Introducing your child to music is one of the most beneficial things you can do. It will definitely enhance their creativity to push them to better eye-hand coordination, improve their motor skills and so much more. This can be easily done with any instrument, however, not every instrument is created equal, to be honest. Each instrument is beautiful and very fun in my eyes, each delivering some interesting challenges to a musician that allow them to create beautiful sounds in the end. However, like I said not all of them are the same, and not all of them can be good for children.
While you might like to choose to push your kid into drumming, or piano, you will see that it will be pretty hard for the child because those instruments are rather large and intimidating. It is not impossible but I would recommend them to at least be 10 years old when starting. Guitars are nice choices overall however, they are still quite large instruments and fretting is pretty difficult especially on acoustic models. So for that reason, I recommend to most parents to buy a ukulele for their kids, to ease them into music. Your child might want to go some other way, say to electric guitar after a while, but the ukulele is a great starting point that will make things go smoother and will teach your child a great deal about music.
The question is which is the best ukulele for kids, that is where I come in and inform you extensively on what makes a ukulele better for children, what are your options and so much more. This is all done to make you get the best option for your kids’ needs. Now without further ado let’s get started.
Which Are The Best Ukuleles For Kids?
5. Kala MK-SS
We are going to kick off this list with a pretty interesting option, coming in form Kala, the most trusted brand in the ukulele making business, the MK-SS. It is also called the Kala Makala Shark Soprano Ukulele that is designed specifically for children, but you can also have fun with it.
The Kala MK-SS has a very affordable price and is made out of great quality. For example, it has a mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, Aquila strings, and agathis top which is pretty exceptional for the price it comes at.
In its package, you will find a clip-on digital tuner and a gig bag. The Kala MK-SS has a pretty interesting Shark shaped bridge that is pretty attractive for children and it comes in different attractive colors.
4. Mahalo Rainbow
Coming up next to the Mahalo Rainbow is one of the best ukuleles for children as it delivers some great and exceptional features that will make you and your child happy. Despite being dedicated to children this soprano ukulele is great to play on and I can confirm that I have had some fun with it.
The Mahalo Rainbow comes as a great package that is super for starting out and your child will have plenty of fun with it, as it has a carrying gig bag and the Ukulele Bartt digital lesson available for download. I have checked out the lessons and they deliver some great tips for children.
The Mahalo Rainbow is packed with all the features you will love, such as its Aquila strings, NuBone XB Bridge saddles, and trans-brown finish that make it easy to play and enjoyable overall.
3. Official Kala Learn to Play Pack
The Official Kala Learn to Play Pack is definitely one of my favorite gifts for every beginner as it is an excellent package that will take a novice and put it into the right path at learning the instrument properly.
The ukulele that is present in this pack is an approachable soprano model that is 21-inches long in total. It is made out of a mahogany neck with 12-frets that will be more than enough to play around with for a beginner. The body is made out of mahogany as well.
In the Official Kala Learn to Play Pack you will find the instrument itself naturally, Aquila strings, a tote bag for carrying it, a 20-page quick start guide, and free playing lessons from the company that will get you started in no time.
2. Mitchell MU40
Nearing the top of this list we have the Mitchell MU40, which is one of the most popular options for every beginner ukulelist, especially children. This also a pretty cheap instrument that will allow your child to have a lot of fun while learning to play.
The Mitchell MU40 is a solid platform to learn on, even while considering that it is pretty cheap. It has a soprano body with a non-cuataway shape a smooth neck and rosewood fretboard.
It is built from laminated Lindenwood on top, back, and sides with ABS binding that makes it attractive overall. The tones of this instrument are just peachy and traditional ukulele and your child will have plenty of fun with it.
1. Luna Honu Tribal
On top of the list, we have the Luna Honu Tribal. This is an instrumental part of the company’s Soprano Series that is popular among both beginners and experienced ukulelists. I definitely recommend this one to those who want to buy a great ukulele to their children that they can progress on indefinitely.
This affordable soprano or standard ukulele has a 21-inch total length that is made out of mahogany all over it. It has a beautiful design though, with the special Luna touch and its engravings that look perfect around the soundhole rosette.
It has smooth satin finishing all over the body and it has an extremely playable c-shaped neck with a 1.3-inch nut width. For the price, there is definitely nothing that can topple this beast. Definitely one of the best ukuleles for kids out there.
