Learning a musical instrument can have a lot of benefits for kids, but the problem that is most often faced by parents is to find an instrument that is easy to play without it being too boring, an instrument that fits their child, and an instrument that does not cause physical pain to play and has an easy learning curve.
Since kids do not have a very long attention span, they will not keep at an instrument they can’t play easily unless they like it very much. So, where can you find the perfect instrument that matches all of these criteria?
Presenting the ukulele, lovingly known as the uke, which is a very small stringed instrument of Portuguese origin that was popularized in Hawaii, USA.
The dimensions of this instrument are very small making the ukulele for child the perfect musical instrument that they can easily play.
This four-stringed guitar-like instrument has a very easy learning curve thanks to the less number of strings, and the nylon strings ensure that children’s hands are not hurt when learning how to play this instrument.
The dimensions, playability, and sweet sound makes this instrument great even for toddlers as young as 3-4 year olds. The best part is that there is no requirement for you to buy a toddler ukulele, a regular ukulele is also small enough for your toddlers to play and enjoy learning music.
So, now that we are clear on just how good of a choice the ukulele is for your kids as their first musical instrument, let’s review in detail some of the best available kids ukulele currently available.
In a hurry? Want to learn about the top 3 best child ukulele available right now? The Kala KA-15, KALA-LTP-S, and the Makala Shark Soprano Ukulele are the best ukulele available for children.
Top 6 Best Ukulele For Kids
Makala Shark Soprano – Best Ukulele For Toddlers
Bright colors, shark shaped bridge design, what else would you want from an instrument that is best suited for toddlers. The Makala Shark Soprano Ukulele is a beautiful and fully functional ukulele that can be played by both toddlers, and adults.
The best part about this ukulele is the ability play it very easily as it is the perfect size for toddlers to start using this ukulele. It also comes bundled in a package with all the essentials you need for learning the ukulele, so its a great choice for beginners and especially toddlers.
Let’s take a close look at the instrument now.
Body & Build
This ukulele for kids is built with an agathis wood top, rosewood fingerboard, and a mahogany neck all of which are fantastic wood choices that help make this ukulele sound great while also being quite sturdy.
It is crucial to point out that ukuleles are quite fragile given their size so maintaining precaution and a bit of care while playing the instrument is necessary to guarantee the long lifespan of the instrument.
With a weight of only two pounds, this ukulele is perfect for toddlers as it is just the right weight for them to be able to play it how they wish. The only problem, this uke, does not have any place for you to attach the strap.
So, the only way to play this particular instrument is to play it holding which might be a bit challenging for kids. But, given the price point, you can’t be upset that this feature was left out of the model.
Tone, Sound, & Playability
Built out of decent wood, this ukulele sounds really nice and has a good resonant ring to it, which is generally not heard in lower-range models such as this ukulele. Even though the sound is nice, it’s not something adults would be too satisfied with, so it’s best left for toddlers and kids to play with when they are just starting out.
The sound is quite loud and is great for you to play and accompany yourself singing. This ukulele does not come with a pick attached to the body so you would have to strum it with your fingers, but that would not be a problem as the nylon aquila strings are soft and would not hurt a child’s fingers as long as they are playing under adult supervision.
The playability of a toddler’s ukulele is as good as you can imagine, it is still quite decent as it has real tuners which don’t have a lot of stability, but they can at least be used to tune the instrument. Other than that, it’s a solid ukulele for your toddler as their first instrument.
Best Ukulele For 4 Year Old
Kala is the manufacturer behind some of the best ukuleles available in the market. They are very renowned manufacturers and their products are very high quality and affordable.
If you want to buy a ukulele, this is one of the first brands you should look out for because of the quality of instruments they produce. The LTP-S from KALA is no different as it is a highly affordable model but with great specs and performance.
The thing that separates this model from many other ukuleles in the same price range is that the tuners in KALA ukuleles are kind of nice, and work better than the other brands, giving you better tuning stability while playing.
This particular model is best for four year olds because it has the specs to be used as a beginner and intermediate ukulele, which would be necessary for a kid around 4 years old.
Let’s inspect the specs of this uke.
