Getting a young child their first instrument can lead to a life full of music and enjoyment. Is there anything better? What makes it even more important is that if you get it wrong, the child may never pick up a guitar again. Therefore, finding the best guitars for toddlers is a serious business.
Possibly the first question you need to find out when looking around is, can it actually be played? It is an often overlooked consideration. There are quite a few out there that can’t be played at all.
It seems quite reasonable that you go to the shop, buy the guitar and take it home. When you get it out of the box, you expect to be able to play it. It is quite often not the case. Very cheap starter guitars are sometimes made from cheap throwaway cuts of wood. Some from plastics and other such materials and they have poor quality accessories.
The guitar is not set up at all, strings are high off the fingerboard, and a child can’t push them down. They are made cheaply, not inspected, and very few manufacturers seem to consider whether a child is going to be able to play it. It seems more to do with selling a cheaply made terrible product than actually encouraging anyone to actually play.
Any instrument is hard at the beginning. Possibly harder if you are a child starter. A child’s ability to learn to play will be influenced by whether they can begin to make it sound right. The choice has many potential problems.
But it is not all gloom and doom. There are some nice starter instruments for the very young. So, let’s take a look at some of the best currently available and find the perfect one for your little one…
Top 5 Best Guitars For Toddlers In 2021 Reviews
1 Hape Kid’s Wooden Toy Ukulele
Sometimes all you need for that first introduction to the guitar is what most consider little more than a toy. A ukulele is not a bad place to start for a small child and even better if you can find a mini ukulele like this.
It is made from wood that is chosen from sustainably maintained forests. And is finished in a striking blue pattern the kids are going to love. It is built like a ukulele with four strings and is a good little instrument. On this, they can learn basic note-picking, strumming, and rhythms and start to create chords. It is a very playable little instrument and is easily tuned.
With instruments like this, it can take some time for the strings to stretch. While they are in this process, it is sometimes a little difficult for the instrument to hold its tuning for very long. Being nylon strings, this is normal, so you need to exert a bit of patience while it settles down.
The size is perfect for a child between two and five, being just 21 inches long, and it weighs only one pound, so it is very lightweight.
Hape has taken some safety precautions, and the instrument meets all standard safety requirements. They have made the bridge so that the ends of the strings, which can be sharp, are hidden away.
The manufacturers will make no widely exaggerated claims about this little ukulele. It is basically a toy designed for the very young. Considering the age range, it really could not be much else than a toy. It will, however, get them started. It is easy to play and has a decent build quality. The strings are replaceable when they inevitably start to break. Ukulele strings can be fitted.
For the price point, it is a fun item.
- Quite well-made with nice fittings.
- Very attractive finish for a child.
- Lightweight and easy to play.
- Some will just want a higher level of guitar.
2 Loog Mini Acoustic Guitar For Children
This is very much a toy-like guitar having only three strings. They use the G, B, and E strings for the tuning. This is actually quite a good idea. You can learn notes and simple chord shapes on those three strings. This will allow you to transpose the same shapes onto a six-string later.
For these non-guitar playing parents out there, the strings used are the three thinnest strings of a regular guitar in the same order. Therefore your child will learn half the chords. As they get older and better and move on to a six string guitar, everything they have earned will still be of use, and they then only have to learn the other half of each chord.
It is made completely of wood with quite a nice shaped neck that will be easy for smaller hands. To assist in the learning process, you are supplied with some flashcards with chord shapes. There is also an app that you can use. It has a tuner and some video lessons and a songbook so the child can learn a few songs they will recognize.
It is easy to play with a comfortable, very ‘guitar-like’ shape. And is 22 inches long and weighs just one pound.
An important aspect with most children is that they will want to get recognizable sounds out of the instrument quickly. That single thing can sometimes be the key to whether a child will persevere. If all they are going to do is learn and practice boring old scales, it won’t last long.
Scales and the like are important, but they come a bit later. A sense of accomplishment comes first. That is achieved by getting it to make a sound they recognize, and that involves learning sing-along songs and the melodies to those songs.
As with all guitars that have nylon strings, there is a bedding-in process.
It is a neat little guitar with a nice green color scheme. Well-made with its all-wood construction, it feels like a mini guitar should.
Some may balk at the idea of the three strings, but we can see the logic behind that. Besides being able to transpose what you learn to a six-string as we have said, there is another benefit. It helps to keep the neck thinner. A thin neck is easier to play for a child with small hands.
There is a gig bag for this instrument available as an optional extra. For a child’s ‘toy’ starter guitar, it is a little more expensive than some. But it is in the frame to be one of the Best Toddler Acoustic Guitars around.
- Nicely made with an attractive finish.
- Three string idea allows chords to be transposed to a six-string later.
- Some may find it a little expensive.
3 Makala MK-SD/LBL Dolphin Bridge Soprano Ukulele
Kala ukuleles are well-known as a quality instrument. Makala is the name they give to their budget range of instruments. This is a ukulele that is more instrument than a toy. It is an entry-level uke that is ideal for starters taking their first steps. But it will serve an improver quite well as they gain more knowledge and skills — certainly, one to consider as one of the Best Toddler Ukuleles.
This is a Soprano ukulele from Makala’s Dolphin series of instruments. It has a very good build quality, as you would expect from a company that makes quality ukuleles. It has a Kauri wood top and a mahogany neck, so you can appreciate they are using quality tone woods.
