Simple musical instruments for infants and toddlers are the perfect way to begin early appreciation of music. We found a beautiful example of a wooden xylophone (shown above) by Jim Doble at Elemental Design.
Look for musical instruments made from natural materials to provide the best sound and tactile experience possible for your child.
Jim has an inspiring collection of musical instruments made from wood, stone, tools, and more on his Children's Museum page.
Let's dissect it: 1. Plastic (wood is highly recommended) 2. Too many little parts (one of them will break, and they're small, so they're choking hazards) 3. Tiny parts inside (definitely choking hazard) 4. Too busy (look for a simple rattle with wooden beads inside or similar) 5. Garish colors (if it is wooden and unpainted, your chances of encountering toxic materials are much less)