Best Ukuleles For Kids 2020

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There’s a little musician in your child that’s waiting to come out. Maybe you’ve seen flashes of their talent in the way they sing along to music on the radio, or maybe you’ve seen their sense of rhythm from the way they tap tunes on the table during dinner. Either way, if you suspect some musical inclination in your child, buying them a ukulele is a great way to bring it to the surface. Though difficult to master, the small size and pleasing tone of ukuleles make them a great beginner instrument for children of all ages.

Of course, just any ukulele won’t do. It’s important to choose the right model to ensure a young kid’s learning experience is both enjoyable and productive. Thankfully, there’s a whole category of ukuleles for children that offers a ton of options to choose from. If you’re looking to give your child the gift of music, read on.

Features to consider in Good Ukuleles For Kids

Although purchasing an instrument for a child seems like a relatively straightforward purchase, it’s still important to keep a few things in mind when buying a ukulele. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a good ukulele, but it’s important that you don’t cheap out, as a low-quality instrument will be so unenjoyable for your child that they’ll likely never develop a love for music. After all, this might turn into a long time hobby—or even a full-fledged musical career down the line. At any rate, the journey begins by choosing the right instrument to get your child into the mix of things.

Types of Ukulele

If you’re shopping around for the right ukulele to gift your child, it’s important to note that there’s no single, standard ukulele format. There are many different styles of ukuleles, but they most commonly fall into these 4 categories:

  • Soprano — These 21-inch ukuleles are considered the traditional standard size. Due to their ubiquity and ease of use, they’re typically the most ideal fit for beginners.
  • Concert — At 23 inches, concert ukuleles produce a slightly deeper and louder sound than their soprano counterparts.
  • Tenor — With their 26-inch bodies, tenor ukuleles are recommended for intermediate levels ukulele players and above. The sounds they produce are even deeper than concert ukes, and the fingerboard size jumps up considerably in this category.
  • Baritone — Finally, baritone ukuleles are the largest of the bunch, measuring a relatively whopping 30 inches. The sounds they produce are comparable to a guitar, with much deeper basses and longer sustain. They’ve also got the most frets of any common ukulele size, and are typically only played by those who have mastered smaller instruments.

For this article, we’ve featured soprano ukuleles exclusively. Simply put, they’re the only viable option for young children looking to get started. The more advanced categories will always be available later on, but it’s best to progress to them only when the player is ready. By starting with a small, simple soprano ukulele, you’ll be able to effectively ease them into the instrument without overwhelming them/

Playability

It’s important to distinguish how much versatility your child will need from their ukulele, and this depends largely on their age group. For example, if you’re looking for an instrument for kids between 3 and 5 years old, all they’ll really need to get started is basic functionality—though of course, an eye-catching design certainly helps get their attention.

That being said, this doesn’t mean you can just pick up any old ukulele and expect your child to play it. Many manufacturers of cheap ukes put little to no attention into the build quality or durability of their instruments, so avoid the temptation of buying the cheapest product on the market and calling it a day. Such purchases won’t be fun, and they’ll probably break before your child even has a chance to build an interest in it. Each product on this list, on the other hand, is of at least a high enough quality to produce enjoyable music for a long enough time to get into the hobby.

On the other hand, if your kid is 8 years or older, it’s best to look for a model that will last them for a few additional years of practice. In this age bracket, you should put even more consideration on fret spacing, materials used in the composition of the instrument’s body and string quality.

At any rate, if the young player in question plans on keeping up the hobby well into the future, they’ll likely need a more advanced ukulele down the line in order to progress. That said, it’s still important for them to get what they need out of the instrument during these early stages of learning.

Materials

Once again, this point boils down to the age bracket you’re shopping for.

If your child is between 3 and 5, a plastic body and strings will produce an adequate sound, and if it comes from a reputable brand, the ukulele is sure to give them everything they need to learn the basics. A cheap plastic ukulele usually sounds better than a cheap wooden uke, so don’t be turned off by this choice of material.

That being said, if the player in question is a little older, they’ll appreciate the feel, look and sound of natural materials and nylon strings. Costs rise when these materials are used, but (on this list, if not always in general) quality rises with it. When browsing through our entries, consider the materials of the instrument to determine which instrument would be the best fit for your child.

