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11 Best Musical Instruments for Kids: Your Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to teaching a child how to play an instrument getting them started at a young age can really help with their development. Not only does it promote hand-eye coordination but it also helps in keeping them interested especially if it becomes second nature. This buyer’s guide is full of great ideas to get your kiddos interested in playing music, an interest that will last a lifetime and could potentially be their career. Here are the best musical instruments for kids.

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Falling in love with a discipline of any kind at a young age relies in part on having fun with it first. Whatever the pursuit, if a developing mind comes to regard something as fun, it can plant a life-long seed that can make pursuing it later easier.

For example, when I was a kid, I loved two things above all else: playing with cars and writing little weird stories. I came home from daycare one day and told my mother that I wanted to be an author — long before she expected me to know what the word even meant. Around that time, I spent hours upon hours playing with Matchbox cars every day.

These young pursuits stuck with me until late in high school when a college counselor laid out my options for deciding what I wanted to do for a career. It came down to going to a four-year liberal arts school for writing or getting a two-year trade degree to be an automotive technician. That I'm writing this right now gives you a pretty good indication of which direction I went, but it truly was a tough choice.

Meanwhile, I didn't even think about playing an instrument until I was in my mid-teens. And though playing guitar is one of my very favorite activities, it isn't my vocation as such. There are a lot of contributing factors, but I have a strong feeling that if I'd been enamored of instruments at a younger age, the amount of time I spend writing and the amount of time I spend playing guitar might be reversed now.

To that end, musical toys are excellent for encouraging the development not only of musical talent but of young brains in general. Competency with music improves competency in math, which has a host of knock-on benefits for logical and abstract thinking. It generates an appreciation for understanding and processing things, even if those things are just different forms of music. In short, it's good for them.

Not only are these toys and gadgets great for kids, but even professional musicians can also find a use for them. Weird toy-like noises are great for inspiration or for adding something to a track in progress. I've written a few songs based on the limited intervals available in a kid's toy, and I've certainly used a few of them as noise in ambient tracks. They're great for busting up ruts.

The items we've chosen for this list tend more toward the toy versions of instruments rather than beginner instruments in the classic sense. There's a mix here, but if you're looking for a real instrument, some of our other posts can help you. For the budding percussionist, try our best drum sets for kids here. Newly minted guitarists can look to our best beginner guitar kits or best guitars for beginners.