I’m all in when it comes to the idea of introducing kids to musical instruments. However, it’s a task that’s much easier said than done. Choosing an easy instrument that your little one can quickly play is a challenging duty. Whether it’s because of the instrument’s difficulty or because it just doesn’t fit your toddler’s hands, there are many challenges to overcome.
That’s where ukuleles come in to offer you the ideal instrument for kids on a gold platter! Ukuleles are relatively small, super easy to learn, look like a guitar, and are budget-friendly. What more can a parent wish for?
Let’s unleash the inner musician within your little one and pick a ukulele they’ll surely love! To put you on the right track, I’ve compiled a list of the ultimate best ukuleles for kids. Also, if your toddler already has a ukulele and you’re looking for an upgrade, you’ll find just the right one.
At a Glance:
- Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit
- Kala KA-15S
- Mahalo Ukuleles Rainbow Series
- Lohanu Concert Size Ukulele Bundle
4 Best Ukuleles for Kids in 2020
A ukulele for kids can be just what they need to spark their interest in the world of music. I guarantee you that once they play it, they’ll get hooked! Don’t worry if you’re not sure which kids ukulele to choose or how to pick a ukulele in the first place. You’ll certainly find the best ukulele for kids on this list.
1. Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit – Best Overall
Kala is one of the leaders in the industry of beginner ukuleles and ukuleles in general. With that in mind, this comprehensive Learn to Play Starter Kit empowers you to teach your kid ukulele playing with the support of the top-notch resources Kala provides.
If your little one is shy or uncomfortable around people, or you prefer teaching them yourself rather than going for a tutor, the guide and online lessons included in the kit will enable you to do just that. The learning process will be like a breeze and will get your little one playing an instrument in little to no time.
As for the ukulele itself, it’s a soprano ukulele made of high-quality satin mahogany that’s incredibly robust yet lightweight. Not to mention, it comes with a tuning app that you can download on your mobile or iPad, taking away the need for an electronic tuner. On the app, you can learn how to tune and play the ukulele, and pass that knowledge to your little one.
Sound-wise, the ukulele produces smooth, acoustic sounds, typical to what one would imagine from this instrument. Kids certainly love the sweet sounds produced by this ukulele, and the unique Aquila Super Nylgut strings are a pleasure to play. Starting with their shining white color and all the way to their firm yet fun feel, this Kala Starter Kit definitely delivers the top ukulele for children.
To add to the convenience, the kit comes with a gig bag! Kala knows that your kid will be hooked to the ukulele, so they’ll probably want to carry it around everywhere. Whether to a sleepover, a music class, or even a trip, this toddler ukulele is extremely portable to carry around, weighing only 1 pound.
- Comprehensive kit for a seamless learning experience
- Free guide and online ukulele lessons
- High-quality build
- Excellent Aquila Super Nylgut strings
- Comes with a tuner app
- Requires tuning often
If you’re looking to invest in a top-notch instrument that your kid will love, look no further than this Kala Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit. Boasting superior quality, offering warm sounds, and being super lightweight, this is hands down the top ukulele for child teaching purposes!
2. Kala KA-15S – Best for Intermediate Level Children
Yes, this is another ukulele by Kala, and yes, it’s a soprano ukulele too. However, the Kala KA-15S is a rather advanced kids ukulele for children who have passed the beginner level and are now taking further steps to mastery.
Just like almost all Kala ukuleles, this soprano ukulele has an appealing design, is made of top-notch material, and has a first-rate finish. Its body and neck are made of mahogany, which empowers this 22-inch uke to produce unmatchable rich and deep sounds.
Additionally, being a common choice of ukulele for kids, the frets on this ukulele have marked positions, which come in handy if your little one happens to forget some of their learning. On the note of frets, the fretboard boasts 12 brass frets that conveniently contrast with the color of mahogany.
On the playability front, this soprano ukulele features geared tuners that almost never go out of tune. They hold the tuning adequately, which is another reason why kids love it! Simply, it makes things easier for them. Going out of tune frequently frustrates adults; imagine how it is for kids?
