Wondering what the best toy guitar is for a child?
Selecting a toy guitar or mini beginner guitar for a child can be overwhelming. We'll cover the best toy guitars for babies, toddlers, and kids – plus when to buy a real acoustic or electric guitar, kids guitar sizing guide, and more!
SPOILER: I got the Donner Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit for my 2 year old as I found it to be the best beginner guitar for a child that grows from toddler years to adulthood. Not your style? Don't stress, in the comprehensive buying guide below we'll find the perfect guitar for your kid!
- Best Toy Guitar Overall (All-In-One!): Donner Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit
- Best Mini Guitar: Loog Acoustic + Electric Guitar for Children and Beginners
- Best Toy Guitar For Babies: Baby Einstein Together in Tune Guitar
- Best Toy Guitar For Toddlers: B. Woofer (Hound Dog Guitar)
- Runner Up Best Toy Guitar for Young Toddlers: Battat Lil' Rockers Guitar Music Toy
- Best Toy Guitar For Preschoolers: KidKraft Lil’ Symphony
- Runner Up Toy Guitar for Preschooler: Hape Learn With Lights Electronic Ukulele
- Best Electric Rockstar Toy Guitar: KidKraft Lil' Symphony Electric Guitar
- Best Toy Guitar For Musical Exploration: VTech Strum and Jam Kidi Musical Guitar Band
- Best Toy Guitar And Microphone: Best Choice Products 19in Kids Flash Guitar
- What age is appropriate for guitar?
- Can a 2 year old play guitar?
- Can a 3 year old play guitar?
- What about toy guitars for kids a little older than toddlers?
- What is a Guitarlele?
- What is the best guitar for a 5 year old?
- What size guitar is good for a 5 year old?
- What is the best guitar for a 6 year old?
We cover everything from the best guitar for babies, to toddlers, to preschoolers, to older kids!
A toy guitar is a fantastic way to help children develop. Music has often been associated with higher levels of intelligence and the ability to unlock your child’s imagination.
Best Toy Guitar Overall (All-In-One!): Donner Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit
Okay this isn't as much a “toy guitar” as it is a real Canadian Maple Wood Guitar Ukulele! This is the exact guitar we got my toddler for her 2nd birthday and she loves it!
It comes with everything you need: carrying bag, strap, tuner pick, polishing cloth, extra strings, and picks.
If you follow Montessori at Home, this is going to be the best option on the list for little hands coming in at only 21 inch long. 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!).
We chose it as teh winner given the price point and fact toddler's can be rough with their toys. With that said, Ukulele's are tuned differently than acoustic and electric guitars; As a result some guitar experts say they're not ideal for beginners who plan to graduate to a full sized guitar in the near future. If you fall into this camp, we suggest checking out the next pick on this list.
- Sizing works for toddlers through adults
- Comes with everything you need
- Multiple colors: Pink, red, blue, purple, mahogany, or black
- No batteries
- Not a “toy” technically
- Pricier than the toy guitars on this list – but cheaper than the real guitars on this list!
- Different tuning than a regular guitar
Best Mini Guitar: Loog Acoustic + Electric Guitar for Children and Beginners
Most of the toy guitars on this list are just that: toys. But this Loog Mini Acoustic Guitar is a real guitar made of real wood and also comes in an electric version! The three-string design is beginner-friendly. Plus it comes with flashcards and chord diagrams and the Loog Guitar app to help your child start learning real lessons about music.
Size is comparable to a Ukulele coming in at about 22″ making it a potentially good choice for toddlers to elementrary school aged children learning to play the acoustic guitar, but not quite ready to take on a six-string more expensive guitarlele.
It follows a Montessori At Home approach; meaning no buttons, or battery powered noise! Something parents will be thankful for! It simply fosters a deep focus and love of learning/music! Plus,it's definitely the most beautiful guitar on the list in my opinion and it comes in green blue, pink, black, red, yellow, and white color!
- A real guitar
- Solid construction
- Includes material to help children learn real notes and chords
- Need to buy accessories
- Most expensive on list
- Child will likely outgrow by tween years
Best Toy Guitar For Babies: Baby Einstein Together in Tune Guitar
The Baby Einstein Together in Tune guitar is great for babies 12 months and up. A beautiful combination of plastic, wood and colorful painted on accents, the touch activated guitar plays real guitar sounds with a low/high volume control.
It features four music modes:
- Discover: popular melodies and beats
- Perform: Layered riffs
- Playful: silly sounds
- Band: wireless connection to other Magic Touch instruments by Baby Einstein to jam with family and friends
The buttonless design makes it easy to use and to wipe clean with littles too.