Accessories

As you’ll note in the entries below, some ukulele bundles include far more accessories than others. Examples of these add-ins include picks, strap, carrying cases, playing lessons and tuners. Some of these items help your child progress in their learning, while others are necessary for certain playing styles. Others, on the other hand, don’t really add much to the package.

Accessory inclusions shouldn’t top your list of priorities. The most important factor here is choosing an instrument that’s the right fit for your child—necessary accessories can be acquired elsewhere if need be.

That said, if a particular ukulele’s attributes are ticking off all the necessary boxes, and the bundle comes with a list of awesome accessories on top of that, you’ve probably found the right choice for your budding ukulelist.

Is the Ukulele Easier to Learn Than the Guitar?

There’s a simple answer to this question—yes, absolutely! The ukulele is much easier to learn than the guitar. Sizing plays a significant factor here. Ukuleles have similar basic features to the guitar, but they’ve all been minimized. Since the body is much smaller, it’s easier to hold and control. Because there are only four strings instead of six, it’s easy for players to form chords without using the “spider” hand formations that guitarists need to master—which prove especially difficult for children.

Finally, a ukulele doesn’t have nearly the number of frets that a guitar does, giving players full access to the instrument’s sound spectrum without having to walk their hands all the way up a long fretboard.

Of course, it’s never too late for them to pick up the guitar down the line, once they’re more familiar with general music theory. Regardless of your child’s eventual musical plans, learning to play the ukulele is a great way to build the foundations required to develop a life-long love of music.

Top 15 Best Ukuleles For Kids 2020

1. Janod Ukulele Music Set

Why we like it: Janod’s Ukulele Music Set is lightweight, child-sized and quite cost-efficient. The design is animated enough to grab a child’s attention, and they’ll be even more impressed with the instrument once they learn to strum a chord.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 3-5

Designed in France with the young ukulelist in mind, the Janod Ukulele Music Set is sure to get kids excited to start playing. The initial impression starts with the bubbly, colorful design laid over the instrument’s body and neck, which is sure to catch your child’s eye. However, they’ll be even more interested by their new gift once they manage to get the first few sounds out of it.

As you might expect, the sound capabilities of this ukulele aren’t as rich as some of the more advanced entries, but that’s not as much of a priority for the lower age group for which this uke is ideal. What matters here is that the instrument is functional, eye-catching and easy to use. Thankfully, Janod’s ukulele is all of the above. On top of that, it weighs only 1.4 pounds, making it easy for a young player to tote around the house.

Pros
  • Vibrant design
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to play
Cons
  • Tight fret spacing up the neck

2. Lohanu Soprano Ukulele

Why we like it: The Lohanu Soprano Ukulele offers tremendous utility considering its price. It’s hard to find a similar model that produces such warm, vibrant sounds. Included in the package is everything a young player needs to get started on their ukulele journey.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 5-8

The impressive attributes of the Lohanu Soprano Ukulele go well beyond its attractive design. The chrome tuning gears along with the Aquila strings make it a joy to play, and it comes pre-tuned prior to shipping, which ensures that the strings are properly set in their standard tuning right out of the box. The kit also provides a full list of accessories, including picks, a gig bag, extra strings, a neck strap and tuner.

The Lohanu Soprano Ukulele produces an excellent sound for its price range. The solid mahogany body allows for the production of warm, clear tones with extended sustain. Like a fine wine, the sound quality of the instrument only improves as the mahogany ages. For parents looking for a ukulele that will last their children for years to come, this is definitely a solid pick.

Pros
  • Excellent value
  • Awesome sound
  • Lots of accessories included
Cons
  • Requires fairly frequent retuning

3. Hola! Music HM-21BK Soprano Ukulele Bundle

Why we like it: It’s hard to find another kid’s ukulele built as well as this one. The natural woods used throughout its composition are comparable to more premium instruments, giving Hola! Music’s HM-21BK Soprano Ukulele a signature sound within its age bracket.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 8+

You can get a good sense of the quality in Hola! Music’s HM-21BK Soprano Ukulele just by holding it, with its smooth and solid mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard and bridge. We’re really impressed by the construction exhibited here, since the materials used are often applied to more professional instruments. Furthermore, it’s sold at a price point comparable to lower quality models, making this bundle a really excellent deal.

