21 Best Musical Instruments For Toddlers 2024

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If there’s one thing that toddlers up to the age of 3 are drawn to like magnets, it’s music. Their young, curious minds seem predisposed to trying everything and find joy when their actions make sounds.

It can often be a little challenging for parents to figure out how best to facilitate their growing musical interests. The following toddler instruments blur the line between fun and education, ensuring that their time is well-spent. 

VTech KidiBeats Drum Set – Best Overall

VTech KidiBeats Drum Set

You don’t have to be very observant to know that toddlers love to bang on things. It’s almost as if children are born with the natural tendency to become drummers.

Because of their smaller stature (and because of price), a regular drum kit is practically out of the question. But, if your toddler loves to hit things, the VTech KidiBeats Drum Set is an affordable solution that can provide hours of fun.

This toy-sized drum set comes with a set of drumsticks so your toddler can hit its 3 drums and cymbal. Each of these is filled with lights and makes sounds when struck with the drumstick. 

The KidiBeats Drum Set offers 4 different playing styles, including:

  • Free play
  • Alphabet training
  • Number training
  • Play-along

So, not only can they play as they please, but they can learn their numbers and letters, too! Plus, 9 kid-friendly melodies from different genres come preloaded so your toddler can be like a drummer in a band. 

Melissa & Doug Learn-To-Play Piano – Best Premium

Melissa & Doug Learn-To-Play Piano

The piano is maybe the most fundamental instrument in all of music outside of the drum. Its visual layout makes things easy to see, which is especially helpful for inquisitive young minds.

If you have a bit extra to spend, the Melissa & Doug Learn-To-Play Piano is a fantastic option. This toy-sized piano will give you a few years beyond the toddler age range while introducing them to real-world piano mechanics at a young age.

The Learn-To-Play piano comes with 25 piano keys and covers 2 entire octaves. Plus, each note is labeled and color-coordinated so that your child is more apt to learn the note names. 

This piano has become the industry standard in terms of a high-quality offering that can facilitate actual musical knowledge. It leans more on the “real instrument” side of things but is conveniently sized down for young children. 

Tudor TD180 – Best Budget

Tudor TD180

Outside of the piano, the recorder is usually one of the first instruments children learn to play in music class at school. The reason for this is that they are inexpensive and don’t require a large amount of space like that of the piano.

If you want your toddler to get a head start, consider the Tudor Candy Apple TD180 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon). This is a 2-piece plastic recorder that is perfect for beginners, no matter what age they might be. 

To be fair, those in the older range of the toddler spectrum will probably fare better here. But, because it’s an actual instrument, it would still be playable in a practical way 20 years from now. 

Casio SA-51 Portable Keyboard

Casio SA-51 Portable Keyboard

If you grew up during the 1980s and 1990s, you probably spent some time on a small Casiotone keyboard. The Casio SA-51 Portable Keyboard is essentially today’s modern version of those classic keyboards from decades past.

This keyboard features 32 keys and is filled to the brim with 100 different keyboard sounds. Your toddler can go from the piano to drums, to strings, woodwinds, and so much more.

The SA-51 also has 50 preloaded drum patterns, which will secretly train your toddler to play to a metronome. Plus, there are 10 songs included that your toddler can play along to.

What makes this great is that it can be powered by a power supply or with 6x AA batteries. It’s small enough to take anywhere, allowing your child to play wherever they see fit.

The SA-51 is fairly pricey compared to other keyboards, but this is maybe the only one with a true reputation. Casio is one of the most respected names in the industry, and this keyboard will be useful well into the toddler’s adulthood.

Don’t believe me? I played a 1980s version of this portable Casio keyboard in a progressive psychedelic band in 2009. 

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Band Set

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Band Set

Is the toddler in your life a natural percussionist? The Melissa & Doug Deluxe Band Set has plenty of instruments to ensure they never get bored.

