CHICAGO — Looking for a tried-and-true toy that doesn't need batteries and will probably last a lifetime? Consider a gift of music.
Musical instruments have long been popular holiday presents for children of all ages. For a gift that is educational as well as fun, the American Music Conference offers these suggestions:
--Small children may enjoy simple instruments such as harmonicas and recorders, as well as percussion instruments (tambourines, triangles or drums). All are easy to play and can be the first step toward a lifelong appreciation of music making.
--Older children may prefer more challenging instruments such as a piano, drum set, guitar or any member of the brass or woodwind family.
--Small electronic keyboards, the latest variation of the ever-popular electric organ, is a gift the whole family can use. Even those with little or no musical training can learn to play a variety of songs.