15 Best Musical Toys For Toddlers + Kids (Musical Instruments 1-5 years old)

While it's no secret that music is essential for early childhood development, finding the best music toys for toddlers can feel overwhelming. Afterall, you want something that supports the child's development fully, while still being fun to play with at home ideally beyond the preschool years. Below, you'll discover the best toy musical instruments for toddlers from 1 year olds to 5 year olds. Including band sets, bedtime music toys, games, and toddler musical instruments!

Quick pick musical instruments for toddlers

Our top picks from this post, click to jump to the full review and price comparison; or keep scrolling for how to choose or to read the complete list!

Whatever you're looking for, we've got you covered!

How To Choose A Musical Toy Instrument For Toddlers + Kids:

When it comes to choosing a musical toy instrument for toddlers or young kids, the options are endless! Science has long proven a connection between learning music and enhancing concentration as well as academic outcomes. Consider the following to narrow your selection and find the perfect musical toy for your child!

Age/Size:

Check the recommended age range before purchasing.

A toy that's too difficult could leave your child frustrated and defeated. A toy that's too easy, could sit on the shelf collecting dust.

Keep in mind, the recommended age range is typically 3+ because of “choking hazards.” Any toy that has a screw or a small piece that could potentially come off typically has that warning/age recommendation as a result.

When choosing a musical toy for my toddler, personally, I look for something that is size appropriate – so her tiny hands can use it effectively, even if it's not exactly as the musical instrument was intended to be played.

Quality/Durability: 

Toddlers can be tough on things — especially toys. And if a child really loves a toy, it ideally will hold up to the wear and tear of toddlerhood! You want to look for toys that are made from sturdy materials. 

They should be able to be thrown across a room, or fall from a table or chair without falling apart. Make sure that if a product has seams, they’re securely pressed together. Products with hinges should also be reinforced so that they don’t break from frequent use. 

As always, even the most quality and durable toys should be checked frequently to ensure they aren't splintering, cracking, or developing any other issues that could pose a safety concern.

Best Musical Toys for Toddlers

Sound: 

Are you looking for a musical toy that create a true sound to the music instrument? For instance, do you want the sounds of a toy guitar to sound like a real guitar?

Or are you looking for something that sounds nice while also giving you control over the volume? While this won’t help you if you pick an analog instrument set for your child, volume control can be your best friend for other battery or electric-powered toys!

Engagement vs. Entertainment: 

Do you want a toy that teaches or a toy that entertains?

Typically, it's not recommended to select toys for entertainment purposes. Most parents ultimately want kids to play independently, and the foundation for teaching children how to play independently begins during the first year by selecting toys that foster concentration and engagement; not entertainment.

While light up push button toys may be fun for a few minutes, ultimately they do not provide the same level of skill development and refinement that, not only will help toddlers reach milestones, but also sets them up for a ton of success in the long run (think self esteem).

With that said, there is a time and place for everything. An entertaining push button electronic musical toy that inspires your toddler to dance, sing, and move around is still engaging them! It's really about choosing whatever makes the most sense for you and your budget.

If you’re focused on either teaching your child to play an instrument ultimately though, you'll want to choose toy musical instruments with color coded keys and sheet music.  

Developmental Milestones/Skill:

Also consider your child’s dexterity. Toys that require fine motor skills such as precise finger movements might be a struggle for younger toddlers that are still trying to master those behaviors. 

But along the same lines, musical toys should help to engage those motor skills or developmental milestones such as sounding out letters and words, or recognizing colors and shapes. 

Best Toddler Musical Toy Instruments

Best Musical Instruments for Kids

Best Overall Musical Starter Pack For Toddlers Development: Lovevery

If you're looking for the most well rounded starter set for music education with toddlers, then Lovevery's Music Set is your best option. Inside you'll get a unique group of musical instruments like the concertina, bells, shakers, jingle bracelet rattle, pan flute, metronome, and music book with musical cards and instructions ot make your own music.

lovevery music set review

This educational musical toy set includes everything you need – in proper tune – to begin teaching littles music.

The included play guide contains a slew of age appropriate ideas and activities for introducing musical notes and pitch to babies and toddlers. You can check out my full Lovevery music set review here – including a Youtube video of the instruments in action with my 2 and 4 year old.

Pros
  • Includes 7 unique musical instruments for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • Includes activities for introducing music to kids
  • Most well rounded music set for kids we've found
Cons
  • Rated for 18 months to six year old – but we think it would make a great 1 year old birthday gift they grow into

Best Wooden Toddler Music Toys Band Set: Chriffer Wooden Musical Instruments Toys

The natural wooden instrument set from Chriffer is a great choice if you're looking to have a little family band jam. It builds fine and gross motor skills, while engaging sensory development and hand-eye coordination. The classic wooden instruments also teach patience, perseverance, and respect for music. 