Things to Know Before Buying a Ukulele for Kids
Regardless if you are buying an instrument for your child, or you are buying a birthday gift for a relative, there are some things you should consider before buying a ukulele. It is important to be well informed as today there are just a countless number of models available from different manufactures in different sizes and shapes and so on. So don’t rush it, check all your choices and don’t buy something impulsively. Let’s check out the factors and qualities that make a ukulele better suited for children.
There are 7 types of ukuleles in total that you might find out there, and each of them delivers some different and distinct characteristics. However, most commonly you will see just four of these types, and they are categorized by their total and scale length. So let’s check them out.
This is the smallest and actually the most traditional ukulele size that is just perfect for beginners thanks to its excellent size. It measures about 21-inches in total and every child can play around with it comfortably. The sound of this instrument is a bit sharper and it delivers classic ukulele sounds.
Concert ukuleles are a bit larger than their soprano or standard counterparts, delivering a bit louder a deeper sound. It is also a great choice for beginners since the total length is just about 23-inches and your child will have plenty of fun with this one.
Moving on we have tenor ukuleles which are a bit larger and are not very beginner-friendly, especially for children. They have a total length of about 26-inches meaning that they aren’t pretty palpable and you will have to mostly play them in your lap. Moving on they have a larger fretboard and deliver much deeper sounds making them perfect for more intricate playing styles.
Baritone ukuleles are pretty large and in my opinion, they go more into guitar territory than a ukulele. Even their basic tuning is pretty much the same as on acoustic guitars. The length of this instrument is about 30-inches in total and they have similar strings to those of a guitar. So if you are planning to ease your child into the guitar as smoothly as possible this is the ukulele to buy for them.
The materials used in your ukuleles build are absolutely crucial as they will determine the quality, durability, reliability, price, and also the overall sound of the instrument. While there are different materials available one of the most recommended ones for children is plastic ukuleles. However, I simply do not recommend them, if you are not in a very limited budget, for a bit more money you can get an excellent wooden ukulele that will be by your kid’s side for a longer time.
Sure plastic ukuleles are good, easy to maintain, and deliver some sharp and bright sounds, however, they are definitely not even close to the real deal, they are more of cheap ukulele knockoffs than proper ukuleles. On the other hand for a bit more money you can get a great laminated wood or even solid wood ukulele made out of legitimate wood. These instruments are definitely top of the class and deliver beautiful tones, reliability, and value for the price.
As for the choice in tonewood, there are a lot of them available. For example, Koa wood is an interesting choice and one of the more authentic ones, however, I recommend mahogany. It delivers a beautiful tone without much hassle it has a great gran and it is soft to touch. Spruce is also an interesting choice and you can choose other tonewoods as well. Just make sure they are made out of wood and deliver great value and durability.
Ukulele is generally very playable and easy to learn an instrument. The difficulty level for learning is considered pretty low and for that reason, it has been a popular choice for many parents that want to introduce their children with music. The size is small and not intimidating at all. The child will feel very at home with this instrument compared to a guitar which is pretty large and will require a lot of technique in just holding it. Your child will dive straight in and start learning the basics and have fun basically.
However, there are some interesting ukuleles out there that make things even easier for beginners. They have some features that are dedicated to novices, such as extended and larger fretboards, so your child will not put a lot of effort into that aspect of learning. However, I don’t recommend that as it teaches poor technique and will make things difficult to progress when they are feeling more confident with the instrument. However, I can recommend you to put signs or stickers into fret locations until they memorize them properly.
The design of the instrument you buy for your child is about just as important as anything else. It should be attractive for your child and maybe you can get a more colorful model. It might not be the most important thing you have to consider before buying a ukulele but it is something you should check out. Remember to show your child the guitar before buying to get an idea if you should or not.
The price and value are also things you should consider. I generally don’t recommend buying super cheap ukuleles, but also don’t go overboard. Try to strike a balance between quality and price. However, if your child is pretty committed and has some musical experience, you can definitely get a higher rated and more expensive ukulele. But for beginners don’t try to go overboard but still don’t by those cheap plastic ukuleles.
Buying a ukulele for a child shouldn’t be a very hard task, however, as you will see it is not something extremely easy. But if you know what you are shopping for, know the instrument and what you should be careful of you will get on just fine. It is important for the ukulele to be accessible and playable from your child most of all, get something that they will like, and maybe buy some lessons online or a teacher to allow them to progress better. Don’t forget to check out the top picks and I hope that this will lead on your child to becoming a great musician.