The three balls are blue, green, and red – primary colors easy to get. The keyboard of the xylophone, on the other hand, is a rainbow of hues where you can notice differences and similarities: dark blue, violet and light blue, red, orange and yellow, and so on.

Play, have fun, and move around with Hape Pound and Tap Bench

To sum it up, the Hape Pound and Tap Bench with xylophone is a sturdy yet lightweight play station. Visually it looks like a simple but eye-catching toy. The intuitive way of use goes hand in hand with its versatility. Children can take the balls, insert them into the corresponding openings, and then hit them with the hammer exerting their force. This activity stimulates the child’s cognitive abilities at various levels.

  • First, by inserting the spherical shape into the circular hole, the child becomes familiar with the concept of geometric shape.
  • Secondly, the game requires fine motor skills, which is the ability to manipulate objects, squeeze them and let them go. Feeling different textures, alternating soft touches, and hard pounding teaches the kid different ways to interact.
  • Also, when pushed down into the hole, the ball momentarily disappears from the kid’s eyes. As in the peekaboo game, this passage teaches about the law of cause and effect. Objects still exist even when we do not see them: being aware of this is essential in everyday life and supports the physiological process of separation from the mother.
  • Again: this toy adds the musical element to the classic game of shapes. When falling, the balls hit the xylophone’s keyboard below, inducing the child to explore the wonderful world of the seven notes. In addition to being an integral part of our daily experience, music is a great way to express feelings. It entertains and promotes healthy brain development. In our blog, you will find several articles about the importance of music in children’s development. Check out what we wrote about the calming and reassuring power of music, how it can help with anger, frustration and tantrums management, as well as in bedtime.
  • Finally, this activity stimulates the development of hand-eye coordination and motor skills. In addition to requiring the use of fingers, hands, and arms, this toy causes the baby to crawl, stand up on his legs and move around the room. The balls tend indeed to roll away, causing the child to walk or crawl to retrieve them.

Irresistible yet resistant, this addictive game for children is safe from every point of view: the paints are water-based, the materials are natural, ecological, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic. Check out the Pound and Tap Bench on our website and stay up-to-date on our social pages.