In total, this set comes with 11 instruments and a storage bag for easy clean up. This set is made from natural wood which is unpainted and lead-free so you can let your little ones play with it without any worries of chipped paint or toxic finishes. Older babies will likely enjoy using these as teethers or rattles too while supervised! More importantly, all of the pieces are handmade and sanded to a smooth finish for added safety. 

Pros
  • Unpainted all-wood construction 
  • Includes woodwind and percussion toy instruments
  • 11-instrument set
Cons
  • Some instruments may not be durable enough for rough toddlers

Best Toddler Music Toys Band Set: iPlay, iLearn Toddler Musical Instruments Toys

iPlay, iLearn's kids music set comes with a fun array of percussion instruments for your toddler to start their first band! The set includes a drum, baby trumpet, recorder, maracas, tambourine, and harmonica.

The set is plastic and the drum doubles as a carrying bag to contains the mess. The instruments for the price are some of the best currently sold. However the instruments sound more like toys rather than pitch-perfect musical instruments for kids.

Pros
  • Fun variety of musical instruments for kids forst band
  • Early + affordable introduction to multiple instruments and sounds
  • Durable + good size for toddlers
Cons
  • Instruments don't sound like real ones

Best Xylophone Musical Instrument for Toddlers: Xylophone for Toddlers and Kids

If you’re just testing the waters, a full kit of instruments might seem like overkill — especially if you’re not sure if your toddler will enjoy playing them. This colorful xylophone from Small Fish is a great introduction to real music instruments for toddlers. It features a wooden base with brightly colored keys ranging from C to C. Each key is clearly marked and perfectly tuned. 

We love that the batons feature adorable bears on them that do not pose a choking hazard and sound great when played. Best of all, this pick comes with a harmonica but also sheet music that corresponds with the marked keys. While it can be used by children as young as a year, we think toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy the easily labeled sheet music more. 

Pros
  • Great starter choice for an instrument
  • Comes with sheet music to help children begin reading music
  • Includes bonus harmonica
Cons
  • Included harmonica might not be ideal for younger toddlers

Best Guitar Toy For Toddlers: Loog Guitars

The Loog Mini Acoustic Guitar is one of the best guitars for toddlers. It's a hybrid of a classical guitar, made of real wood with nylon strings, and a toy. The mini guitar features a three-string design making it a beginner-friendly twist that even young players can enjoy!

Additionally, it comes with flashcards and chord diagrams and the Loog Guitar app to help your child start real music education from anywhere.

If you follow Montessori at Home, this is going to be the best option on the list for little hands coming in with options as small as 22″ inch long for toddlers. We love it because there's no “toy noise” and it just a fosters a love of music and learning (parents will thank us for that!).

Another favorite thing about Loog Guitars, aside from making great guitars for small hands, is that they have every type of guitar to grow with your child from with increasing four strings or up to your standard 6 string guitar and picks by handedness to ensure the perfect fit.

If you're confused about which to choose, they have suggestions by age to narrow your selection.

Pros
  • A real guitar
  • Solid construction
  • Includes material to help children learn real notes and chords
Cons
  • Need to buy accessories
  • Most expensive on list
  • Child will likely outgrow by tween years

Best Drum Musical Instrument For Toddlers: Ubblove Drums For Kids

Is there a little drummer in your family? Upgrade them from pots and pans with one of these cute toy drums from Ubblove. It comes in three styles: bongo, 8 in floor drum, and even a large 10 inch floor drum. Each comes with two kid friendly mallets.

You’ll like that these drums are made from durable wood and that it features rubber feet so that your kids can play it on a table or on the floor. Note though, that the drum head is made from plastic designed to look like sheepskin. 

Pros
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Durable design with a wood base and plastic drumhead
  • Rubber feet so that kids can play with it anywhere
Cons
  • Red caps on ends of mallets may come off prematurely

Best Classical Musical Instrument Band Set For Toddlers: First Note USA

If you follow montessori at home, you know the benefits of introducing real objects tailored to kids. Which is why we love the First Note three-piece classical music band set of brass and wind instruments! They are designed to train your children how to play the trumpet, clarinet, and saxophone. 

Each instrument features color-coded and numbered keys to help children learn finger placement and remember notes. Keep in mind that these instruments are made from plastic and covered in a silver coating to mimic the look of regular instruments. Likewise, children press the buttons to create sounds rather than a combination of blowing through the mouthpiece and pressing the buttons. 