Last but not least, this soprano ukulele comes with Aquila Nylgut strings, which are among the very best, produce magnificent sound, and don’t hurt the fingers. No matter how long your child wants to play, there will be no harm.
Right out of the box, the Kala KA-15S is already tuned and ready to play. So, if your little one is over the moon because of their new instrument, they won’t have to wait for you to get the uke ready.
- Captivating design
- Robust build
- Pre-strung with the famous Aquila Nylgut strings
- Comfortable to play
- Excellent tuners
- Superlative sound
- Larger than average soprano ukuleles
In a nutshell, the Kala KA-15S is a ukulele that’s made to last. Even in the most intricate details, it’s visible that high-quality was the priority while producing this gem. With fret positions, geared tuners, and comfortable feel, this is the lead uke for children who are a level ahead of beginners!
3. Mahalo Ukuleles Rainbow Series – Young Children Pick
Kids find colors intriguing. They also find instruments interesting. How about mixing both in a colorful instrument? That’s precisely the Mahalo Ukuleles Rainbow Series. Coming in a range of “rainbow” colors, this affordable pick is the best ukulele for toddlers still starting out. By personalizing it to their own taste and embracing its lightweight, this is a can’t miss!
Coming in a minimalistic design with dolphin-shaped tuners, this soprano ukulele has got you and your little one covered with the basics of a ukulele for kids. For starters, it features the infamous Aquila Nylgut strings to ensure the warmest and brightest sounds to keep your child engaged.
Additionally, it incorporates a NuBone XB bridge saddle, enhancing the tone and maximizing comfort for your toddler’s hands. As for the uke itself, it’s made of Sengon wood while the bridge is made of durable mahogany.
And if you happen to be a beginner too, don’t worry! The Mahalo Ukulele comes with a 45-minute downloadable lesson taught by Ukulele Bartt, who’s known for step-by-step, effective ukulele guidance. Covering the foundations all the way to how to play the uke, you won’t need to take your little one to ukulele toddler classes.
Frankly, I believe this is an ideal option for beginners, toddlers who are still experimenting, or children who want to play an instrument just for fun. Honestly, the stylishness of this instrument makes me want to get one personally!
- Available in a wide range of “rainbow” colors
- Simple, minimalistic design
- Super lightweight
- Tailored for kids with a dolphin-shaped tuner
- Comfortable to hold
- Comes with a downloadable lesson plan
- Subpar build quality
- Only suitable for beginners
- Relatively poor tuners
This Mahalo pick is a ukulele best suited for kids who need encouragement to start playing an instrument. The captivating color variety, the beautiful sounds the uke produces, and the comfortable playing experience will certainly keep your little one busy. And for you, as a parent, it’s super affordable, so you get maximum value for money.
4. Lohanu Concert Size Ukulele Bundle – Best for Advanced Kids
While soprano ukuleles dominated the majority of this list, I didn’t forget advanced children players! When it’s time for a larger instrument, your next pick for your child should be the Lohanu Concert Ukulele, which suits both older children and adults alike!
What makes this ukulele suitable for advanced layers is the wider frets accompanied by the arched back. Together, these factors lead the uke to generate much fuller sound than you would hear in a soprano. Although a concert ukulele is only 23-inches long, not much longer than a soprano, the sound difference is easily noticeable.
With the ukulele, your child receives an adjustable strap with buttons to attach the strap to. Not only will they feel like a rockstar, but they’ll also adjust the ukulele to their best comfort to enjoy the most out of their playing time.
Other extras also come in the package, including extra picks and a holder, a case, and an extra set of Aquila Nylgut strings.
- Ideal for old children
- The arched back allows for fuller, richer sound
- Features Aquila Nylgut strings
- Lifetime warranty
- Below par build quality
You’ve always wanted your little one to master an instrument, and now is the time! A soprano ukulele might not work well with your growing child. If that’s the case, the best option for your master player is this Lohanu Concert Ukulele that’ll make them feel like a rockstar.
