Not only does music encourage kids to be creative but it’s been shown to improve little ones’ learning skills and cognitive development. A ukulele is a four-stringed wooden instrument that’s easy to learn and simple to strum, making it perfect for beginning musicians. Available in a range of prices and designs, here are the seven best ukuleles for kids.
The Best Ukuleles for Kids
1. YOLO+ 17 Inch Kids Ukulele Guitar Toy
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: The kid-safe design of the Hatley Printed Umbrella offers a smooth, curved handle, rounded tip, and plastic covers on the spokes. This umbrella for kids comes in endearing patterns that have several accessories to match sold separately. The wide canopy will keep your child dry in any rainstorm or wet weather.
Keep in mind: Some customers say the sound quality on this ukulele isn’t as sophisticated compared to more expensive models on the market.
Good for: Families looking for an affordable and functional ukulele for younger kids to learn on.
2. POMAIKAI Soprano Ukulele for Beginners
(Best for beginners — $$)
Why it’s great: This soprano ukulele comes in eight colorful shades, including brown, black, blue, pink, teal, and mahogany. Featuring a real basswood body with a glossy finish, this ukulele has a crisp, melodic sound thanks to its four sturdy nylon strings. 12 smooth fret wires make this ukulele easy to play while the included carrying case makes it convenient to store and transport between practice sessions. Customers praise this ukulele for its full-bodied sound and high-quality construction.
Keep in mind: Some customers say this ukulele is tricky to tune.
Good for: Taking on-the-go as this ukulele comes with a portable carrying case with a built-in handle.
3. Official Kala Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit
(Highest quality — $$$)
Why it’s great: Made by the acclaimed brand Kala, this ukulele is praised for its excellent sound and premium design features. Made from high-quality mahogany, this ukulele has a traditional Polynesian Shark Teeth laser-etched rosette and Italian-produced Aquila strings. Sold as a kit, this ukulele comes with a Kala logo tote bag and a 20-page “Quick Start Guide” to help you learn how to play and care for your ukulele. Customers are invited to visit Kala’s website or download the brand’s app to access easy-to-follow lessons designed to teach you a few simple songs.
Keep in mind: Customers warn that while the brand’s app is free for a trial period, eventually you will have to pay to access its content.
Good for: Families looking for a brand-name ukulele that’s durable and has excellent sound quality.
4. DIY Ukulele Kit with Installation Tools
(Most creative — $$)
Why it’s great: This DIY ukulele is a fun craft project for families to work on together at home. Sold with everything you need to construct a real ukulele from scratch, this kit also comes with installation tools and easy-to-follow directions. Made entirely of wood, this ukulele can be painted in fun patterns or designs upon completion. Customers praise this product’s photo-illustrated instructions and YouTube video tutorials, which make building this instrument easy and fun.
Keep in mind: Some customers say the ukulele created using this kit is more of a fun toy rather than an actual instrument.
Good for: Kids who like crafting as this ukulele is 100% DIY!
5. Donner Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit
(Best kit — $$$)
Why it’s great: Available in twelve vibrant colors, this Donner soprano ukulele is sold as a set and comes with a carrying case, digital clip-on tuner, detachable strap, backup pack of ukulele strings, four picks, and cleaning cloth. Featuring a maple body, silver chrome-plated tuners, and twelve brass frets, this ukulele is praised for producing a sweet and steady sound. Free video lessons, available through this brand’s website, teach kids how to tune and play their new instrument.
Keep in mind: Some customers report receiving the wrong color ukulele but fortunately, this product is easy to exchange for a replacement.
Good for: Gifting as this ukulele set comes with everything kids need to enjoy their new instrument.
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6. Hape Kid's Wooden Toy Ukulele
(Best for younger kids — $$)
Why it’s great: Designed with younger children in mind, this ukulele is small but sturdy and is not only fully playable but easily tunable. Available in five fun color combinations, this ukulele is made from non-toxic materials that are safe for kids to touch and handle for extended periods of time. Parents praise this ukulele for being a well-made, functional instrument rather than just a play toy.
Keep in mind: Some customers say you have to use a screwdriver to properly tune this ukulele.
Good for: Toddlers as this ukulele is made specifically for smaller hands and fingers.
7. Everjoys Soprano Ukulele Beginner Pack
(Best for older kids — $$$)
Why it’s great: This ukulele is praised by customers for its special features and amazing sound. Available in twelve unique colors, this ukulele has a mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and four Italian Aquila strings. This ukulele’s arched back contributes to its high-quality sound while the design of the fingerboard and bridge provide a comfortable playing experience. Sold as a comprehensive starter kit, this ukulele comes with a digital tuner, two spare picks, a spare string, a microfiber polishing strap, detachable strap, carrying case, and easy-to-follow songbook.
Keep in mind: Some customers say it can be tough to squeeze this ukulele into its carrying case.
Good for: More advanced ukulele players as this ukulele is a high-quality instrument and shouldn’t be used as a toy.
FAQs about Ukuleles for Kids
1. What is a ukulele?
A ukulele is a four-stringed musical instrument that is similar to a guitar. With a history dating back to the late 19th century, the ukulele originated in Portugal but quickly became popular around the world. There are several different types of ukuleles, which can vary in size and include a range of design features. Most ukuleles are made from wood or laminate and are easy to handle and play.
2. What should I consider when shopping for ukuleles for kids?
There are several things to think about when shopping for a ukulele for your little one. You’ll first want to consider the age of your child as some ukuleles are intended for younger kids while others are more suitable for older children. You’ll also have to decide if you want a simple starter ukulele or a more comprehensive kit that includes everything you need to play, tune, and store your ukulele. Brand name can make a difference as some companies are known for producing high-quality instruments with better sound quality. Other companies are praised for offering access to online lessons to help kids learn how to play their new instrument. Budget is always an important factor but fortunately, ukuleles are available at a variety of price points.
3. What are the benefits of kids playing the ukulele?
Allowing your child to experiment with a new instrument is a great way to boost their creativity and confidence. Playing music has also been shown to improve kids’ cognitive functions as music stimulates the brain and helps form new neural connections. Additionally, playing music improves kids’ memory and concentration skills while handling an instrument can help develop motor skills and coordination.
4. What’s the best age for a ukulele?
Ukuleles are great for a wide range of ages, though most products aren’t recommended for kids under three. Smaller ukuleles will work better for younger kids as they’re easier for little hands to hold on their own. Older kids will appreciate having a full-size ukulele, especially one that comes in a fun color and with all the necessary gear, such as a detachable strap or carrying case.
5. Do I need to purchase any additional gear or supplies to learn how to play the ukulele?
This depends on which ukulele you decide to purchase. Some ukuleles are sold as a single item while others are sold as a starter kit and come with a digital tuner and extra picks and strings. Most accessories can be purchased separately, so even if you decide on a ukulele that’s not sold as a set, you can obtain the additional supplies down the road.
Ukuleles are popular for their small size and unique sound. Because they’re easy to handle and simple to play, they’re a great choice for beginning musicians. Ukuleles come in a variety of designs and sizes, which means they can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages. The best ukuleles are made of wood and have high-quality tuners and strings. Some ukuleles are designed specifically for smaller hands while others are sold with all the accessories you could possibly need to learn how to play your new instrument. Studies have shown that playing music can increase kids’ cognitive and motor skills as well as improve their confidence and creativity. But no matter if you’re a musical genius or a basic beginner, ukuleles are the perfect instrument to practice together as a family.