As a child, I was obsessed with music boxes. To me they were curious little things — probably because I couldn’t figure out their inner workings. Today my music boxes are no longer around, but fortunately I found an interesting app that can replace them: Magical Music Box by Kidoteca.
Play a Tune
As suggested by its title, Magical Music Box is a musical app that turns your iPad into a virtual music box for kids. Just like the real instrument, the app has a virtual handle that you can spin by moving your finger in circles on screen. As music plays, the background scene animates beautifully.
The app comes with a wide selection of songs — 31, to be exact — which range from classical pieces like Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake to Brazil’s national anthem. There are also eight unique music box themes to choose from, such as a night cityscape, an underground mine, outer space, and dinosaurs.
An interesting feature included in the app is the ability to read up facts about a song. Simply bring up the menu at the bottom and tap on the question mark icon to bring up a song’s information sheet. The app always includes the song’s title, a brief description, and if applicable, the composer’s name and the song lyrics.
Those of you who wish to use the app with toddlers and babies can activate auto-play. This mode tells the app to play a song continuously without you having to manually turn the handle. Furthermore, you can also set the duration for auto-play in increment of five minutes for a maximum of 60 minutes.
Parents Need to Know
Magical Music Box is a simple musical app that is best used with juniors under four years old. Juniors at the upper age range will enjoy spinning the lever themselves to make music, but I would suggest using auto-play for younger juniors who are still struggling with their motor skills.
As a toy, the app focuses on entertainment. Some usage suggestion include using the app as a lullaby or as a distraction when the parents need to run a quick errand.
It is worth noting that Magical Music Box has no ads and no in-app purchases. There is a special parents’ section that contains links to the developer’s website and other apps, but it is protected.
Things I Like
Magical Music Box is a great app! I like how the app works very similarly to a traditional music box, in the way that you can control the speed at which you turn the handle to manipulate the song’s tempo. That is, the faster you turn the handle, the faster the tempo; the slower you turn, the slower the tempo. This allows juniors to understand that you can play songs at different speed and hear a different outcome.
The app also has the biggest song library and theme selection I have ever seen in a musical app. This allows you to create a unique music box, and keeps you from getting bored of the same old songs. I also like how the developers included songs from various countries — I certainly wasn’t expecting to find Brazil’s national anthem, but it was a nice surprise.
The animated scenes for each music box theme are also quite mesmerizing to look at. They move at a sleepy pace, making them appropriate for bedtime. My favorite scene is the underground mine, which has little gnomes riding on carts and digging for crystals.
One suggestion that I have for the developers is to include the song titles are included in the song selection screen. While this is a minor issue, it would be nice if I didn’t have to guess the song I am about to play.
Overall, Magical Music Box is an excellent adaptation of a traditional music box. Despite its simplicity, I believe that the app is a very useful distraction tool for parents with toddlers and babies. I would recommend adding it to your collection of musical apps.
Get Magical Music Box on the App Store.
Thank you to Kidoteca for providing us with the app. It was lovely.