Body & Build
This ukulele is built using mahogany wood which makes it a very sturdy and durable instrument that you can carry almost anywhere.
Coming from a top manufacturer such as KALA, the LTP-S is a sturdy ukulele that you can count on when you want to play it. These instruments may be small but if they are cared for, they can last a lifetime.
Apart from the body, the strings of this ukulele are really nice which are Aquilla strings from Italy set on good quality open gear tuners that have decent tuning stability.
The nut and saddle are from GraphTech which is a great company that makes some of the best nuts used in high-end guitars as well.
Sound, Tone, & Playability
The Kala LTP-S has a beautiful sound thanks to the quality woods that were used to manufacture this ukulele, other than the good wood choice, this ukulele is really easy to play and comes well set up with a low action right from the factory.
The low action set-up makes it easy to play for kids and the Aquilla strings are soft and high quality bringing out a beautiful almost premium tone from this ukulele.
One of the best features of this ukulele is that it comes bundled with all the essentials that you would need to get started playing the ukulele. Kala provides an instructional DVD, and online lessons packaged with the ukulele, along with a bag and a strap.
Having a strap allows your child to easily play this instrument. These packaged freebies with this ukulele makes it the perfect ukulele for your 4 year old, and it will be an instrument that will last them a long time.
Best Ukulele For 10 Year Old
Coming again with another model from Kala, their ukuleles are really good, and as they are affordable, why should you go for a cheap knock-off brand when you can get some of the best industry-standard ukuleles in the same price range from a reputable manufacturer.
For the last ten years almost, Kala has been at the forefront of the ukulele movement, their instruments are endorsed by major musicians such as Dodie, Twenty One Pilots, Vance Joy, and Zac Brown.
The Kala KA-15S is really a good ukulele and best for kids around the age of 10.
Because this model is a better range model from the manufacturer that has a better sound and extra playability features, which would be necessary for kids around the age of 10 as they would want to expand their abilities and utilize the instrument to its full potential.
This ukulele is sold as a bundle on Amazon so that you get all the essentials such as extra strings, a gig bag, an electric tuner, and a strap.
These bundled deals make it the perfect instrument for you to start your musical journey today itself. Even if you are an experienced player these bundled items can be very useful to you when you are playing a new instrument.
Body & Build
This model, as with the last Kala ukulele, is built using mahogany wood. Weighing only 1 gram, this is one of the lightest, if not the lightest ukulele you can find in its price range.
The body has a beautiful satin finish and a stylish rosette carved around the soundhole of the ukulele. This instrument is built to be played and can survive heavy usage as well.
The strings are the most likely part of this ukulele that can break from heavy usage, you can use the extra strings that come with this uke, to replace any broken string.
Otherwise, it is a solid ukulele that has sturdy construction and if you care for it, it will serve you for years without any problems. The open gear tuners are also a great addition they help keep this instrument in tune with good accuracy.
Sound, Tone, & Playability
The sound and tone of this ukulele are its best features because it is very recognizable out of the box itself. If you hear the sound, you will instantly be able to connect the sound with other recordings of the ukulele that you have heard on popular media.
Thanks to the Aquilla strings and mahogany body, the tone is really good for this ukulele, and you should absolutely get it just for its beautiful sound and tone.
This ukulele is loud as well and can be used to play songs at a party as well without micing up. The playability of this instrument is really good, and you can have a lot of fun with it and explore your range as a musician by trying out various techniques on this ukulele.
This instrument allows you to focus just on your playing as it is very easy to play, and if you wear your strap, you can just jam on it for hours with no problems.
Amazon Basics Soprano Ukulele
Best Budget Ukulele For Kids
Amazon is not the first or even the last company that comes to mind when you think of buying musical instruments. Sadly, Amazon and its home brand AmazonBasics got into the musical instruments business a few years ago, and their products have mixed reviews.
They are popular, however, because of their price point; other than that, their products are quite generic. AmazonBasics is basically Amazon’s own home-produced musical instruments that they sell for cheaper than the competition because they are the producers and the sellers themselves.
