Hohner rolls out eco-friendly Green Tones music toy line


From the Examiner

Hohner, Inc. always brings something new to Toy Fair, and last month's annual trade gathering of toy manufacturers and customers was no exception.

Long renowned for its harmonicas, the venerable instrument maker this year showcased its Green Tones line of eco-friendly musical toys--all made from sustainable materials including chemical-free rubberwood, non-toxic glue and soy ink, and packaged in bleach-free recycled paper meeting eco-efficiency and reforestation standards.

The instruments, which are geared toward toddlers six months and up, include boat, train and race car-shaped whistles; castanets, bells, rattles, rollers, drums, and animal-shaped shakers and glockenspiels. There’s also an ergonomically designed Melody Glockenspiel, designed to easily fit on a table or a child’s lap and featuring eight precision-tuned bars in the C major diatonic scale.

“They’re age-appropriate and provide an authentic musical experience,” said Hohner product manager of education and toy products Tim Henry.

He added: “We thought it would be a good, complementary and supplemental addition to our existing line of children’s product. The [toy] trend with millennials is more organic, eco-friendly, and durability--to pass along as an heirloom thing."

As for the company’s traditional Hohner Kids children’s product brand, Henry pointed to Hohner’s new Shake, Rattle & Roll four-piece music discovery set, featuring a twist-n-shake rainmaker, toddler tambourine, and rolling bells and bead shapes. The set also includes a CD and instruction songbook.

“We brought in an early child music expert to help provide simple music activities,” said Henry, relating the Green Tones philosophy that children are born with innate musicality that can be nurtured and developed.

He pointed to scientific studies showing music’s beneficial effect on children’s cognitive development via singing or other parental music interaction, which forges a neurological pathway through the brain.

This “music channel,” he said, needed to be stimulated daily in fostering the brain’s development--an action suitably accomplished with daily Shake, Rattle & Roll engagement.