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Wondering how to choose a guitar for a child? The best toddler guitars are more than just cool toys to play with, so moms, grab one for your 1-year-old (or 2- or 3-year-old …) stat! After all, music is a language toddlers understand way before actual words, so musical gifts are often a hit with the little ones. These kinds of presents and playthings help with child development in creativity, language, memory, and emotional intelligence. Not to mention, it entertains and occupies your LO when you need a B-R-E-A-K.
If your kiddo is ready to move beyond those soothing baby music toys that got you through many a tantrum, a toddler guitar is exactly what they need. It will give them a new sense of independence, inspire lots of rocking out, and make for the most adorable pics and vids. And while we’re all looking for new, educational moments, you and your little maestro in the making should check out #LoogFest, an online festival brought to you by Loog Guitars, in which you can join in for free concerts, music classes, and other family-friendly (and free) entertainment.
Whether you are looking for a legit instrument or a guitar-like toy with *all* the buttons (again, hoping to keep ‘em busy!), you’ve come to the right place for the best toddler and toy guitars. We have tried-and-true wooden ukuleles, a toddler guitar reimagined for little hands and minds, axes inspired by Disney cartoon characters (like the awesome light-up Coco guitar below!), and even 3-in-1 options for them to start their own BB band. There’s no doubt they’ll jump out of their toddler chairs with excitement after they unwrap this gift. Rock on, mamas and kiddos! (You know you’re officially part of the band, right?)
Best Guitars For 1-Year-Olds
Sure, it’s technically a ukulele. But it’s still perfect for your baby. This one’s designed with younger toddlers in mind but it will last for years and is a great pass-me-down for other kiddos (it’s Baby Einstein!). Our favorite part? It has real chord sounds, not just electronic muffled ones. There are two ways to play – freestyle or play along. And there are four colorful strings for strumming. 30+ classic musical tunes like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Are You Sleeping Brother John” are sure to entertain your kid. Plus it’s sturdy and made with wood and a BPA-free plastic edging and back to keep baby safe (and bonk free).
Let the whole family rock on with this magical interactive music light show. Perfect for small hands, this toy guitar has a hand motion-detecting pad in the center that starts playing when activated. It has three musical modes that play rock, drums, and electronic sounds. And with over 20 interactive buttons and controls, it is guaranteed for hours of fun. There are also volume and tempo controls, demo buttons, and eight music notes. A durable design and shoulder strap make hands-free playing a breeze. “My 2-year-old daughter wanted a guitar for Christmas and I found this one,” said one parent on Amazon. “I didn’t realize how cute it would be! I love that it has sensors where you strum it so it makes different sounds as you move your fingers. Definitely recommend!”
This review sums things up pretty well and obviously makes it a winner: “Keeps kids entertained for long periods of time.” What parent isn’t looking for that? This guitar can technically transform into two other instruments – a piano, and drums – meaning your child will be on their way towards becoming a one-man-band. Twelve popular songs and melodies can be played, and there are two modes for play: freestyle and play along. The guitar comes with strings, a whammy bar, and star buttons that play cool guitar sounds and fun effects like audience cheering. Now you just need to figure out how to use this to make your toddler a Youtube sensation. (Someone’s gotta pay for all of these instruments, right?)
Perfect for kids who are above the three-month mark, this Baby Einstein guitar featured 10 classical melodies with buttons your kiddo will love to push. The lights are another winning feature. “My little guy loves his guitar. I play guitar semi-pro and there are no ‘real’ guitar choices for the barbarianism of the 10mo to 2-year set,” explained one parent on Amazon. “You don’t want them with anything that has strings. A simulator toy is definitely the way to go for crumb crunchers who are interested in guitar. Holding a guitar-shaped device that makes noise is more than sufficient. Our boy played this before he could crawl.”
