Kids find it easy to play the ukulele and they get really good at playing it in a short time! For one, the ukulele is a dinky instrument for kids. It’s got four nylon strings and a straightforward tuning pattern. Ukulele chords are simple and their tones sound bright and homely.
If you’re set on stringed instruments for your kid, then a ukulele is definitely a smart choice. The best ukulele for kids is one with a mahogany top, a walnut fingerboard, and smooth, rounded edges. Children love soprano ukuleles with nylon strings because they’re the most fun to play!
Anyway, we’re glad that you’ve considered the ukulele as your kid’s first instrument. And we know for a fact that that it’s a decision you’ll never regret!
Today we’ll share our thoughts on 10 great ukuleles for kids and answer a few of the Internet’s most-asked questions about ukuleles. Stay with us!
Why Should My Kid Learn to Play the Ukulele?
We figured it’s going to take some convincing for our non-ukulele-playing-parents to hand their kids a ukulele. Seriously though. How come the flute is the number one instrument for kids these days?
But, don’t worry!
We can show you four solid reasons as to why your kid should learn the ukulele.
Easy To Play
Playing the ukulele can be an engaging hobby for your kid. The chords are easy to pick up. Even the instrument itself is pretty low-maintenance.
For what it’s worth, it’s still better than playing Piano Tiles on his iPad, right?
Small & Inexpensive
Ukuleles are cheap, but they sure can cover any song you throw at them! We like ukuleles for how versatile they are. One can tune a ukulele in all the different ways and set the mood for special genres. You can’t say the same for pianos now, can you?
Teaches About Music
A ukulele is not just an instrument you strum back and forth. Even after learning the common uke chords, you can’t cover certain songs without following its chord progressions by the book. And that involves piles after piles of sheet music.
But once your kid is experienced enough, he can branch out to rock, pop, classical, folk and jazz. How’s that for a music lesson? Sounds pretty exciting to us!
Fun for Complete Beginners!
Learning the infamous Emaj aside, your kid will have the best time playing his ukulele. Those warm, cheerful tones can put a smile on anyone’s face, after all!
For now, think of toy ukuleles as warm-up instruments for your precious preschooler. Who knows, maybe they’ll finally stop bothering your expensive Fender and stay busy!
Before Handing Your Kid Their First Ukulele
If your dream is to see your third-grader get on the stage and play a song, a ukulele is indeed perfect!
You can fast-track his learning curve, but what’s the guarantee that he’ll like playing it?
Don’t worry! We know the best way you can teach your kid the ways of the uke! Make sure to keep reading!
Introduce the Instrument
You want your 4-year-old to play the ukulele, but he’s way too invested in drums. And probably driving the neighborhood crazy in the process.
It’s important that you introduce the new ukulele to him in a fun way. Cover his favorite songs on your own ukulele and ask him to join! Now, try teaching him the names of each part- the frets, tuners, neck, bridge, and soundhole.
Teach Them about Basic Tuning
Before your kid learns how to tune his ukulele, he should be able to name the open G, C, E, and A strings!
The A string, for example, is the furthest one on the right. It’s followed by The E, C, and the G string- in exactly that order! The strings connect to specific tuning pegs on the headstock.
Follow up with the standard lowG or re-entrant tuning. A clip-on tuner works best for complete beginners, by the way!
Teach Them Some Basic Chords
Ukulele chords are spread out in major, minor, and 7th categories. There are twelve chords in each, so it’s going to take a good couple of weeks to learn all 36 basic chords.
Start with the upbeat major chords- A, C, D, E, F, and G. As for the minor chords, Am, Em, and Dm are the easiest to learn. Draw the chord diagrams on paper as you go so he can practice in his free time.
Arrange Ukulele Lessons
Consistency is an important factor while learning any instrument. It’s better if you two can play along every day for some time rather than spending hours on it on the weekends. Squeeze a twenty-minute break in your everyday schedule for teaching your kid the ukulele basics!
10 Best Ukulele for Kids
We’re comparing all ten of today’s ukuleles against their key specs below. It will help you have a quick look at their features and understand the overall quality of a kid’s uke.
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Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
Does your toddler have a knack for music? Then, we can say with some certainty that your kid will absolutely love a ukulele.