To supplement the learning experience, the kit includes a canvas tote bag, a strap and picks, so your child will have everything they need to get started right away. They can enjoy long, uninterrupted practice sessions thanks to the instrument’s great ability to hold its tune. Finally, there’s a series of color options available to help your child form a personal connection with their new instrument.

Pros
  • Excellent construction
  • Great value
  • Holds tuning well
Cons
  • Humidity may warp the natural wood over time

4. Hape Kid’s Wooden Ukulele

Why we like it: The Hape Kid’s Wooden Ukulele is totally safe for infants, with no sharp ends to hurt their fingers and a non-toxic finish. Aside from its attractive design options, this ukulele produces some high quality sounds despite its intended age bracket.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 3-5

Although the Hape Kid’s Wooden Ukulele might look like a toy, it’s actually a full-fledged instrument that can produce some lush sounds. It’s been made with child-safety concerns in mind; the strings are attached to the body so that there are no sharp ends, and the body’s finish is entirely non-toxic. On top of that, the materials used here are produced from sustainably-maintained natural resources.

There are blue, red and green color schemes on offer here, so you can choose among them based on your child’s personality. Once they pull this ukulele out of the box and strum its strings for the first time, they’ll be hard-pressed to ever put it down.

Pros
  • Eco-friendly production
  • Entirely safe for infant use
  • Great color options
Cons
  • Embedded strings are difficult to replace

5. Honsing Soprano Ukulele

Why we like it: Thanks to the variety of dazzling designs available, Honsing’s Soprano Ukulele is sure to catch your child’s eye right as it comes out of the box. If environmental consciousness is a concern, you can rest assured that this model was constructed in a wholly eco-friendly manner.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 3-5

Honsing’s Soprano Ukulele is constructed from high quality, eco-friendly materials. On top of that, it doesn’t compromise in terms of pricing. If you’re looking to get your child started on the ukulele in the simplest, most fun way possible, this model is definitely worth looking into.

When choosing a ukulele for kids in the earlier stages of infancy, keep in mind that the instrument’s design plays a big role in the child’s passion to learn it. Knowing this, Honsing has ensured that the colors and shapes of this ukulele practically leap from the box. If a certain design isn’t quite to your liking, there’s over a dozen other options to choose from.

Pros
  • Perfect for young infants
  • Variety of eye-catching designs
  • Padded carrying bag included
Cons
  • Children are likely to outgrow it after a couple years

6. Mahalo Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele Starter Pack

Why we like it: The Mahalo Rainbow Series Soprano Ukelele is a solid, reliable instrument to help a beginner ukuleleist get started. Its Aquila strings and NuBone XB bridge saddles ensure proper resonance and tone spectrum. This complete starter pack includes the ukulele, a carrying case and a full digital lesson download.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 5-8

Mahalo’s Rainbow Series Ukulele is among the brand’s top selling models, and for good reason. Its utility goes beyond the sleek, classic design—once your child becomes familiar with it, it’s likely that they’ll be unable to put this smooth-sounding instrument down.

The kit comes with everything that a beginner needs, including the instrument, a carrying bag and a digital lesson download that breaks down the fundamentals of how to play. Your child can access a full spectrum of tones thanks to the ukulele’s Aquila strings and NuBone XB bridge saddles. It’s easy to maintain standard tuning with the nifty dolphin-shaped geared tuners.

Fun fact: the word “mahalo” means “gratitude” in Hawaiian, which is the exact sentiment you’ll see on your child’s face as they unbox their new instrument.

Pros
  • Very easy to pick up and play
  • Great design
  • Awesome sound
Cons
  • Tuning the instrument takes some time

7. Makala Surf Green Shark Soprano Ukulele

Why we like it: The Makala Surf Green Shark Soprano Ukulele is an excellent choice for novices looking to pick up the instrument. Produced by one of the world’s top ukulele manufacturers, its construction is extremely reliable.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 5-8

Don’t be frightened by its shark-shaped bridge—this ukulele doesn’t bite. Instead, it serves as a great instrument to help your child learn the basics of playing music. The Makala Surf Green Shark Soprano Ukulele is an ideal entry-level instrument that’s built to last. Its high-quality construction includes a mahogany neck, walnut fingerboard, geared tuners, Aquila strings, and, of course, its signature shark-shaped bridge.

