Introducing toddlers to a musical instrument can be as simple as giving them a set of pots and pans and a wooden spoon, but if you think your toddler is ready to level up to their first real instrument like a drum set or guitar, the best musical instruments for toddlers can help them develop not only their musical skills but their fine motor and social-emotional skills as well. Sure, it might take a minute for them to reach this little musical prodigy’s level, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly toddlers can actually learn an instrument when it’s introduced as a fun and engaging activity.
Can A 2-Year-Old Learn An Instrument?
According to the Suzuki Method, children as young as 3 or 4 can begin formal training to learn an instrument. But that’s not to say that babies and toddlers can’t have fun exploring the sensory experiences of different musical instruments before that age. In fact, manipulating hand-held instruments (think: shakers, bells, drums) and participating in tunes through song and dance can help little ones with coordination and concentration. It’s never too early to bring music into your home or to take your kiddo to a music class.
What Musical Instrument Should A Child Start With?
Because children have shorter limbs and fingers, instruments that come in scaled-down sizes are best for a young child to start with. These typically include pianos, guitars or ukuleles, recorders, and violins. Instruments that don’t come in smaller sizes or that require an increased lung capacity, like the trombone, are better suited for older children and young adults.
Yet, your child’s natural talents and interests may be the biggest factor in their success in learning to play an instrument. So instead of choosing an instrument that you want them to learn, pay attention to what they show interest in or what music style they gravitate towards. If toddlers feel a sense of joy and are praised and encouraged positively when learning an instrument, versus pressured, the more likely they are to be engaged throughout the process.
What Instrument Is Best For Brain Development?
As mentioned above, simply exposing your child to music is going to be great for their overall brain development. But to add further nuance, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry found that the violin and piano may actually aid cortical thickening, which plays a role in emotional processing and behavior regulating. Both the piano and violin also have the added benefit of teaching a child tone and pitch, setting them up for success in other instruments later on.
Ready to find your toddler’s first instrument? Check out the list below of the 17 best musical instruments for toddlers. All come highly rated on Amazon and some even have thousands of perfect, five-star reviews.
In a hurry? Here are the top picks for the best musical instruments for toddlers:
- The Best Wooden Instrument Set: Stoie’s International Wooden Music Set
- The Best Toddler Acoustic Guitar: Loog Mini Acoustic Guitar
- The Best Toddler Piano: Melissa & Doug Learn-To-Play Piano
- The Best Toddler Drum Set: oathx All-in-One Kids’ Drum Set
- The Best Toddler Ukulele: YOLOPARK Toddler Ukulele Guitar
- The Best Egg Shakers: SallyFashion Wooden Egg Shakers