Buckle up! You’re going to have the most fun looking at these ukuleles below! What do you know, maybe your child will have the best memories with one of them!
Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
- Four, well-made nylon strings
- Walnut bridge and fingerboard
- 12 frets on the mahogany neck
- GraphTech Nubone saddle and nut
- Etched with Polynesian-style Shark Teeth rosette
Kala KA-15S grabbed our attention with its exclusive detailing, size, and texture. For a soprano uke, it sounds incredibly bright and crisp. Its full mahogany front and back do justice to the Polynesian-style etched rosette.
We personally find the KA-15S an easy instrument for our young learners. It’s cheap, comes with straightforward tuning pegs and a dozen frets. The low-tension Nylgut strings shouldn’t feel sharp at all.
Yes, it’s not as loud as your Electric ukulele, but at least it’s got brass fret boards for producing neat music. What’s there not to like?
- It’s a lightweight 1.2lbs. soprano ukulele
- Kids find its twelve well-spaced frets easy to manage
- Durable walnut bridge along with mahogany top and back
- Comes with Italian Aquila Nylgut nylon strings for easy finger-picking
- The strings might buzz while playing right out of the box
Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele
- Traditional Hawaiian ukulele body ornamentations
- Its fretboard and bridge are made out of walnut
- A long-scale concert ukulele with 18 frets
- Open-gear tuners and stylish fret marks
- Mahogany build with a shiny satin finish
We like this concert ukulele for three different reasons. Take a look at its geometric pattern. Isn’t it a breath of fresh air from rosettes around the soundhole?
The ukulele itself feels balanced enough from headstock to body. Concert ukuleles are the third-largest ukes in the family. So, the fact that it’s got 18 frets make this Luna a long-scale concert ukulele.
Don’t worry! It’s still the right amount of tall and wide for ten to fourteen year olds. Compared to a soprano, you get more bass notes from this beautiful instrument. The bronze strings might need some out-of-the-box clipping, but it’s not something you can’t manage.
- Suitable for right-handed bass players
- The ukulele feels balanced in a kid’s hands
- Its 18 frets make it easier to learn
- Impressive sound clarity at high notes
- The mahogany back is too thin for young adults
Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Starter Kit
- Satin-finished mahogany top and back
- Real nylon strings for bright, professional soprano tones
- Free online ukulele lessons on Kala website and a guidebook
- Includes a high-quality gig bag
- A compact ukulele with tight fret spacings
This one is a great little starter kit for your teenager. It’s got everything from the ukulele itself, an original gig bag to a twenty-page-long learner’s booklet. Did we mention you get free ukulele lessons too?
First things first, you’ll find a Kala LTP-S soprano ukulele in the box. And trust us when we say it- this soprano uke will be a total game-changer for the kid. It produces a classic ukulele sound with cheerful tones.
If your kid finds tuning ukuleles difficult, they should have a fantastic time with this soprano. All the tuning, stretching, strumming, and fretting lessons are inside the handbook!
Or, you can get on the Internet and find ukulele tutorials right on Kala’s website.
- Open-geared tuners for easy tuning
- Mahogany body with a satin finish
- Comes with a Quick Start booklet
- Online lessons are available on Kala’s website
- Beginners might find the tuner app hard to follow
Mahalo Ukuleles MR1BU Rainbow Series Soprano
- Four dolphin-shaped tuners on the headstock
- Traditional ukulele size with a lightweight body
- High-quality bridge saddle and gold-plated machine heads
- Durable string from Aqua Nylgut
- Weighs only 0.7lbs.
For the teenage players out there, the Mahalo Rainbow Series soprano is a fun option for its jangly tones and eye-catching design.
These affordable ukuleles are now available in eleven fun colors. Like every other ukulele, the MR1BU also offers Italian-made Aquila Nylon strings. And a Canadian NuBone bridge saddle to top it off.
But, what sets this delightful soprano from others is its Dolphin-shaped tuners. Teaching your kid the ins and outs of tuning just got a little bit easier!
And the best part?
This fantastic instrument comes with an invitation to join ukulele classes taken by none other than Bartt Warburton himself!