- Bluetooth connectivity to other Magic Touch instruments to play as a family
- Buttonless design for easy use and cleaning
- Fourdifferent guitar modes
- Rated safe for 12 months and up
- No strings so not realistic
- Wood may splinter if kids throw the toy
- Comes with 3 AA demo batteries you'll need to upgrade
Runner Up Toy Guitar For Babies: VTech Zoo Jamz Guitar
Any child who loves animals is going to get a serious kick out of the VTech Zoo Jamz Guitar. It is shaped like an adorable giraffe and has buttons to add animal sounds to the eight included songs or your child’s homemade tunes. With the twist of a dial, your child can switch from acoustic to electric to distortion.
- Eight light-up buttons
- Strings that work when plucked!
- Three different guitar modes
- Rated safe for 18 months and up
- Relatively loud
- 2 AA batteries (included for demo purposes only; new batteries recommended for regular use
Best Toy Guitar For Toddlers: B. Woofer (Hound Dog Guitar)
If you need a toy guitar for toddlers, then it needs to look as cool as it sounds. And this B. Woofer toy guitar dog is sure to be a hit.
It comes with three different play modes (acoustic, electric, and “hound dog”). This guitar also features eight music buttons, a book of lyrics, and 20 sing-along songs as well as nine “peppy puppy songs.”
- Colorful and cute
- Multiple modes and included songs
- Batteries included
- Mostly suitable for toddlers and not older kids
- Some users report it stopped working after only a few months
- “Strings” are smaller, with main focus as buttons
Runner Up Best Toy Guitar for Young Toddlers: Battat Lil' Rockers Guitar Music Toy
Battat Lil' Rockers Toy Guitar is a ton of fun for younger toddlers with a mix of buttons and strings to improve hand eye coordination while they rock out.
The toy electronic guitar comes with three play modes; included 7 preset nursery songs, and the ability to create your own electronic or acoustic music.
Aside from the electric vs acoustic setting, it includes a whammy bar, five different chords, and a music book for them to learn as they grow.
- Mix of buttons and strings
- Acoustic and electric settings
- Comes with preset modes and a song book for kids to learn as they grow
- No guitar strap (and no way to attach one)
- Requires 3 AA batteries
- No volume control
Best Toy Guitar For Preschoolers: KidKraft Lil’ Symphony
Looking for an upgrade from the usual “baby” toy guitars? The KidKraft Lil’ Symphony features authentic strings rather than the usual toy guitar wire.
We chose it over the more “brand name” Hape Kid's Wooden Toy Ukulele (which comes in more colors) because of its durability. The plastic and composite wood design, create a sturdy and long-lasting guitar.
We loved the blue coloration on the side that really made this guitar stand out in any room!
- A more authentic guitar experience
- Sturdy construction
- No assembly required
- No strap or case or pick
- Does not tune very well
Runner Up Toy Guitar for Preschooler: Hape Learn With Lights Electronic Ukulele
If you're looking for more of an electric toy guitar for preschoolers, than the Hape Learn With Lights Electronic Ukulele has some amazing features worth considering.
First, it features flashing lights that teach you how to play. By following the lights, your child can learn the correct chords and it includes an instruction booklet with color coordinated stickers.
Additionally, it comes in learning mod for beginners and band mode which has the options for slow or faster tempos.
- Realistic experience with strings that you can tighten
- Includes lights and a music book with color coded stickers to teach child chords
- Different modes for challenge level
- 3 AA batteries required. (included)
- Doesn't include a guitar strap, but rather a handle
Best Electric Rockstar Toy Guitar: KidKraft Lil' Symphony Electric Guitar
If you want to foster your child’s inner rockstar, the KidKraft Lil' Symphony Electric Guitar is a great choice. This toy electric guitar features a light up neck which sends it “over the top” in the cool factor according to one kids.
It's packed with fun features. In the first mode, each blue button plays a different guitar rift. The second mode follows musical notes scales. When you push them they blend more like an electronic keyboard, than guitar riff though.
Additionally, there's a strum switch which does create that “strumming” sound that was missing from the second mode, and the whammy bar wails when you push it for a real rock star effect. Lastly, there are two preprogrammed drum beats.
- Two modes of play
- Loaded with features and sounds from the whammy bar, drum beats, strum switch, and more
- Four volume settings
- 3AA batteries, one Philips screw to access the panel on back
- Even the loudest volume setting is pretty quiet
- No “strings” for a real guitar feel
Best Toy Guitar For Musical Exploration: VTech Strum and Jam Kidi Musical Guitar Band
When is a toddler’s guitar more than a guitar? With the VTech Strum and Jam Kidi Musical Guitar Band, kids get a guitar, keyboard, and drums in one instrument! Children can play it freestyle or enjoy playing along to 12 hit kids’ songs. With three different styles of music to play with, this guitar is best for kids three to six years old.