Pros
  • A good introduction to proper finger placement for brass and wind instruments
  • Color coded buttons makes remembering easier 
  • Comes with 14 songs with liner notes
Cons
  • Younger toddlers may struggle to master finger placement

Best Piano For Toddlers: Melissa & Doug Learn-To-Play Toddler Piano With 25 Keys and Color-Coded Songbook

You can’t go wrong with a piano as an early instrument to introduce to your toddler. This cute and vibrantly colored piano from Melissa & Doug features 25 keys and comes with a songbook. You’ll like that the keys are color-coded, making it easier for children to follow along. 

This piano is designed for preschool aged children between thee to five years old. As is common with Melissa & Doug toys, this piano is also made from sturdy wood and has a classic upright piano design. Another nice feature we like is that you can personalize the piano with your child’s name and choose from a fun multi-color, blue, or pink options!

Pros
  • Upright piano design
  • Color coded keys and corresponding songbook
  • Can be customized with your child’s name
Cons
  • Music playback isn’t true and may not be ideal for true musical training
  • May not be sturdy enough for children younger than three

Best Keyboard For Toddlers: Hape DJ Musical Keyboard

Hape is a tried and true brand when it comes to toddler toys. Their DJ Keyboard is designed for children as young as 1 years old with an array of features that will hold their interest as they grow through toddlerhood.

Kids can play the keyboard as i with the included music booklet to actually learn how to play the keyboard. Or kids can play DJ by turning the knob to select one of four instrument sounds to layer in, plus 18 sound effects. It's also preprogrammed with a few songs like “Old Macdonald” or “Ode To Joy”, but with a rock n' roll twist.

The center button comes pre-programmed with five background beats, and there's a slider to adjust the tempo. Kids can even learn to “scratch” with the pretend black record. Honestly, it's a debate who will enjoy this more: mom and dad or the kids! As is standard with Hape toys, their products are a nice mix of plastic and wood for an aesthetically pleasing finish.

The preprogrammed sounds aren't irritating and the sound quality is pretty good for a music toy. Plus it comes in a few colors:

Pros
  • Nice mix of classic and modern features to foster a love of music
  • Volume adjustment available and sounds aren't annoying
  • Adults and kids will enjoy playing with it
  • Includes a music instruction booklet
Cons
  • All the features may be overstimulating for some young toddlers

Best Bedtime Music Toys For Toddler: Cocomelon Musical Bedtime JJ Doll

Show us a parent who doesn’t know CoComelon and we’ll be shocked! For little ones that are familiar with JJ, Yo-Yo, and TomTom, this Musical Bedtime JJ doll is a great way to incorporate music into bedtime routines. 

The happy toddler toy has a plush body and comes with a mini teddy bear, perfect for toddlers to snuggle up with! And little ones will love that he sings the “Yes, Yes, Bedtime” song when you press his tummy. He also repeats seven sounds and phrases.

Pros
  • Soft plush body makes it great for bedtime
  • Plays seven sounds and phrases
  • Includes “Yes, Yes, Bedtime” song
Cons
  • May be distracting for some toddlers who want to play instead of sleep

Best Toddler Musical Toy Game: Hope RockMusic Super Frog Game Toddler Toys

Hope Rock Super Frog Game is a great light up musical toy. It's basically a fun twist on whack-a-mole. Features include two mallets, two different game modes, music, and it even lets you toggle between four different languages.

The objective is simple: when a frog lights up, whack it! This is ideal for younger toddlers and even aids in improving hand-eye coordination and attention spans. We like that you can increase the intensity level to make the game harder.

Pros
  • Simple game play is deal for younger toddlers
  • Aids in hand-eye coordination and improving concentration 
  • Game lights up and plays music
Cons
  • It says “you failed” when you lose a round
  • Toy music sound quality isn't great – but to be expected given you're hitting it

Best Music And Dancing Toys For Toddlers: FAO Schwarz Giant 69″ Dance-On Piano Mat

If you want a musical toy that will get your kids (and you!) moving, then the FAO Schwarz Piano Mat is perfect for the whole family. This mat measures nearly six feet long, making it ideal for everyone to get in on the action. 

The mat takes 4 AA batteries – not included – but set up takes just a minute. It features four modes you'll primarily use: Song mode with pre-programmed music, Play mode where you just do you're own thing, Record mode which allows you to make your own melody up to 38 notes in length (Note: it only “remembers” one song at a time – so you record over it each time), and Playback mode.

You can even get your own sheet music and use it while in “play mode” to create your own song, following the labeled notes on the keys. It also turns off after 1 minute of not being used to conserve batteries.

Pros
  • Interactive design that encourages full body movement
  • Labeled keys make learning music notes and songs easy
  • Ideal for all ages
Cons
  • Batteries required and not included

Best DIY Music Instruments For Toddlers: KiwiCo Music + Rhythm Kit

What better way to foster a love and respect for music than allowing your child to DIY their own music instruments? KiwiCo has made this SO easy with their DIY Music & Rhythm Kit!