- Available in a wide variety of colors
- A wide-neck ukulele for players with large hands
- Comes with a padded gig bag for easy carrying
- Produces a warm sound with zero buzz
- The pink ukulele is not easy to string
Lohanu LU-C Concert Ukulele Bundle
- Scratch-free, Sapele laminate top, and back
- Comes with two strap pins for playing at shows
- A laser-etched Lohanu logo on the headstock
- Includes a leather pick, carry bag, ukulele hanger, and free music lessons
- Aquila Super Nylgut strings
When it comes to picking a soprano ukulele bundle, we immediately turn to this starter kit by Kala.
Compared to flat-back ukuleles, Lohanu LU-C kicks out a much neater and louder sound. We found its arched-back design a plus point for beginners. Its chrome tuners were a nice touch as well.
The leather pick you get in the box has an impressive cutout that we liked. If your kid is having a tough time fingerpicking, you can introduce him to this buzz-free pick.
Toddlers can easily pick up their slow to medium-paced lessons without your help. And do we really need to say much about its Sapele top? Come on! Billie Eilish can vouch for it!
- Brilliant intonation with smooth frets and real nylon strings
- White bindings for an expensive look
- It’s an arched-back ukulele for fuller and deeper sound
- The Sapele laminate body is resistant to scratch
- Doesn’t come with an EQ like the Lohanu Cutaway tenor uke
POMAIKAI Soprano Ukulele
- High-gloss finish on a durable basswood body
- A soprano-standard, pleasing sound
- Professional 15-geared tuning
- Anti-oxidized frets on a hardwood fingerboard
- User-friendly fret locations
Who doesn’t like the sparkly tones of a sweet soprano? Check out this colorful instrument by Pomaikai if you’re looking for the best-sounding soprano for your kid!
Apart from its attractive design, the Pomaikai soprano puts forward a beautiful sound profile. It’s more than just a decent ukulele your tween can take to his music lessons.
We love the basswood fingerboard and its 12 well-spaced frets, to begin with. Its real nylon strings are great, but they do need some stretching before they stay true to the tune.
- Deep, acoustic sound with a Hawaiian touch
- Its 21-inch body is suitable for toddlers and teenagers alike
- Basswood is a durable body material for ukuleles
- A good choice for beginners
- Needs frequent retuning
Hape Kid’s Wooden Toy Ukulele
- A fun, high-quality instrument for beginners
- Soft nylon strings and open tuners
- Fully playable and easy to tune
- Suitable for taking music lessons at a young age
- Made of non-toxic materials
We have plenty of good things to say about this beginner instrument. First, it’s about the right size for kids.
And when we say kids, we mean no more than five-year-olds. This one by Hape is made of non-toxic materials, it’s beautifully crafted and gives your little one the time of their lives!
You should be able to replace its play strings with real ukulele strings. There’s enough stretch on the strings for the uke to stay on pitch. It’s one of the coolest starter ukuleles we got to try. No kidding!
- A cheap instrument for your kids to learn basic chords and strumming
- The soft nylon strings won’t hurt their fingers
- Decent quality for kids ages five and younger
- Easily maintainable with a cleaning cloth
- The tones aren’t as bright as an actual instrument
ADM Soprano Ukulele
- 21-inch soprano with basswood top and back
- Ideal string height for ages above four
- Low-tension nylon strings for better playability
- 12 smooth frets on a blackwood fingerboard
- Comes with all necessary accessories including a digital tuner
Sporting a standard ukulele body, quality strings and a solid fingerboard, this soprano uke by ADM is a fan-favorite! It’s an affordable instrument for playing solo or doing a little duet at family events.
Your kid will love this musical instrument for its sound quality, if not the looks! We personally find this type of ukulele a safe choice for young learners.
ADM is the first uke on our list to feature a digital tuner. It’s less than seven inches wide. So, the uke will sit perfectly on your kid’s lap as he goes all Shimabukuro on it!
- Classic ukulele sound with a deeper tone
- Basswood top and back with a dreadnought carving
- Chord card, digital tuner, fingerboard sticker, and more accessories
- Ideal for teaching ukulele chords to toddlers
- The ukulele is a bit weighty at 1.9 lbs.