For a reasonable price, the Deluxe Band Set features 10 different instruments. What’s great is that the offerings provide a blend of rhythmic and melodic instruments, including:

  • Xylophone
  • Recorder
  • Kazoo
  • Harmonica
  • Clave
  • Pair of castanets
  • Pair of jingle sticks
  • Pair of slapsticks
  • Pair of güiros 
  • Triangle

The Deluxe Band Set lets your toddler try a little bit of everything. Plus, it even comes with a storage crate so they can keep everything organized and in one place. 

VTech Record & Learn KidiStudio

VTech Record & Learn KidiStudio

Does your toddler display signs of maybe someday being a studio producer? The VTech Record & Learn KidiStudio will plant the seeds and develop their creativity in this specific direction.

This offering from VTech is quite immersive, offering: 

  • 25-note keyboard 
  • Scratch pad 
  • Drum and cymbal
  • Whammy bar
  • Microphone

What’s truly mind-blowing is that your toddler will be able to record their own music with this instrument. Plus, with over 40 different tones and songs packed in, they will never run out of musical creativity. 

The Record & Learn KidiStudio might look a little complicated but everything is perfectly laid out for a toddler. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they learn their way around this.

Plus, this can be quite fun for the entire family, as you’ll get to actually hear their musicality develop. 

Kala Ukadelic Soprano

Kala Ukadelic Soprano

If your toddler is a bit older and shows an inclination toward stringed instruments, a ukulele is the most popular option. The Kala Ukadelic Soprano (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is perfect for young beginners, providing practicality at an affordable price.

Make no mistake about it, the Ukadelic Soprano is an actual instrument rather than a toy imitation. It features a Poplar body with a Pine neck and a Laurel fretboard with 12 frets and comes in 12 different color options.

Do keep in mind that, unless your toddler receives some instruction, a real ukulele could become boring because they aren’t able to make pleasing sounds right away.

Fortunately, the Ukadelic Soprano comes included with a gig bag so your toddler can keep it safe in travels to take their lessons. 

Stoie’s International Wooden Music Set

Stoie’s International Wooden Music Set

Kids like to have a bit of variety when it comes to their toys. The Stoie’s International Wooden Music Set provides a massive variety of rhythmic instruments that are great for kids of all ages.

This bundle features 10 different instruments, all built from high-quality wood components that are sure to withstand even the most rigorous of play. In this set, your toddler will be able to play instruments such as:

  • Maracas
  • Handbells 
  • Flute
  • Wood sounder
  • Woodblock
  • Chime bar
  • Tambourine
  • Hand drum
  • Castanet

A bundle like this can be great for those times when your toddler has their friends over. There’s something for everybody to play with here!

VTech Monkey Band Music Center

VTech Monkey Band Music Center

If your toddler is on the younger side of the spectrum, something like the VTech Monkey Band Music Center can be great for a first musical instrument. This offering from VTech features 9 piano keys, all of which light up for enhanced enjoyment.

The monkey on the Monkey Band Music Center is twistable and will play 10 different melodies and 2 songs to get them singing along. There’s even a small button underneath the bird that causes drum sounds to play when activated.

In the grand scheme of things, the Monkey Band Music Center is only really practical for the youngest toddlers. However, it can be a vital instrument in developing your child’s creativity at such an impressionable time in their life.

LeapFrog Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout

LeapFrog Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout

With the rise and popularity of DJs in recent decades, it’s not uncommon for toddlers to be drawn to the craft themselves. The LeapFrog Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout provides this experience in spades, ensuring they can live out their wildest fantasies as a DJ.

This offering from LeapFrog allows the toddler to remix grooves, make record scratch sounds, and learn their numbers, alphabet, and colors. Your toddler will also be able to utilize different tones as they see fit, with instrument sounds including:

  • Keyboard
  • Guitar
  • Trumpet
  • Saxophone

The Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout has spinning parts that allow your child to mimic what real DJs do professionally. It is sure to keep them stimulated and learning for hours on end. 

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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