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Baby Entertainment and ActivitiesUnlock the World of Music: Best Instruments for Toddlers to Play

Unlock the World of Music: Best Instruments for Toddlers to Play

As a parent or caregiver, you may have noticed that your little one has a knack for turning anything – spoons, boxes, even pots and pans – into an instrument of joyful noise-making. Here, we’ve curated a list of instruments appropriate for their small hands and big imaginations, fostering their musical development while providing a source of fun.

“Our job isn’t to make musicians. Our job is to encourage children to play, explore, and experience music on their terms. The journey should be as fun as the destination.”

Toddlers have a natural inclination towards music, and introducing them to musical instruments can be a great way to foster their creativity and cognitive development. Here are some musical instruments that are suitable for toddlers:

1. Xylophone

toddlers playing with a xylophone

 The xylophone is a popular instrument for toddlers as it is easy to play and produces a pleasant sound. It helps toddlers develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills as they strike the colorful keys with the mallets.

2. Tambourine

A baby holding a tambourine

The tambourine is a handheld percussion instrument that toddlers can shake or tap to create rhythmic sounds. It is a great instrument for introducing toddlers to basic rhythm and beat, and it also enhances their motor skills.

3. Maracas

A baby holding maracas

Maracas are small handheld shakers that toddlers can hold and shake to produce a gentle rattling sound. They are perfect for introducing toddlers to basic rhythm and coordination, and they provide a fun sensory experience.

4. Drum

A toddler playing with drums

Toddlers love the excitement of playing drums. A small drum or a drum set designed for toddlers can help them explore rhythm and coordination. It also allows them to express their energy and creativity through beats and patterns.

5. Piano/Keyboard

A little boy playing with a toy piano

A mini piano or keyboard with large, colorful keys is a great instrument for toddlers to explore melodies and sounds. It helps them develop finger strength and coordination, and introduces them to the concept of different notes and pitches.

6. Kazoo

A couple of Kazoos

The kazoo is a simple wind instrument that toddlers can hum into to create a buzzing sound. It is easy to play and can be a fun way for toddlers to experiment with different sounds and pitches, while also improving their breath control.

7. Handbells

A little girl holding a handbell

Handbells are small bells that toddlers can hold and ring. They provide a delightful tinkling sound and help toddlers develop their sense of rhythm and coordination. Handbells are also great for introducing toddlers to basic music notation.

8. Guitar/Ukulele

Dad teaching his baby guitar

There are mini guitars and ukuleles available specifically designed for toddlers. These instruments allow toddlers to strum the strings and explore different sounds. They promote finger dexterity and coordination, and can be a great introduction to playing stringed instruments.

9. Flute/Recorder

A baby sleeping next to a flute

A small flute or recorder can be a suitable instrument for older toddlers who are ready for more advanced play. These instruments help toddlers develop breath control, finger coordination, and introduce them to basic music reading skills.

10. Rainmaker

Little kids playing with a rainmaker

A rainmaker is a tube-like instrument filled with small beads or pebbles. When tilted, it creates a soothing sound similar to falling rain. Toddlers can enjoy the sensory experience of the sound and learn cause and effect by controlling the flow of the beads.

Remember, when introducing toddlers to musical instruments, it is important to provide supervision and ensure that the instruments are age-appropriate and safe. Encourage exploration and playfulness, and let your toddler discover the joy of making music!


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