What We Like
Made with child-safe paint
Promotes motor skills development
What We Don't Like
Kids might throw wooden balls
By the time my son turned 1, we had accumulated many toys—and yet, there were only a select few he reached for on a daily basis. I wanted to make sure he had really great options that kept him engaged and also helped with his development as a curious and busy toddler. That’s what led me to the Hape Pound and Tap Bench.
I was intrigued by the different functions of the musical toy and loved that it wasn’t made with plastic. But would it keep my toddler entertained, or would it be just another dust collector in my living room? Read on to see what I thought!
Design: Colorful and multi-functional
The Hape Pound and Tap Bench is a bright, colorful toy that features a slide-out xylophone underneath a pounding station with red, green, and blue balls. The balls fit into slots of coordinating colors and fall onto the keys below when hit with the included hammer which is simply designed and easy for a toddler to hold. The xylophone is angled so that the balls continue to roll down, creating more sounds. There’s a handle on one side of the bench that makes it easy to pull the keyboard out for separate play. On the other side is a hole, through which the balls travel after hitting the keys.
I really love that this toy is mainly made of wood rather than plastic and features water-based paint and non-toxic finishes. It’s available in yellow (with a spectrum of rainbow shades on the sides) and red (with red, gold, and white sides). The sturdy materials make me confident it will last for several years, and the rounded edges are safe for kids.
I really loved that this toy is mainly made of wood rather than plastic, and it contains water-based paint and has non-toxic finishes.
My only issue is that my son really loves to throw the balls, and since they are made of wood, they land pretty hard and make a loud noise (we have hardwood floors). We really have to watch him to make sure he doesn’t hit anything (or anyone) when he’s playing, and we always have to tell him not to throw these balls, showing him the correct way to play with them.
Entertainment Value: Will keep your little one engaged
This is one of the few toys my son plays with every day. Sometimes he taps the xylophone itself, but he really loves pushing the balls through their dedicated slots and putting them back in. He will even stand up and push the balls through the slots with his foot! It’s a great toy to have for playtime at home, but I wouldn’t recommend this for a long car ride or traveling—it’s just too bulky for that.
This is one of the few toys my son plays with every day.
Hape has a number of other wooden musical instrument toys, including a tambourine, a harmonica, and a clapper and güiro, which you can collect until you’ve got a band’s worth of toys to keep your kids entertained.
Educational Value: Motor skills and more
I love that this toy not only allows my toddler to play music and practice his colors, but it also develops his motor skills as well. According to Hape, this toy fosters hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills of matching and spatial relationships, and an understanding of cause and effect, among other concepts.
Age Range: Perfect for toddlers
Hape recommends the Pound and Tap Bench toy for ages 12 months to 3 years, a stage when they are really developing and growing their important motor skills. This toy even won The Crisbie Award for “Favorite First Musical Toy” in 2018. I think this would make a great birthday present for any toddler. My son is now 19 months old and loves it.
My only issue is that my son really loves to throw the balls, and since they are made of wood, they land pretty hard.
Ease of Cleaning: Clean with a cloth
If you need to clean up spills, simply wipe with a damp cloth. This is also an indoor toy and should be kept out of direct sunlight, according to Hape.
There is no separate case to store the toy and its pieces, but I just put the balls and the keyboard back in their designated places and slip the hammer through the toy’s handle before putting away for the night.
Price: Typical for this type of toy
The Hape Pound and Tap Bench has an MSRP of about $30. Other multi-functional musical toys cost anywhere between around $20 to $40, so it’s pretty appropriately priced.
Hape Pound and Tap Bench vs. rolimate Hammering & Pounding Toys Wooden Educational Toy
There are many similar musical toys on the market, including the rolimate Hammering & Pounding Toys Wooden Educational Toy. Like the Hape toy, this model is made mainly with wood and non-toxic, water-based paint. It also includes a xylophone and a pounding station with three balls. However, the rolimate toy features a six-block shape sorter—though some parents may not like having extra pieces. They are both great options, so it really depends on your preference.
- Product Name Pound & Tap Bench
- Product Brand Hape
- MPN E0305
- Price $49.99
- Weight 3 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 9.4 x 5.9 x 5.3 in.
- Manufacturer Recommended Age Range 1-3 years