Holy guacamole! Yep, exactly what your little cutie patootie needs: an avocado guitar. We digress. Pair this Skip Hop Baby Guitar alongside their cheekiest onesie for the cutest sight you’ll ever see. We hate to be that mom who posts approximately 1,456 videos of baby crawling or saying da-da for the first time to IG Stories, but this is too good. Besides, they grow up SO fast. Recommended for ages six months or older, this baby guitar toy can play six songs. It runs on 3 AAA batteries (included) and lights up.
Best Guitars For Toddlers
Meet the most deluxe (and stylish) kids guitar on the market. The educator-approved, award-winning design uses the first three strings of guitar so everything your toddler learns can be applied to a six-string guitar later. Using this basic triad makes it an easier and faster learning process (um, can we have one in our size?). Comes fully assembled and ready to play, this guitar is available in a ton of fun colors your kids will love. It’s a great buy if you’re also hoping to become musically inclined, as one Amazon reviewer noticed. “My daughter and I [are] learning how to play the guitar together. Even if we don't become rock stars the quality time we are spending together is all the justification I needed to make the purchase. The strings are perfect for her little fingers,” she said.
This mini ukulele with a sweet heart-shaped soundhole is literally the cutest. Made of environmental-friendly ABS plastic and carbon nylon strings, it’s durable enough for erratic toddlers but also soft in all the right places. The lightweight design is easy to carry and great for travel. It can be tuned and comes with an attached pick because those things *always* seem to get lost. Your little one will be jamming before you know it!
If this movie didn’t inspire them to play guitar, we don’t know what will. Make it a little easier on the tiny one with this pretty Coco-inspired toddler guitar toy. How does it work? They hold down buttons on the neck and strum the “strings” to hear three different cords. The skull at the head of the instrument chomps when the first cord is played. It also lights up and includes sheet music to teach traditional Mexican songs and the Coco theme song “Remember Me.”
The best part about ukuleles? They sound good no matter how skilled the player is. That should be reason enough to pick this one up, but here are a few more: It’s non-toxic and crafted from high-quality wood. It’s made by Hape, one of our favorite classic toy brands. It comes in three fun color options— green, blue, and red. This wooden instrument is sturdy. Plus, it’s tunable and plays beautifully. This toddler ukulele will have them making melodic memories and learning basic rhythm, strumming, composition, and musical techniques. This is a pass-down piece, younger sibs and cousins will all be happy to have it. As one parent on Amazon stated, “the best thing about this is that you get a gentle 'strummy' noise from it and not the ghastly electronic cacophony that makes you want to put children out into the yard.”
This is yet another “not officially a guitar, but worth a look” item. Because, seriously — how adorable is this banjo? This three-string wooden mini banjo features an array of cute wooden creatures. One Amazon reviewer noted that it was capable of surviving a little bit of rough play, saying “This is amazing quality for the price, and so cute in person. The design is so beautiful and the function is great. It has held up with two wild babies playing with it, dropping it, etc.”
Paw Patrol will be a big hit with kids for quite some time, so this guitar is sure to get a lot of use. With a low price point, this is a good choice for parents who aren’t sure if their kids will stick with the hobby. Since it has tuning gears, nylon strings, and fret spacing that’s very similar to an actual professional guitar, it’ll be a good first start. But even if they’re not into learning how to play, this guitar plays music on its own, so it’ll still be a hit.
This plastic guitar resembles a real one, which might entice your kids if they’re looking for the perfect guitar that’ll transform them into rock stars. This model, which functions more as a ukulele, includes four realistic stainless steel guitar strings that’ll be hard for your kids to accidentally break — just take it from one Amazon mom, who said, “my kids have had these for a month. They are two. They love them and have not broken them. They have stepped on these, hit each other on the head, ran them into the wall, and thrown them, as well as [attempted] to play them. These are amazing.” Sold.
SHOP THE STORY
The entire soundtrack to Frozen will always be etched in our minds after hearing nonstop. Since our little ones love it so much, they’ll definitely be inclined to sing while playing from a guitar with their favorite princesses on the front! Note that it’s a little bigger in size (30 inches), but that just means they’ll have time to grow into their skills with Anna and Elsa.
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