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Musical Gifts for Kids

by Kari Richmond
August 12, 2023
musical gifts for kids

These ideas for musical gifts for kids are hand-picked by musician, music teacher, and mother Kari Richmond along with our editorial team.

Updated October 2023

Have you thought about giving your child a musical gift this holiday season? 

As a musician, mother of two, and teacher, I’m happy to offer some thoughts to help you choose a musical gift that your little one can truly enjoy.

The sorts of instruments that I see in children’s stores are often poor quality, or seem a bit too complicated, too fragile, or flat-out poorly made. Cheap instruments are usually lacking in tone quality and durability, and the frustration of bad-sounding instruments can quickly turn off a child to musical play.

Just as young children benefit from open access to good-quality art supplies, they also benefit greatly from free access to good quality, durable musical instruments that they can explore and have success with, even without formal instruction.

So what are some good options?

musical gifts for kids pin
Photo by Anna Harpe

Musical Gifts for Kids

While real brass and woodwind instruments may not be a good fit for most kids under 7, a soprano recorder is a fantastic, low-cost way to introduce basic skills with great success!

A basic harmonica is another good choice for young kids experimenting with instruments. We love how this one comes with its own sturdy carrying case!

Remember these? Kids love kazoos since they can successfully play any song they hum! This particular kazoo is made from aluminum and is a pleasant step-up from the plastic ones you may remember from your own childhood.

A basic keyboard like this one will entertain your kids for hours. They can play with different “drumbeats,” tonal voices, and other fun features on this relatively inexpensive Casio. A great introductory instrument, especially if you don’t have a piano at your house.

This little pocket synthesizer is a recreation of the 1967 classic and it’s been used by artists like David Bowie and The White Stripes. Easy enough for anyone to make sounds, but definitely cool enough for the tween or teen in your life.

This small instrument is sometimes called a “finger piano,” and produces a beautiful sound even for true beginners. We also love this smaller version for a unique stocking stuffer idea!

While guitars are too big for most kids to learn, the ukulele is the perfect size for small hands! We also love this introductory book from singer/songwriter/picture book author Emily Arrow.

Regardless of who’s playing, the steel tongue drum always sounds beautiful! This makes it a great choice for kids of all ages and skill levels.

Percussion instruments of all kinds are wonderful for helping kids explore rhythm and develop coordination. Even babies will love pounding on a set of bongos like this!

This lap harp creates a beautiful, soft sound. Kids can play intuitively, plucking as they wish, or use the accompanying booklet to learn a few simple songs.

Musical Experience Gifts for Kids

Many families I know are striving to cut down on the amount of STUFF in their homes, so if buying an actual product is not your thing this year, consider giving your child the gift of musical experiences together! Present her with tickets to the next local symphony concert – a wonderful opportunity to dress up and do a “grown-up” evening on the town. Or, for lower cost alternatives, check out your local high school and university music departments. Most schools offer very low-cost or free concerts that are open to the public throughout each semester.

We hope these suggestions help you figure out which musical gifts for kids are best for your family!

More Ideas for Gifts for Kids

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