- 3 instruments in one
- Can play rock, hip-hop, and jazz styles of music
- Strings, whammy bar, and star buttons add reply value
- Battery cap has no screw and comes off easily
- Some users report certain functions stop working after a few months
Best Toy Guitar And Microphone: Best Choice Products 19in Kids Flash Guitar
Best Choice's electric guitar and microphone set comes in pink and blue, with flashy lights that are sure to make any child feel like a rockstar.
The light up electric toy guitar is preprogrammed with 8 musical note buttons and 12 preset songs.
Kids will enjoy the adjustable mic stand as they grow.
The major downside to this set, is that the microphone only works while plugged into the guitar. The wires may get a little frustrating if your rockstar prefers to jam out while performing. In which case we suggest opting for a separate toddler microphone and guitar from this list.
- Bluetooth connectivity for smartphones and mp3s
- Features 8 musical notes, 12 preset songs, and a demo mode
- Comes with a mic stand, microphone, guitar, and guitar strap
- Microphone only works while plugged into guitar (some families may prefer purchasing a separated toy microphone to avoid the wires)
- No strings
- Requires 3 AA batteries
How to choose a guitar for a child
Types of Guitars For Kids:
Toy guitars are a fantastic option for babies and toddlers who tend to be rougher on items. Many toy guitars are made from plastic, which makes them a durable option and easy to clean. Plus they are typically more budget friendly than an acoustic or electric guitar.
Toy guitars have so many benefits and can help your child develop a slew of skills too.
Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination are often cited as the most notable skills children work on with toy guitars. However, toddlers and babies are also learning about cause-and-effect, color recognition, and sequencing (early math skill!). Plus listening to the music on the pre-programmed toy guitars can develop not only a love of music, but also helps the brain build pathways for early literacy, memory, and so much more!
With that said, toy guitars don't typically last past the preschool years. They also tend to be noisey, require batteries, and often prioritize pushing a button over fine motor skills, so you need to keep that in mind when selecting one!
Acoustic guitars make greater starter guitars for kids if you want to graduate from a toy guitar or skip the toy guitar altogether. They don't require an amp or plugins or extra tuners and are often cheaper than an electric guitar. They provide the real guitar experience, and all of the same benefits previously noted about toy guitars.
Electric Guitars are often the priciest guitar option, making it not the best choice for babies or toddlers – we'd recommend the rock-n-roll electric toy guitars noted above instead for that age group! In addition to the cost of the guitar, you'll also need an amp and other accessories.
But electric guitars tend to be more comfortable to play than acoustic guitars. The strings require less pressure to make noise, and tend to be lower on the guitar, making it easier for little fingers to reach.
How do you pick the right size of guitar for your child? Kids’ Guitar Sizing Guide:
It's crucial to buy the right size guitar for your kid! Sure, your child is going to have preferences about the guitar color, guitar sounds, and even the pre-programmed guitar songs. But none of this will really matter if the guitar is too big or too small for them to really use.
For Toy Guitars:
For the toy guitars that are suitable for children six months to four years of age, guitar sizes can vary dramatically from toy to toy and manufacturer to manufacturer. We recommend staying below 31 inches when selecting a toy guitar, with the ideal size being around 21 inches for toddlers toy guitars.
Most toddlers play guitar in their laps or on the floor, so it doesn't need to be perfect until you are looking to upgrade.
Many children who start with a toy guitar eventually graduate to using a real guitar. And once you are buying real guitars (typically when the child is at least four years old), there are four sizes of guitar that you’ll need to understand.
For real guitars:
This guitar sizing guide will give you any ans
- 1/4 guitar (~30 inch) works best for kids aged four to six years old typically
- 1/2 guitars (~34 inch guitars) works best for children between five and eight years old typically
- 3/4 guitar (~36 inch guitars) typically works best for 8-11 years old
- 7/8 guitar (~37 inch) most people skip this, though it works well for teens and young adults or petite women (source)
- 4/4 guitar (~40 inch) this is a standard guitar that adults use too. Many kids can begin using this around 12 years old. We'd suggest visiting a guitar shop before purchasing. If it doesn't feel quite right, consider the 7/8 guitar.
Think of guitars like children themselves. Just like there is no description that we can apply to every single child on the planet, there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” guitar for every child.