The neck has a Rosewood fingerboard as do many of the world’s best guitars. The bridge is also made from Rosewood, while back and sides are made from a composite. This generates a powerful sound that is projected out of the soundhole.
The neck has 12 brass frets and a nut and saddle made from plastic. Up at the headstock, it has some quality geared tuners. The bridge is a custom Dolphin design by Kala.
It is a very good looking ukulele and certainly plays like an instrument that is well-made. All the fittings are good quality, and the woods used help to project a nice sound. It is suitable not only for the starter player but also for experienced ukulele players after a uke to take to the beach or wherever? Or who are on a budget.
For the budding guitar player, it is a decent instrument to get a feel for the shape, strumming and rhythm actions, etc. However, what they learn on this ukulele and any other formal ukulele cannot be transferred to the guitar. This is because the Soprano ukulele tunes G-C-E-A.
Chord shapes and notes will, therefore, be different. But they can still learn to get a feel for a string instrument, and it is a quality ukulele. It is set at a very attractive price point.
- A very well-made instrument by a reputable and well-known manufacturer.
- Good woods produce a rich, warm sound that is quite loud.
- Some may want more of a guitar influence than a ukulele.
4 Home Game WINZZ 30 Inches Electric Guitar
The WinZZ brand name is a part of Aileen music and designs and manufactures instruments just for kids. This is a good example.
If you have a child who you think might be impressed by the looks of the guitar, then this will open their eyes a bit. Modeled on probably one of the most famous shapes in rock music, the Fender Stratocaster, it looks the part.
It has the familiar double-cutaway design with a solid wood body. Also a maple neck and a chrome alloy bridge. There is a single-coil pickup that has a volume but no tone control. Up at the headstock, there are some reasonable machine heads for tuning. The body has been given a high gloss black varnish finish. The neck has 21 frets down through the cutaways.
The look of it is sure to inspire some kids, especially as it is electric. Whether you want this as a first option is debatable. Sometimes it is better to let them get the feel of an instrument before investing too much.
It is not a bad guitar and is quite playable.
It comes as part of a package. That bundle of goodies includes a gig bag, even though they are not quite ready to hit the road yet. Also some extra strings, a strap and a couple of picks. But amazingly, it also comes with a battery-driven amplifier as well.
That is the problem with that first electric guitar. You are not going to hear much unless you plug it in. Usually, it means more expense, but it is included here. It is obviously very, very basic, but it does produce some sound, if not the most tuneful. It runs off a 9-volt battery, which is not supplied.
If you already have an amp at home, the guitar has standard jack plug fittings, and so can be plugged into that rather than this amp. This will obviously produce a far better sound.
At the price point, it is not expensive when you consider what has been included in the package. However, it still represents a reasonable investment, especially for a first-timer. This is a good package. But it might be better suited to a young player who has already learned a bit and will stick with it.
A decent enough package, and as long as you don’t expect too much in the way of quality, you won’t be disappointed.
- Strat look-a-like that has a reasonable build quality.
- An inclusive package will be attractive to some.
- It might be too much to spend for a starter.
5 Yamix Kids Guitar
This little guitar from Yamix is more a musical education toy than a real instrument. It is aimed at the very young child as an introduction to music without any real pretenses about learning to actually play it.
It is made from very lightweight wood and has six-strings. And has the look of an acoustic, but really any likeness to a guitar probably ends there. It is 23 inches long and weighs just one pound.
This is one of those instruments that could prove quite difficult to play for a child. The tuners are a bit of a problem in that they struggle to hold it in tune. The strings are steel, not plastic, so it should be easier for tuning but not really so. Also, the action is quite high off the fingerboard, so it is going to hurt a child’s fingers to push the strings down.
As a toy that looks like a guitar to give a child a playtime experience, it will work. If they or you have any hopes of actually getting a tune out of it, you might be disappointed. Also, it isn’t particularly cheap.
- Just a fun item for a very young child to play with.
- Not really easily playable
- Quite expensive for what it is.
Something For Their Brothers & Sisters?
Bringing a musical instrument into the house often inspires siblings to join in as well. When this happens, it’s worth checking out our reviews of the Best Acoustic Guitars for Kids, the Best Electric Guitar for Kids, the Best Bass Guitars for Kids, the Best Drum Set for Kids, the Best Kids Ukulele, and the Best Violin for Kids currently available.
So, What Are The Best Guitars For Toddlers?
The ability of any child to learn the guitar will be influenced by the quality of the instrument. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. But do ensure that even a budget, starter guitar is still playable. If it isn’t, the child will begin to think it is them when all the time it isn’t. A recipe to give up and ignore the instrument forever.
The instrument doesn’t need to be expensive, be autographed by anyone, or glamorous. It just needs to work.
Also, try and make sure you get the right size of guitar, and if you can, involve your child in the selection process. They will appreciate it more, even if you have to move them away from something not really suitable.
If we were to choose, we would pick the…Loog Mini Acoustic Guitar for Children.
It is well-made, and what they will learn on those three strings is immediately transferable to a six-string when the time comes.
However, if you’ve got a little rocker and are happy to spend a little more, the…Home Game WINZZ 30 Inches Electric Guitar with Beginner Kit.
…is an excellent choice and is sure to inspire your child to keep on playing.
So, there you have our choice of the two Best Guitars for Toddlers.