Best Musical Instruments for Toddlers (18 months – 3 years)
As the kids get a little older you can go beyond the simplest percussion items and move into different instruments for toddlers.
Kids at this age are really starting to get into group play and some of the kits mentioned below have enough items to start your own marching band!
We still want durable, well built musical instruments. These toys are in for the beating of a lifetime, but we can get into some items that include drum sticks or other accessories.
I still don’t feature things like little guitars or other stringed instruments for rockers this young. Your little rockers are going to turn everything into percussion instruments anyways. Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll dive into some stringed instruments for the 3 to 5 year olds!
But, unlike our littlest rock stars, we don’t have to be so worried about sharp corners on instruments for toddlers or putting absolutely EVERYTHING into your mouth. OK, fine, our 2.5 year old still puts EVERYTHING in their mouth. Sigh.
This is part two of a three part series. See our first post which was for the Best Musical Instruments for Babies and Young Toddlers.
Remo Kids Percussion Floor Tom and Rhythm Club Bongo Drum
You can take a look at all the fun items Remo makes for kids using this link.
They also sell a whole kit to get the band going in one fell swoop, check out the Remo Rhythm Club Percussion Package that includes a CD to help you get started!
Hohner Kids Musical Toys S2203 Percussion Blocks
I love the sound of a wood block, very satisfying. Hohner makes a really nice simple unit here with their S2203 Percussion Block for Kids. Your kids will love it too and there’s not much that can go wrong with this affordable musical instrument for toddlers! We’ve mentioned Hohner in our first part of the series and I’ll mention again, look at their entire line of kid and baby products for music making!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that not all Xylophone’s are created equally! The ubiquitous Fisher Price Xylophone that you and I grew up with 30 years ago is not the same model you can buy from them today in stores. Today’s version is a flat, sad, cheaply made poor substitute for the toy you and I owned. They’ve cheaped out, removing the felt pads that gave it real musical qualities. Now it sounds like your beating on tin cans.
OK, enough on that. That’s why I’m not including that Fisher Price toy in our list of musical instruments for toddlers. Instead we did some legwork and came to recommend the HappyFishes Xylophone that is well made and actually sounds great! The kit also includes some cool music cards that will help your little one play some popular children’s songs!
Glockenspiel (Baby Xylophone) from Jack & Jill Music
Another quality made toddler instrument is this Glockenspiel from Jack & Jill Music. It comes with a nice velvet storage pouch and a money back guarantee. I like how the wooden mallet can be securely stored right in the instrument and you can clearly see the quality construction. Each key is actually tuned and includes the felt pads underneath. LOVE!
Rhythm Band RB2130 Plastic Resonator Bells
Similar to the Glockenspiel’s above these Resonator Bells from Rhythm Band make sweet music. This is a kit designed for a music class in mind so it’s tough, durable and packs well. You can play it as a complete set or just pull out one or two of the bells for playtime. Very cool! The fact that it comes in a travel case is an added bonus.
Wood Frog Guiro Rasp
Fun percussion toy for any age. World Percussion USA created this frog shaped fun Guiro Rasp and they donate a portion of proceeds to protect African Heartwood–bonus! I didn’t know they were called Guiro Rasp’s until doing research for this article but I certainly know the fun sound they create! Another simple, durable safe toy for your toddler or young kid. They can’t really break this thing!
Perfect for family music time the Cabasa made by RhythmTech makes a fun, sharp tone that can cut through your other “band mates”! This instrument adds a unique and easy to play flavor to your musical playtime activities! This is a professional quality instrument that should stand up to some abuse at home.
Rhythm Band 8 Note Metal Hand Bells
These Hand Bells from Rhythm Band have a ton of great reviews on Amazon. Hand bells, in general, are an easy to play instrument that helps your toddler understand different tones and notes. You can take this farther and get books that include songs that are easy to play along to with the color coordinated metal hand bells.
Rhythm Band as a brand makes some other simple musical instruments for toddlers we will highlight. This simple metal triangle that also has a lot of 5 star reviews. I think the kids would love the sound of it!
What band doesn’t NEED MORE COWBELL?! Rhythm Band Steel Cowbell has you covered.
Rhythm Band Rockin’ Instrument Rhythm Set
A whole set from Rhythm Band that includes some of the items we featured up above in one cool set!
IBNice Kids Musical Instruments Percussion Toy Rhythm Band
Everything the whole family needs to start a band together. The IBNice Toy Rhythm Band set includes well built, durable toys that will take a beating and keep on dinging.
Innocheer Kids 10 PCS Musical Instruments & Percussion Toy Rhythm Band Set
Similar to the iBNice set, there are a couple of these worth highlighting on Amazon. You’ve got a complete Rhythm set in a bag here! This one from Innocheer is a 10 piece set that has similar items.