The manufacturer behind this model is Kala, whose ukuleles have been used by several renowned musicians across all genres. Some famous names that have taken these instruments on tour include Twenty One Pilots, Vance Joy and Dodie. Who knows—if your child practices hard enough, they might someday be listed among those famous names themselves.

Pros
  • Designed with both genders in mind
  • Great quality gig bag included
  • Easy to tune
Cons
  • Does not include a peg for neck strap

8. Not Home 21 Inch Soprano Ukelele

Why we like it: Not Home’s 21 Inch Soprano Ukulele offers children a fantastic playing experience, especially when factoring its relatively low cost. With a wide range of available color options, your child is sure to find the model that’s just right for them.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 5-8

Every kid has a favorite color, and they’re likely to find it among the range of color options available in Not Home’s 21 Inch Soprano Ukulele range. You can also rest assured that the color is painted into the ukulele with eco-friendly paint, making it safe for your child’s use and sustainable for the planet.

This ukulele offers great sound, playability and quality that definitely seem to exceed its price bracket. Its nylon strings are comfortable to handle and are quite well made, so they won’t require replacement before long. The tuning pegs are solid and reliable, although the instrument might be tricky to tune at first. Considering the quality and price on offer here, this is quite the steal of a deal.

Pros
  • Excellent value
  • Variety of color options
  • Eco-friendly paint
Cons
  • Gets out of tune easily

9. Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

Why we like it: Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele offers everything a young player needs. Whether your child is just starting out, or if they’re looking to progress to the next level, this ukulele’s rich tones will provide a soothing soundtrack to your household.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 8+

As we mentioned above, Kala ukuleles are renowned around the globe for their quality and reliability. This applies to their professional ukuleles as well as their beginner kits, and the Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele is no exception.

This model is known for producing a smooth, serene sound produced in part by its walnut fingerboard and mahogany body. Adding to the effect is the instrument’s NuBone nut and saddle as well as its Aquila strings. The kit also comes with a lightweight bag, allowing your child to easily take their new instrument on the go with them.

Since it was introduced in 2005, this ukulele has been a staple in music classrooms. Although it’s aimed at a very young audience, the build is versatile enough to last a player until they’re ready to transition to a more premium ukulele.

Pros
  • Great value
  • Rich sound
  • High-quality construction
Cons
  • Unpadded bag might cause the ukulele to take a few bumps

10. POMAIKAI Soprano Wood Ukulele

Why we like it: Accessibility is a prime factor for young musicians learning a new instrument, and the Pomaikai Soprano Wood Ukulele is as accessible as it gets. It’s easy to pick up and play, and its solid construction ensures that it will last for the long haul.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 5-8

Picking up a new instrument is difficult regardless of your age bracket, but this definitely applies to children even more than it does to adults. Sure, young minds pick up new lessons like a sponge, but it’s important that the instrument in question provides them with as seamless a learning curve as possible so that they’re motivated to keep up with the hobby. If playing isn’t frustration-free, they won’t want to keep learning for long.

The Pomaikai Soprano Wood Ukulele’s soft nylon strings are easy on the hands, so your child will be able to practice as long as they want to without much strain. Thanks to its lightweight construction, they’ll easily be able to take it with them wherever they go. Finally, this ukulele features top-notch construction considering its price range. Its hardwood body and basswood fretboard help create a rich, classic acoustic sound that the whole family can enjoy.

Pros
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Easy to play
  • Great sound
Cons
  • Even though it sounds great, it looks and feels like a toy

11. Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele

Why we like it: Beneath the simple, classic design of the Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele lies a ton of great utility. Its construction gives children access to a full spectrum of sound, and the 3-chord chart that comes in the package helps them minimize the learning curve.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 5-8

Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of the Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele’s design. As is the case with any musical instrument, it’s best not to judge the book by its cover, since its true value lies beneath the surface.

In fact, there’s a lot to love about this ukulele’s design. Its traditional shape facilitates the production of full-bodied sound. The sturdy body and neck is made from maple and overlaid with a high gloss finish that helps with its durability. Normally, ukuleles in this price range aren’t made with such attention to detail.

The kit includes a convenient gig bag, a tuner and a 3-chord chart that will allow your kids to jump right into the mix of playing.