AKLOT Soprano Ukulele
- Smooth frets and a strengthened neck
- Reliable copper-geared tuning pegs
- Solid mahogany body with polished edges
- Includes a gig back, felt picks, and a learner’s booklet
- Comes pre-tuned with extra Aquila strings in the bag
We found a lot of parents raving about this high-quality instrument at our local music stores. So, we had to see the Aklot soprano for ourselves. We definitely like its solid mahogany soundboard. Compared to laminated Sapele tops, it’s not only more durable but also great for intonation.
Thanks to its copper gears, the routine tuning job is much more simple. What’s unique about this Aklot ukulele is the neck. It’s strengthened with a rib so that the uke is easy to carry around.
You get two felt picks, a polishing cloth, extra Aquila Nylgut strings, and a very handy instructions booklet. Overall, it’s the most perfect ukulele for kickstarting your toddler’s music lessons.
- All the edges are rounded and smoothed
- The 18:1 copper gears are great for tuning
- Solid mahogany construction
- The frets are spaced evenly
- The threading pattern makes string replacement a bit annoying
Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele
- Nickel-plated tuners and an ABS saddle
- Resonant maple soundboard with a sturdy neck
- A tie-on bridge and soprano-shaped body
- Comes with fret markers for forming chords
- Weighs only 1lbs.
We had the best time trying out this Diamond Head ukulele. It has the brightest sound and plenty of tonal variations. Even the chords are spot-on for a children’s uke.
Its real nylon strings kick out that classic ukulele tone we like. Any child above four years of age should find this Diamond Head easy to fret and strum.
It’s not weighty at all, but it can sure take a hit or two. We like the dark-colored hardwood fretboard and its dreadnought body. Not to mention, a glossy finish makes its maple top, back and sides look more beautiful than an ordinary uke.
- Quick and easy tuning
- Ergonomically shaped maple neck for easy fretting
- A tie-on bridge for hassle-free stringing
- Its glossy, colorful finish appeals to children
- The ukulele doesn’t come pre-tuned
Factors to Consider When Buying a Ukulele for Kids
So, you’re looking for a kid’s ukulele and thinking to yourself- how hard can it be? The uke, after all, is a small instrument with nylon strings, right?
After researching what feels like a million ukuleles, we can tell you one thing- choosing a uke is far from easy.
You have to pick one that’s durable and lightweight at the same time. One with a smooth fingerboard, roomy frets and active tuners. Then there’s the question of whether to go with a soprano or a concert.
We wanted to help pick your kid’s very first stringed instrument. If you don’t wanna end up with a wooden show toy, take a few minutes to read our guide below!
Size & Form Factor
Concert and soprano are the more popular ukuleles for their form factor and weight.
A 21-inch soprano is a standard size for ages five years and above. If the uke is for a toddler, you should definitely stick to sopranos because they’re the smallest ukes.
Go for a short-scale ukulele if your child can’t access the top frets on a regular uke. In any case, the weight of the instrument shouldn’t exceed 1.5 pounds.
Design & Shape
The shape has a lot to do with the intonations and overall sound of a ukulele. Since we’re looking at ukuleles for children, we prioritized arched-back ukes with a solid neck.
It’s ergonomically accurate, produces a brighter sound, and doesn’t stress out the strings as often. We found out this little trick when we reviewed the Lohanu LU-C a while back. It’s worth every dollar!
Color & Style
Ukuleles are available in tenor, soprano, concert and baritone shapes. But, if it’s up to us, we’re going to pick up a soprano any day for its straightforward style.
And speaking of style, do check out the Mahalo MR1 soprano. It’s the one with a mahogany body and dolphin-shaped tuners- an instant favorite among the kids!
Besides, kid’s ukuleles are available in every color. You can either choose a simple, solid color ukulele or try one with laser-etched rosettes. Everything looks adorable in that size!
Ukuleles feature two different types of material for their body and neck. A common ukulele will almost always have a mahogany top and back with a fretboard made out of walnut.
You can look at the more expensive options, but a walnut fingerboard is just as good as basswood.
It’s hard to get solid Sapele ukes at a cheap price. We personally don’t find laminated Sapele ukes durable, but Lohanu has a number of ukuleles we liked.