Ukulele for Kids Buying Guide & FAQ
Now that we’ve discussed our top picks, it’s about time that you understand why they made it here. To choose the best ukulele for kids, make sure you consider the factors below to make the perfect choice. Also, I’ll tackle some of the frequently asked questions that probably crossed your mind.
Ukulele Types Explained
Ukuleles come in four main types: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone, with size being the evident differentiating factor among them.
The soprano is around 21 inches and is the standard ukulele size. This is quite ideal for toddlers just starting out. The concert measures around 23 inches, and while the difference isn’t major, the sound produced is! It’s evidently louder, richer, and deeper.
As for the tenor, it’s the perfect fit for children who have spent a few years playing the ukulele, measuring around 26 inches. Its fingerboard is extremely large, which provides optimal space for strumming chords. Lastly, the baritone, measuring approximately 30 inches, is the biggest ukulele producing deep bass sound. It produces the closest sounds to a guitar!
Generally speaking, either a soprano or concert ukulele is the way to go for children and beginners.
Material: Which Is Best?
Wood and plastic are the most dominant ukulele materials, and they highly affect the sound quality. Plastic ukuleles produce bright sound and require minimal maintenance, but they’re very vulnerable to breaking. So, if your kid is likely to bang and smash their uke around, I wouldn’t suggest going for plastic.
When it comes to wood, put mahogany and spruce wood as your priority. They’re high-quality types of wood that lead to beautiful sounds, and they’re super long-lasting. Not to mention, your kid can knock a mahogany or spruce uke down all they want, and it will still stand tall.
Playability: A Ukulele’s Setup
While the ukulele is an easy instrument to learn, some ukuleles are more comfortable to hold and play than others. Keep your eyes open for ukuleles designed explicitly for beginners.
These tend to have an extended fingerboard to create more space for your little one to place their fingers. Additionally, some have fret locations marked with stickers or markers, which is very convenient when things seem overwhelming in the beginning!
Shape: Does It Matter?
Guitar, pineapple, and boat paddle are the main three shapes for ukuleles. Guitars are the traditional shape, and as implied by the name, look like a guitar with a dip in the middle of the body. The pineapple has a Hawaiian origin and is completely rounded with no waist at all. As for the boat paddle, it does look like a boat, and you won’t encounter it often.
For children, always go for the guitar shape to enable them to hold it naturally and comfortably.
Is The Ukulele a Toy?
For a long time, ukuleles were marketed to be toys and were purchased as souvenirs. However, that’s no longer the case. Today, ukuleles are a serious instrument used by musicians.
How Do I Teach My Child Ukulele?
The most crucial step is to get them interested! Once you do, provide them with a uke for children, teach them the basics of holding the ukulele, chords, and strumming patterns, until you teach them their favorite songs. Just make sure to keep it fun and let them explore!
What Age Can Kids Learn Ukulele?
While most people suggest 6 years old, I’ve seen 3-year-old ukulele players who performed magically! Accordingly, I would say kids are never too young to start learning the ukulele. 3 years and up is a good age to start.
Choosing the best ukulele for kids is a demanding challenge, but it’s one you’ll reap so many benefits out of! Watching your little one’s cognitive and physical development get boosted will feel like heaven.
If I were to choose, I’d undoubtedly go for Kala’s Learn to Play Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit. Featuring a high-quality ukulele and adequate resources for learning, this kit provides an exemplary introduction to the ukulele world and makes sure your little one never sets foot out of it.
Additionally, if you’re looking for a more affordable option and you just want to test the waters with your kid, go for Mahalo’s Rainbow Series! It’s the perfect blend of playability, affordability, and portability. Not to mention, its colors are an eye-grabber, and it comes with a downloadable lesson!
Lastly, if your child is progressing and is no longer a beginner, go for either the Kala KA-15S or Lohanu’s Concert Ukulele, depending on their skill level at the moment. Those are superlative when it comes to mastering the uke!