FAQs about toy guitars for toddlers and kids:
What age is appropriate for guitar?
If you’re on the fence about getting a guitar for your child, you probably have a basic question: how young is “too young” for a guitar?
Getting a toy guitar for a baby can help stimulate a love of music, fine motor skills, and cognitive development.
Some of them simulate real guitars more than others. If you are interested in your child starting guitar early, we recommend the realistic toy guitars on this list like the Donner Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit and Loog Mini Acoustic Guitar over the one's with push button options.
Can a 2 year old play guitar?
The short answer to this question is “no.” That’s because a child at this age doesn’t really have the fine motor control to play a real guitar.
However, it’s never too early to foster your child’s love of music and musical imagination with a good toy guitar. Just as every master painter starts out scribbling simple drawings with crayons, your future musical prodigy may well start out with a guitar shaped like a dog or giraffe.
Can a 3 year old play guitar?
While a three-year-old has better motor control and mental development than a two-year-old, it is still not enough to handle a real guitar.
It’s also important to note that children develop at their own pace. While some four-year-olds may be able to handle a real guitar, other children may need to be two or three years older to really begin practicing in earnest.
What about toy guitars for kids a little older than toddlers?
Toy guitars are really geared towards toddlers and preschoolers. But, like you, we wanted to provide more of a transitional guitar experience for our toddler that would grow with the child, which is why I chose this guitar. Both my 2 year old and adult husband love playing it!
Beyond that and the Loog Mini Acoustic Guitar – we did our research.
The toy guitar Guitarlele's seem just as short lived as any other toy guitar. Which is why we only put the aforementioned 2 on this list. If you're looking to get a Guitarlele, we'd suggest buying a real one, not a toy one.
What is a Guitarlele?
A guitarlele is the smallest real guitar option. It looks like a ukulele, but has six strings and is a little larger. It's tuned like a regular guitar (ukulele's are tuned a little differently), which makes it easier for say a 5 or 6 year old child to follow along tuning or key instructions someone may be sharing using a regular guitar.
What is the best guitar for a 5 year old?
If your child has been playing with toy guitars for a few years, they may be ready for an upgrade. That brings us to the big question: what is the best guitar for a five-year-old child to start with?
For such kids, our main recommendation is the Guitalele 31 inch Guitarlele Mini Travel Guitar. It’s basically half ukulele, which makes it easy to learn on while still being a whole lot of fun.
At just a little over three pounds, it is very friendly for young hands to hold. And it’s easy to tune this guitar so that it can produce a great sound. And with other added features such as the gig bag and the tuner, this is a gift that will make your child feel like a bona fide musician.
Another reason we love this guitar is simple: it provides the perfect amount of practice for children that will eventually graduate to our next recommended instrument!
What size guitar is good for a 5 year old?
A guitarlele, 1/4 inch guitar, or ukulele should work well for most 5 year olds.
What is the best guitar for a 6 year old?
By the time your child has turned six, they have been learning to play the guitar for about a year. That means they need something to accommodate their growing skills.
The previous guitar we recommended was basically one part ukulele and one part guitar. This next piece is a mini guitar that includes all of the features and capabilities of a real guitar.
For six-year-olds, our top recommendation is the Cordoba Mini M. It has a small body design that is very suited to the smaller hands and fingers of a younger child. At the same time, the sturdy construction, nylon strings, and beautiful mahogany design should make it very clear to your child that this is no toy.
Parents are sure to love the included Cordoba gig bag. This is great for putting the guitar up or simply keeping it safe when the family is traveling to different places.
Keep in mind that children grow at their own pace in terms of both physical and musical development. You don’t need to rush them into a guitar upgrade until they are ready!
Toy guitars are great for babies and toddlers, as well as older children in helping them develop across a wide variety of physical skills and cognitive milestones while laying the foundation for early literacy, memory, and so much more.
Plus, nothing feels more rewarding as a parent than seeing our children deeply focused on their play! It's a win-win all around.
Best toy guitars by age:
The best toy guitar for your child depends on your needs/wants. The B. Woofer (Hound Dog Guitar) is wildly popular amongst the baby and toddler crowd.
Personally, I prefered the Donner Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit with a close runner up being the Loog Mini Acoustic Guitar since both grow beyond the toddler years and work great for young kids.
If they continue to love making music, you can always upgrade them to the Guitalele and Cordoba Mini M guitars as they get older.
No matter what choice you make, it’s important to prepare yourself. That’s because you are about to unlock a lifetime love of music within your child!
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Originally published 12/13/21; Updated 5/8/23
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