Playability & Beginner-Friendliness
The instrument you’re about to buy doesn’t need to be on the same level as a professional quality uke. As long as it produces clear tones for learning ukulele chords, it’s good enough for a kid.
We have a friend who’s a primary school music teacher, and she says that an ideal ukulele for kids would be a classic 21-inch soprano with standard fret spacings.
Other than size, weight, and scale length, the lesser the differences between a kids’ and an adult’s ukulele the better!
Nylon strings have lower tension, and therefore, they’re easier to strum. When your kid is fretting out the chords, there’s little chance that nylon would hurt her fingers.
Italian Aquila Nylgut strings are our top favorites to go with a ukulele. Even professional musicians have nylon strings on their ukes. So, nylon must be great, right?
And repeat after us- metal strings are a big no-no for toddlers!
Acoustic Vs Electric
An electric ukulele comes with a pickup and an amplifier. You fret and strum it like an acoustic ukulele, except this time there would be a cord involved.
On the plus side, electric ukuleles are much brighter and louder than a plain old acoustic.
We definitely don’t recommend this electric version for a kid until they master the original instrument first. If your little one is particularly skilled at it, you can get him the Aklot AKES21 or the Luna Tattoo Acoustic-electric ukulele.
Price Range & Budget
Kids’ ukuleles usually come at a cheap price. You can bag a nice ukulele from famous brands like Fender, Kala, or Luna for under fifty bucks. Toy ukuleles shouldn’t be more than thirty. So, a decent budget for a beginner’s uke would be 40 to 50 dollars.
Ukuleles are low-maintenance instruments. So, there are not that many add-ons, to begin with. A padded gig bag and a ukulele stand are literally the two accessories you’ll ever need.
Apart from felt picks, we also found ukulele straps quite useful for performing at school events.
Number of Frets
We think a kid’s ukulele should have the same number of frets as an adult’s. For one, your kid can learn chord shapes and practice on a real instrument. Next, it’s much easier for a child to transition to a guitar once he has learned to play a real ukulele.
A 13-inch scale length and 12 frets are what we consider standard for soprano ukes. You can go up to 18 frets on a concert ukulele, but anything less than 12 is simply a joke. Even for your kid!
This is where you’ll notice serious variations from one ukulele to another. Open gear tuners are great, but they might not be as fine as Internet people make them out to be.
15-geared tuning pegs, on the other hand, are faster and more accurate.
Although, nothing keeps the strings more in tune than 18:1 tuners. Besides, tuning pegs with sturdy brass gears never go wrong.
Any decent ukulele starter kit includes a gig bag, a couple of picks, extra strings and an instruction booklet. You might get a hanger and a polishing cloth too.
We’re digging the latest ukulele starter kits like the Official Kala Learn to Play and Aklot Soprano Beginner’s Bundle. They offer exclusive online ukulele classes to their customers for free. Pretty cool, right?
For an instrument that weighs 1lbs, having a warranty card sure puts your mind at ease. Especially when it’s a kid’s uke, plenty of things can go wrong in the blink of an eye.
This is why we love the Lohanu LU-C even more. It comes with a lifetime warranty for not only the ukulele but also all the accessories you get inside the box. Aklot, Diamond Head, and Kala have excellent customer service.
Some Handy Resources to Teach Your Kid to Play The Ukulele
Teaching kids to play the ukulele is more than a day’s work. It takes a couple of weeks to learn the chords and a couple more to memorize them.
And it’s not possible for a busy parent to give music lessons to their third-grader every day. We get it!
This is why we’ve rounded up our favorite learning materials below. All of these have helped us brush up on our own ukulele skills or learn them from the ground up. Have a look!
Ukulele 4 Kids
First, we have Ukulele 4 Kids, a super resourceful website to get your kid’s ukulele lessons off the ground. It’s got tutorials on forming chords, reviews on ukulele books, but most importantly- a bunch of downloadable chords of children’s music.
Ukulele in the Classroom
We like Ukulele in the Classroom because it has its own store of ukulele books and a friendly discussion committee. It’s got a number of teaching tools and music consultants on board.
The website regularly hosts events to encourage your child to learn the uke. Still not impressed? You should see their sheet music collection!