Your toddler will love assembling the xylophone and tambourine using the included materials. Plus it comes with a dancing streamer they can decorate too.

This STEAM focused musical toy will encourage kids to use problem solving skills to build their instruments. Then they can continue improving their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills while playing them! This pick is ideal for children ages two through four. 

Pros
  • STEAM learning by combining music (arts) with engineering principles. 
  • Encourages full body immersion with a dancing streamer project
  • Comes with xylophone and tambourine
Cons
  • The building portion might be too complex for younger toddlers

Best Toy For Toddlers Who Love Music On The Go: Baby Einstein Toddler Jams Musical Toy

There’s nothing wrong with wanting some tunes to accompany you while you’re on the go! Now parents can stop handing over their phone and let their toddler play DJ with the Baby Einstein Toddler Jams Musical Toy! It's a great addition to bring on strolls through the park or — if parents can handle it — on car rides. 

This simple faux boombox offers three distinct stations along with more than 30 melodies and sounds. Parents will like the volume control while babies will love the colorful lights. Plus the compact size is perfect for little hands.

Pros
  • Simple design ideal for younger toddlers
  • Easy to use 
  • Compact size makes it travel-friendly
Cons
  • Not necessarily an educational toy

Best Baby Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker Toddler Musical Toy:  VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

Getting little ones moving is important, especially if they’ve finally progressed beyond learning to stand. The VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker is designed to encourage little ones to start exploring the world around them on two feet instead of by crawling. 

The front panel comes with a mini keyboard featuring five keys. These keys play music and sounds. But you also get interactive light-up buttons, a pretend play telephone, and volume control for parents.

Toddlers will get a full workout and develop gross motor skills as they push this walker around the house. This toy comes with more than 70 sing-along songs, phrases,  music, and sound effects. It also comes in four colors: blue, purple, orange, and pink.

Pros
  • Transitions from baby to toddlerhood
  • Improves gross motor skills
  • Volume control
Cons
  • Walker is not ideal for babies just starting to walk/pull themselves up as brakes have no resistance and babies can fall

FAQS About Toddler Musical Toys:

What benefits do musical toys have for toddlers? 

 Research has shown that musical toys — especially percussion instruments — can improve overall development. Musical toys can serve as an early language development tool for toddlers. Toys that incorporate songs can encourage recall and boost vocabulary. And in terms of physical benefits, musical toys can improve a child’s fine motor skills and aid in building coordination. 

Are musical instruments safe for toddlers?  

As long as you pick an age-appropriate toy for your toddler that doesn’t pose a safety risk, yes musical-instruments are safe. 

How early should I introduce musical instruments to my child?

You can begin introducing musical instruments as soon as your child is born if you wish. Don’t forget that your voice is also an instrument! Of course, they won’t have much interaction with physical instruments in the beginning, but if you keep them around your child to model using and taking care of them, your child will likely follow suit.

How can music provide structure in a child’s day?

Music is a great way to mark the passage of time and create predictable routines.

For example, playing a specific song when it’s nap time or time to clean up the playroom are great ways to incorporate music into a daily routine while regulating your child emotionally and mentally about what to expect next.

For the best results, you should use the same song for specific events to help build familiarity and develop a consistent routine.  

What are ways I can encourage a love of music for my toddler? 

There are plenty of ways to make music a lifelong love for your toddler. The simplest method is to frequently have music playing. Or, sing songs and dance with your child. Introduce them to a lot of different types and styles of music, and give them choices frequently about the music you'll listen to or sing!

And of course, giving them musical instruments and musical toys that toddlers can play independently with or you can play with them, will help encourage a love of music. 

Final Thoughts:

Finding the best toddler musical toy doesn't have to be hard. At the end of the day, it's just about finding musical instruments that meets your toddlers development and don't give you a headache or break the bank!

Our personal favorite is the music set from Lovevery. It comes with a unique variety of musical instruments for kids with a lesson book for teaching music education. The items are incredibly durable and sound great.

We are also quite partial to the Kidzlane Floor Piano Mat as it's a nice gross motor activity that encourages a love of music and movement. Perfect to burn off that toddler energy indoors on a rainy day!

And of course, what child doesn't love Cocomelon?! The Cocomelon Musical Bedtime JJ Doll is sure to be an absolute hit with most toddlers!

Best Toddler Music Toys

Table Of Contents
  1. Quick pick musical instruments for toddlers
  2. How To Choose A Musical Toy Instrument For Toddlers + Kids:
  3. Best Musical Instruments for Kids
  4. FAQS About Toddler Musical Toys:
  5. Best Toddler Music Toys

Originally published 12/26/21; updated 2/26/24

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