Pros
  • Full, rich sound spectrum
  • Convenient guitar style tuner
  • 3-chord chart makes for easy learning
Cons
  • String quality leaves room for improvement

12. ADM Soprano 21 Inch Ukulele

Why we like it: Coming in a variety of color options and with a few practical accessories, the ADM Soprano 21 Inch Ukulele is a solid overall pick. Thanks to its compact design, your child can learn the ropes of the instrument in no time at all.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 5-8

The ADM Soprano 21 Inch Ukulele is compact in its design, so your child will have an easy time maneuvering it. The more they play it, the more comfortable they’ll be with its fundamentals, and you’ll soon be hearing some great progress in their learning experience. We happen to like the look of this ukulele in light blue, but there are several other choices available to fit your child’s preferences.

The starter pack comes with a gig bag and strap, so your child is all set to take their ukulele with them on outings to entertain friends and family. Just make sure they get a few good practice sessions in first! Additionally included in the kit are an extra set of Aquila strings and a clip-on tuner with an LED display, so there’s really a ton of value on offer here.

Pros
  • Variety of color choices
  • Compact design
  • Comprehensive bundle
Cons
  • Getting the instrument properly tuned isn’t as easy as it should be

13. Martin Smith UK-222-A Soprano Ukulele, Natural

Why we like it: Not only does the Martin Smith UK-222-A Soprano Ukulele have the appearance of a professional instrument, but its super low price point makes it a very attractive buy for the budget-conscious consumer, too. Your child will look like a real ukulelist once they pick it up, and with a bit of practice, they’ll soon sound like one, too.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 8+

The Martin Smith UK-222-A Soprano Ukulele might just be the most aesthetically pleasing model in this list. Looking at it, it’s easy to imagine a larger, professional-level instrument that’s been shrunk to kid-size. You also might think that it’s an expensive option based solely on its looks, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the low price tag.

Beyond its design, there’s a ton of quality on offer in this kit. The nylon strings are extremely easy on the fingers, both when forming the chords and strumming them. Also included here is a durable carry case that’s sure to protect it during transport. Ultimately, considering the cost-efficiency of this model, it’s really tough to pass it up.

Pros
  • Super low cost
  • Great nylon strings
  • Beautiful design
Cons
  • Not as durable as a more expensive uke

14. Kangaroo 22.5″ Ukulele

Why we like it: Aside from being very user-friendly, the Kangaroo 22.5” Ukulele bundle comes with a comprehensive list of accessories that includes everything your child needs to get started. It’s well-designed, easy to play and produces an awesome sound.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 8+

Catering to slightly older children, the Kangaroo 22.5” Ukulele is a perfect choice for players looking to learn the ropes of the instrument. It’s built with 15 wide frets to better help your child transition between chords. Although the faux-wood materials used in its composition aren’t the most durable or premium-feeling, they actually help produce some surprisingly good acoustics.

This kit includes an electronic tuner, strap, picks, carrying case, instruction manual and songbook, making it one of the most comprehensive bundles in this list. The instruction manual is especially detailed, with 46 pages that break down the fundamentals of ukulele playing. All in all, this bundle exhibits a solid bang for your buck.

Pros
  • Excellent value
  • Easy to play
  • Lots of great accessories
Cons
  • Plastic strings don’t feel or sound as nice as natural ones

15. Lanikai Kohala Soprano Ukulele

Why we like it: Since it’s produced by one of the most reputable names in the industry, the Lanikai Kohala Soprano Ukulele is definitely a trustworthy choice for a young player. It offers a great sound packaged in an attractive design, and we love the handy clip-on tuner included in the kit.

Editor’s Rating:

Recommended Age: 8+

Lanikai is known in the music industry for producing high-quality ukuleles that offer a ton of great features within their price range. On top of that, all Lanikai ukuleles are manufactured by Hohner, a German brand renowned for producing some of the world’s best instruments. With all that in mind, it’s easy to see why Lanikai’s Kohala Soprano Ukulele is an excellent choice for a young player.

The benefits of mahogany construction are seen here once again. The body of this ukulele has been optimally constructed to produce vibrant tones while keeping the instrument in tune for far longer than average. Furthermore, the kit comes with useful accessories such as a gig bag, polish cloth, and even a nifty clip-on tuner.

Pros
  • Solid mahogany body
  • Convenient clip-on tuner included
  • Simple, attractive design
Cons
  • Fretboard quality leaves room for improvement