Ukulele Tutorials and Blogs
There are countless ukulele tutorials and song covers on Youtube, to begin with. However, we find Joanna’s Music Blog the easiest to follow. It’s well-paced for anyone who’s new to the instrument.
From learning the open strings to tuning and forming chords, you can learn all about ukulele from her youtube channel motleymuse.
And the best part? She’s recently started a Song of the Week series where she covers groovy songs with her ukulele.
When someone comes to us saying they want to learn the ukulele, we instantly suggest Easy Ukulele by Pierre Hache. It’s a very well-written book to learn the chords in a nutshell.
If you’re looking for something more descriptive, you’ll find The Ukulele Handbook by Gavin Pretor-Pinney a great read.
And once your kid is done with the chords, introduce her to The Daily Ukulele by Jim Beloff. It’s a jumbo songbook with 365 songs for her to play on the uke!
Some Problems Your Kid Might Face
Playing the ukulele is not the hardest thing your kid will ever have to do. But it has its challenges for every age group. Many adult players still find the whole tuning game difficult.
So, you need to be patient with your kid if he can’t wrap his head around it on the first day.
Well, tuning a ukulele with closed or open-geared tuners is a tough nut to crack. At least for the beginners.
Even those who know how to tune a 6-string guitar can have a hard few days with this smaller instrument. It’s because the two are tuned quite differently.
Anyhow, digital tuners are better and way more accurate than the old-fashioned 15-geared tuners. You can get a clip-on tuner for your kid to use with his brand-new uke.
Brands religiously use soft nylon strings on their ukuleles. It’s a traditional feature for all ukes in general. The electric ones, of course, use steel strings instead. But that’s not the problem.
The problem is that kids won’t fret the strings as adeptly as an adult. It makes the ukulele sound low-pitched and way out of tune. Even when your kid aces a chord shape, the uke can go radio silent.
Not the best feeling in the world, yes. Teach your kid the different strumming patterns and one will definitely stick!
Ukulele Vs Guitar – Which Is Easier to Learn for A Kid?
Parents do have a difficult time choosing between a guitar and a ukulele. Can you blame them? These instruments are similar in so many different ways.
For now, let’s see their key differences and decide which one would be a better fit for a child!
If your kid is only a pre-schooler, a ukulele will obviously be the better option. A standard ukulele is no heavier than 1.5 pounds. But, any acoustic guitar is at least twice as heavy.
Beginners feel more confident with a ukulele because it’s got simple chords and two fewer strings to worry about. Regular acoustic guitars have six strings; ukuleles, on the other hand, have only four!
Kids can sometimes hurt their fingers on a steel-string guitar. Ukuleles have comfy nylon strings that are both safe and easy to pick!
There are a bunch of two-finger chords for the ukulele. Remember D major and Amaj7? Even G major and F7, the two most difficult uke chords, are comparatively easier than a guitar’s.
Most guitar chords take three fingers to form; and that includes major, minor, seventh, and extended chords.
Especially the G and F chords are quite complex for kids, don’t you think? Learning them not only takes more effort but also quite a bit of strength!
Between a guitar and a uke, there’s hardly a difference in their shapes. The acoustic guitar might or might not have a cutaway, but all old-fashioned ukuleles come without it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What age is best for a kid to learn to play the ukulele?
Children above five are of the perfect age to learn the ukulele. Since it’s an easy instrument with a simple learning curve, even four-year-olds can have a go at it. But the best age for any kid to learn the ukulele is six and up!
How much should I spend on a ukulele for kids?
A branded kid’s ukulele with a gig bag is in the 40 to 50-dollar price range. There are cheaper ukuleles, of course. But you won’t get a sturdy top and back material. Any decent uke with original Aquila strings is above the twenty-dollar ceiling and shouldn’t cost you more than forty bucks.
It’s the sheer bright tones and groovy music that make ukuleles as enjoyable as they are. Needless to say, a father-son duet on ukulele is the major highlight of any event!
Now, the best ukulele for kids would be the Kala LTP-S soprano. Its mahogany body, open tuners, and Italian-made strings come together to produce the most wonderful tunes! The Luna Tattoo concert uke has more frets; it sounds deeper and louder than soprano ukuleles too. If that’s something you’re looking for, go for it! Best of luck!
Last update on 2023-09-22 at 21:01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API