Best Musical Instruments for Kids And Baby Musical Toys

Donna Freydkin

We get it. Musical toys are loud enough that they should come pre-packaged with earplugs for parents. But the aural annoyance is worth it, because music has numerous benefits for children, per the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes the benefits of making music. It enhances fine motor skills, boosts listening skills, and helps with language development.

If you’re not ready to attend any of the myriad musical classes out there for toddlers, you can bring tunes into your own home with toy instruments that help kids unleash their inner Adele or Childish Gambino. We looked at the most popular musical toys you can buy, and found the ones that were the best quality, and were worth your money. 

HABA Symphony Croc Music Band Set

OK, we sort of want this musical gator for ourselves. The set includes a drum, xylopnone, guiro wooden block, and a bell, plus two mallets for playtime duets. Because you know you'll want to join in.

Buy Now $39.99

This instrument, for kids two and up, helps develop hand-eye coordination and a sense of rhythm.

VTech KidiBeats Drum Set

You've been warned: This drum set is loud. But it's also crazy fun for kids, who learn to play three drum pads and cymbal, each with its own unique sound. Plus, they can play along to nine different music styles.

Buy Now $17.39

This is a great toy for kids ages two to five. It has four play modes: Free play, letters, numbers, and follow-along. Kids bang the drum with their sticks, which are included.

KidKraft Lil' Symphony Guitar

Even Eric Clapton had to start somewhere. And somewhere can be this starter guitar, which has six authentic guitar strings.

Buy Now $30.20

This is literally a pluck and play toy. It comes fully assembled, and kids can have jam sessions using this toy guitar, which is an actual six-string instrument. It’s suitable for kids ages three and up.

Melissa & Doug Band-in-a-Box

One of our favorite toy brands has created the ultimate musical kit, which includes a tambourine, cymbals, maracas, a clacker, tone blocks, and a triangle, plus a sturdy wooden storage crate.

Buy Now $19.20

This set, ideal for pre-schoolers, lets kids form their own band. They can explore sounds and make their own, using the included tambourine, cymbals, maracas, a clacker, tone blocks, and triangle. The instruments are made of wood, meaning they won’t break.

Schoenhut 25 Key My First Piano II

This is a kids' piano that will last and last and last, perhaps to the dismay of parents. It has 25 keys, can be on the floor, and is great for helping to build hand-eye coordination and encouraging musical creativity.

Buy Now $61.71

Perfect for prodigies ages three and up, the Schoenhut starter piano is a captivating toy for kids, as they learn that by hitting keys, they can produce glorious sounds and melodies. It’s durable, and makes for hours of noisy fun.

Manhattan Toy Musical Llama Wooden Instrument

Built for younger musicians, this toy instrument features a five-bar xylophone, a maraca tail, two clacking saddle blankets, and wooden mallets for a toddler's first foray into the world of tunes and beats.

Buy Now $42.30

Kids 12 months and older can meet their new favorite llama. The tail doubles as a maraca. The saddle blankets become drums. And there are detachable wooden mallets. Kids can bang and drum and spin gears. It helps build coordination and teach cause and effect.

Hape Rock and Rhythm Kid's Musical Instruments Wooden Drum Set

This wooden drum set is perfectly sized for toddlers and it has everything they need to create what passes for music, including drums, cymbals, and rhythm makers.

Buy Now $44.83

Once your kid reaches a certain age, every surface in your home becomes a drum. This includes, but is not limited to, high chair trays, coffee tables, windows, the cat, and if you’re very lucky, your face. This adorable beginner drum set at least offers the illusion of an appropriate space for drumming. It’s great for kids 36 months and older and promotes dexterity and hand-eye coordination.

My First Crayola Touch Lights

In a nutshell, this is a mess-free, portable doodle board that lights up and plays music when your kid touches it.

Buy Now $23.43

This is a musical tablet that flashes lights and plays sounds when your two-year-old touches it. It plays one of six songs and changes colors as toddlers scribble on it.

Hape Kid's Wooden Toy Ukulele in Blue

Because honestly, who doesn't need a blue ukelele in their life? This one is fully playable and easily tunable.

Buy Now $28.14

Your three year old will channel Tiny Tim (sorry!) with this miniature ukelele. It’s made of wood, is thoroughly durable, and easy to tune and play. Young kids can figure out and master basic rhythm and strumming skills.

Melissa & Doug Band-in-a-Box

Who knows, maybe you're raising the next Taylor Swift. Or John Legend. Help your toddlers build their musical skills with this 10-piece musical instrument set with a variety of instruments that help kids connect with their inner musician.

Buy Now $19.20

The musical set includes  a tambourine, cymbals, maracas, a clacker, tone blocks, and a triangle, plus a sturdy wooden storage crate to store it all. Kids can form their own band. And being loud never loses its appeal.

Woodstock Kid's Accordion

If you're feeling particularly brave, get your kid this accordion. It's perfectly sized for young kids, and has a two-octave range in the key of C.

Buy Now $25.50

This accordion comes with instructions on how to play eight songs. Or your kid can freestyle it. The accordion has a two-octave range. It’s the right size for kids three and older.

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