Kidz Stuff


Boomwhackers Musical Tubes®: Tuned plastic tubes in bright colors (tons of fun for kids of all ages) are available in 2 full chromatic octaves and by adding “octavator” caps on the bass tubes, the range can be extended down to 3 octaves.  Originally from Whacky Music, they are now owned by  Rhythm Band Instruments. A440

NEW!!  Melody Handbells:  (Copper plated brass bells.) These bells are marketed under several different names: “Melody Handbells” (Rhythm Band Instruments) or “Orchestra Handbells” (Ebay). The boxes may say “Rainbow Bell”; “25 Note Bell Chorus Set”; or they may be in a plain green box with no writing at all except the stock number. No “care and feedng” information is included either.  The description from Ebay reads: “These are actually made of all brass material same as making for professional cymbal but plastic handle.” (I am sure they are referring to sheet metal cymbals, as these bells are not cast.) Still, the copper plating is pretty and older children will appreciate that they resemble traditional handbells more than their painted counterparts. They come in the same size sets and pitch range as Kidsplay handbells. They have a hinged clapper mechanism that allows ringers to play single notes. On one hand, this great because it allows more control and facilitates ringing accurate rhythms, but they will not back ring, so shakes cannot be executed. The mechanism is fairly stiff when new, so they need a good ring to get a sound during the break in period. They make sets with a “boingy” spring clapper too (less expensive). The overtones (varies with the bell) are very pronounced (more so than Kidsplay) in the lower bells. The handles are white “naturals” with black “sharps,” with a little clear plastic stand to prevent them from rolling when placed on the table. The designation is on the end of the handle, but also on the opposite side of the stand, so the note names are visible at a glance. This 2 oct. set belongs to St. Mark Lutheran Church, Hamilton, NJ. They are made in Taiwan by La Si Do Works, and are less expensive through Rhythm Band Instruments (nearly 100.00 cheaper for a 2 oct. set) than Ebay. A440. 

Kidsplay® Handbells®:  These small, steel, children’s handbells (for really small fries) come in bright colors or white “naturals” with black “sharps” (like piano keys).  Sets range from 8 note diatonic in C to 2 full chromatic octaves designated G4-G6, but actually sound an octave higher. (The same pitch as G5-G7 handbells, so they are 2 oct. higher than written.) They, and similar instruments such as tuned desk bells and combined bells, are available from  Rhythm Band Instruments or Jeffers Handbell Supply. A440.

Junior Swiss Bells:  A 1950’s-60’s children’s toy, made by Lyons Co. (similar to the 8 note Kidsplay handbells which are available now). This a 1 octave, chromatic set in F.  A440.

Belleplates®:  I do not have a set of these, but you can view them at Belleplates, Rhythm Band or Jeffers Handbell. (Not just for kids.) Available in 5 full chromatic octaves. A440.