For tech items, AmazonBasics is not that bad, but for musical instruments, it’s a great budget ukulele, and that’s about it.
It is a great instrument that you can get for your kids if you have a tight budget, but I would not recommend playing this ukulele yourself as an adult; it’s best for kids only. Let’s delve into the details of this instrument.
Body & Build
The AmazonBasics Soprano Ukulele is built from a wood called Sapele, which I had not heard of before for use in making musical instruments.
The important thing for you to know is that the wood choice is deliberate to keep the production cost low for these instruments. The fingerboard is made from laurel, which is another cheap alternative wood that has an average sound and performance at a low price point.
The construction of this uke is standard with average durability. If you are buying this for your kid, it will be perfect as the overall body and build are great for kids that are just starting out with this instrument.
One of the best things about this instrument is that it uses Aquirra strings even after being so pocket-friendly. The high fiber stable tuning gears get the job done for tuning your uke, but they don’t hold the tuning for as long as you need.
Sound, Tone, & Playability
The sound of this ukulele has a nice timbre, but it does not have a good round tone. If you like a ukulele that has a thinner tone, this uke might be the one for you.
The overall sound and tone are quite standard, and there are no showstopping features there. The playability of this uke is good, and it is beginner-friendly and suitable for kids. Ideally, this ukulele would be a great gift for kids around the ages of 3-7.
This ukulele comes bundled with a strap, and picks that other ukuleles don’t include. A tuner, gig bag, and a set of strings. This bundle will help you get started with your musical journey as soon as you unbox your package.
PICKAPICK Concert Ukulele
Best Concert Ukulele For Kids
The PICKAPICK concert ukulele has a very interesting design and it looks really modern which is a breath of fresh air and might become very popular with your kids. The bright colors with interesting design with the soundhole on the side, this ukulele is experimental and futuristic in terms of its design.
PICKAPICK might not be a very popular ukulele manufacturer but I have to give them credit where credit is due. This ukulele does not sound out of the world, but its new design is fascinating enough for me also to try out this instrument.
Let’s delve deeper into the specs of this ukulele and see what it has really got.
Body & Build
The body of this ukulele is built using mahogany with a solid spruce top. These two kinds of wood add a wide variety to the sound of this ukulele which gives it a signature sound as well that is comparable with some of the models from recognized ukulele manufacturers in the same price range.
The side soundhole is a unique feature of this ukulele that allows you to hear yourself play better and help you especially when you are playing your ukulele in public.
The build of this uke is quite good. The construction is sturdy and the top and body woods are both quite strong making this a ukulele that can survive good usage for a couple of years at least.
One of the best features of this ukulele is that it comes with a hard case like gig bag which will help you extend the lifespan of your instrument if you keep it inside the bag.
Sound, Tone, & Playability
The body and build are quite nice the problem occurs in terms of the tone of this instrument as it’s not really satisfactory at least to me in the end.
An instrument that has some new design and shape I expected would sound a bit better and will have a bit more body or character to the sound.
But instead, it sounded quite generic something that sounded like almost all the other ukuleles available in the market. In terms of playability, the playability is really good because the frets have hemispherical ends. It also has an overall low action which makes it very friendly for kids.
Best Electric Ukulele For Kids
Ending the list with an electric ukulele, this model comes from Ulumac who I can only presume is a generic instrument manufacturer.
As an electric ukulele, this model is slightly costlier than the other models that are mentioned in this article. The G600C from Ulumac features a self-manufactured pickup that is supposed to make you “feel the shock of the real sound”.
In terms of features, this ukulele is quite good actually and has some decent features that will make this instrument very handy for intermediate and advanced players of all ages.
Apart from the features, this ukulele also comes packed with a lot of freebies such as a strap, a cable, extra strings, a gig bag, picks, and a cleaning cloth. Let’s take a closer look at the specs of this ukulele.
Body & Build
The body of this model is built from Acacia plywood, and the top is made from Acacia solid wood, which is a great feature to have in your ukulele.
Apart from that, the 23-inch body of this ukulele is comfortable and sits nicely in your body when you are playing it. The fingerboard and bridge of this ukulele are built from solid rosewood.
