Music Instruments for Toddlers

by Steven J. Miller
Find small instruments that are great for young children.

Find small instruments that are great for young children.

Richard Lewisohn/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Toddlers must have simple and easy to use instruments that inspire, entertain and motivate them to be adventurous. Older toddlers will benefit from learning to experiment with sound, while younger toddlers should have access to simple and safe instruments. Providing your children with a wide selection of musical instruments will enable them to experiment and develop their musical senses. Toddlers are at a stage in life where they're experimenting with all of the senses. This makes it crucial to select safe and simple instruments.


Glockenspiels are made of several smaller metal plates that create specific pitches when struck with a mallet. This is a great toy for a toddler, as it requires no experience to produce a sound and is relatively inexpensive. Small toy versions and miniature professional versions are available, depending on your budget. Allow your toddlers to experiment with the toy at their leisure. This helps them to learn cause and effect, with the added benefit of exposure to high and low pitches.


Drums are relatively inexpensive and come in a large variety of styles. There are buffalo drums, toy snares and hand drums that your toddler can bang to create sound. Make this even more interesting for the toddler by purchasing several mallets for him to use. Look for felt, rubber, wood and even string mallets so your toddler can hear how different mallets change the drum's sound.


While a toddler won't be able to play correct recorder fingerings or learn songs, she'll still love to blow on recorders to produce sound. Toddlers' natural inquisitiveness will propel them to cover the holes on the recorder to produce different pitches. As they grow older, they'll learn to associate fingers with notes and start playing songs. Recorders are wonderful introductions to concert woodwind instruments such as the flute and clarinet.

Toy Pianos

Toy pianos with plastic keys are popular and safe instruments for toddlers. Toddlers love to experiment with pressing the keys and playing different tones on the piano. This sort of exposure probably won't make them virtuoso pianists, but it can certainly help to foster a healthy attitude towards the piano, if you plan to provide your child with piano instruction later in life.

About the Author

Steven Miller graduated with a master's degree in 2010. He writes for several companies including Lowe's and IBM. He also works with local schools to create community gardens and learn environmentally responsible gardening. An avid gardener for 15 years, his experience includes organic gardening, ornamental plants and do-it-yourself home projects.

Photo Credits

  • Richard Lewisohn/Digital Vision/Getty Images