These wood selections and the solid top gives this ukulele considerable durability above the other models mentioned in the list. It also positively influences the sound of the instrument.
The build quality is quite good with not much for you to worry about, it comes well set up from the factory and the 1:18 pure brass tuners hold the tuning stability of this instrument quite well.
Sound, Tone, & Playability
The sound of this ukulele is nice acoustically, but when you plug it into an amp (yes, you need that to use the electric functionalities of this ukulele), the sound does get louder, bolder, and has more characteristics.
According to the manufacturer, this is because of the 1:1 sound reproduction capability of the pickup in this ukulele, which gives it a thicker and grainier tone when plugged into the amp.
In terms of playability, this ukulele plays quite well and is well suited for an intermediate to advanced player. Even though it shines in the hands of a skilled musician, this ukulele is still beginner-friendly with a low action to help children play their hearts out without hurting their fingers.
Best Ukuleles for Kids Buyer’s Guide
Getting that first Ukulele
If you’re interested in getting your very own ukulele, be sure to check out the many different options available on the market.
Some popular brands include Soprano, Ulumac, Amazon Basics, and Kala.
Before making your purchase, be sure to consult with experts or other ukulele enthusiasts to get a good idea of what kind of instrument will fit your needs and preferences. You may also want to take into account factors like:
Ukuleles come in a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, and metal. Both provide their own unique sound qualities, each has its own set of pros and cons.
Wood ukuleles are the most expensive option but also offer the best overall sound quality. They’re typically made from hardwood such as mahogany or rosewood, which gives them a warm and rich tone.
However, wooden ukuleles can be difficult to keep in tune due to their natural resonant properties – frequent tuning is recommended if you want your instrument to stay sounding good for long.
Plastic ukuleles are the cheapest option and offer good sound quality for a fraction of the price of wood or metal ukuleles. They’re also more durable than wood models, making them perfect for younger players.
It’s important to note that plastic ukuleles can be prone to cracking or tuning issues, so it’s important to take care when handling them. If your young one is prone to a lot of banging and smashing, staying away from plastic ones is a wise option.
Ukuleles are relatively small instruments, making them easy to hold and play for a beginner. However, some people find that wooden ukuleles require more than just basic hand-eye coordination – they can also be difficult for those with smaller hands to handle.
If you’re unsure whether a plastic or wooden ukulele is right for you, it’s always advisable to try out a few different models before committing to a purchase. This way, you can determine which one feels the best in your hands and hears the sound you want most from your instrument.
If you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth considering plastic ukuleles – they offer good sound quality for a fraction of the price of a wood uke.
However, if your child is prone to breaking instruments, it might be best to steer clear of plastic ones altogether and invest in a more durable model.
Ukuleles come in all different styles and colors, so whether you’re looking for something traditional or funky-new, there’s likely an option out there that suits your needs.
If your kid is just starting, I recommend you don’t focus much here. If he or she has been playing for some time, you can definitely go for a fancy uke like the PICKAPICK Concert Ukulele we talked about above.
You can check out some related articles which include the Best Bass Guitars For Kids, Best Guitars Options for a Toddler and the Best Electric Guitar for Kids before you make a final purchase.
If your Kid is not comfortable with a full sized guitar, it is also a wise idea to look for 1/2 Sized Guitars or a ukulele which we already talked about.
The ukulele is a great starting point for kids to get started on their musical journey.
This small instrument can shine beautifully when played by a master, so if you allow your kids to start early and if they have an interest, spending time on the ukulele can drive them towards a career in music and arts.
So, if you want to get a ukulele for your kid, you can surely pick out any one of the models mentioned in the list. These models are curated specifically keeping kids in mind.
If you already have a ukulele and want to learn how to play songs on it, check out my other blog where I teach how to play 63 popular songs on the ukulele for beginners.
Feel free to share your thoughts about this article in the comments down below. Hope you found the information you were looking for in this article. Cheers!
Anindya is a Self-taught Musician and a Home Studio Owner who likes sharing his two cents on Guitars, Gears, and Music. You can find his Music on Spotify, YouTube and Facebook.