Getting a young child of toddler age started in music is at the same time difficult and easy, the results and achievements would depend on your expectations but ultimately, even a small amount of exposure to music or a musical instrument will open your child up to a world and a set of critical skills which can be carried on into later life.
However, it’s not easy to find a suitable piano for a toddler. There is quite a range of piano’s for toddlers, and the range consists of small versions of real pianos to toys with flashing lights and auto-play music. Some have features like microphones for singing along and pretending to be in front of a vast audience, some have other instruments attached and others are sleek, miniature simulations for real grand pianos.
The suitability of which depends wholly on whether you are actually looking to get your child a good headstart in musical education or if you would like them to have a fun toy that also serves to get them used to the look and concept of the instrument. It’s also dependant on the overall look and feel of the instrument, your budget and if there are any particular features you are looking for.
Given the variety available, it was a wise choice to have a look around before making an actual purchase and so I have composed this guide complete with product reviews to help you find the right piano for your toddler.
Common Concerns and Questions
You probably have some questions or are wondering how to get your child started with an instrument, especially the piano which seems quite difficult for a toddler compared to some other instruments out there, so I invite you to read this section to hopefully gain some insight.
Why Should I Choose a Piano for my Toddler?
The piano is an instrument which most people choose to begin their music career with, as music theory is usually taught from the perspective of playing the piano because all of the notes are laid out in front of you in order, as opposed to a guitar in which another system (the CAGED system) is used to find the notes.
The piano layout makes it easier for the student to learn notes, scales, and chords and so starting your toddler on the piano will give them a valuable boost in getting over the feel and structure of a piano or keyboard so that they can then be taught music theory with some experience behind them.
What Age Should my Toddler Learn Piano?
It’s quite right to say that a child’s ability depends on their age, and most would consider a toddler in the age range of between 1 year and 4 years old; the capabilities of a 1-year-old being vastly different to that of a 4-year-old. However, I think age should only be a concern when it comes to the recommended age of the instrument or toy by the manufacturer.
A child learning to play or experimenting with the piano at an early age is advantageous for the child. They will learn new skills and it will help to develop their cognitive ability and coordination as they have fun being creative and expressing their selves and so I that’s why I would say it is never too early.
How do I keep my Child Interested in Learning the Piano?
Encouragement is the keyword. When a child is getting positive recognition for achievements and progress; no matter how small, they are likely to enjoy the activity more and feel more motivated to continue. This must also be coupled with a sense of fun, which is why I would highly recommend using the piano you buy as a part of playtime and used alongside other toys.
Having the piano now a part of playtime will make the child realize that this is an activity that they can come back to if they wish and if they enjoy it, its incredibly important not to try to force it on the child too much as you may risk putting them off altogether which would be a disservice to the child.
What Size of Piano is Best for my Child?
The space you have in your household is a major influence on this question, of course, it really wouldn’t matter to a toddler how many keys they have as realistically, they are not going to be performing a masterpiece and you really only need introduce them to the instrument.
Having said that, it is a lot of fun for children to play together on the same keyboard, sitting side by side they can create tunes together which is such an enjoyable activity for them and so I don’t think there is a “best” size piano for your child, it’s just a case of what you and your child wants and needs.
Before you get into making a purchase for your child, it would be a good idea to get a heads up on the quality and features of the products on the market and so please feel free to check out the products I have reviewed below and I will also provide a top pick at the end.
Our Top Picks
KidKraft Lil’ Symphony Piano
We’ll start off with this funky looking miniature grand piano. Not only does it have a pleasing aesthetic (at least to me), it has a cute little wooden board which flips over; each side has a song in simplistic sheet music and I find this to be fantastic for exposing a child to the world of music and to give them a feel for what an actual piano is like to play.
Its quite small and so you might want to have it on a raised platform like a small table so that your toddler doesn’t have to crouch on the floor to play it as this can be uncomfortable but it size does mean it would make a great addition to a toy box or playroom and it would take up barely any space at all!
This great little toy piano will give a heap of enjoyment all day long to a young piano playing aspirant and the brand KidKraft which makes this toy also has other instruments, including a guitar and a drum which you can buy to build a set so that a group of kids could play together in their very own band.
Melissa & Doug Learn-To-Play Piano
This particular toy piano is a great follow up review to the last. I’m not as interested in the look but as a tool for learning, this toddler piano is fantastic for it! The key aspect (no pun intended) to this product is that the keys are color coded and the notes are marked above the key and when this is used alongside the beginner songbook included, your toddler will be a maestro in no time!
It has 25 keys in total, giving the child a good range and helping them to understand the difference in octaves allowing them to take the first steps towards having a good musical comprehension.
Like the previous, this model is fairly small, and so putting on the floor will be quite low down which I suppose is not too much of a problem for a toddler but still, I think it would be more comfortable if it was raised for the child and if they had something to sit on too.
Lightahead Musical Mini Piano For Kids
If your looking for something with a sense of fun, the Lightahead mini piano would be fantastic for your toddler! Its an electronic device, complete with a wired microphone and pre-loaded songs and beats which can be activated with the buttons above the keys, so before long you will find your child having a blast with this one.
The beats and songs I mentioned are completely original and minimalistic which is not a bad thing at all. I think this serves much better to inspire and give an opportunity for the toddler to make their own songs and even in trying to keep a rhythm within a beat. The sound of the toy is surprisingly crisp and clear despite only having a small speaker on the underside that can be volume controlled, additionally there is an mp3 audio jack for headphones too.
It’s powered by AA batteries which are not included but an awesome bonus you get with this toy piano is a tiny case for it (which can also be used to store removal parts such as the microphone and legs) as well as a screwdriver for undoing the battery compartment when they need changing – handy because you can probably use it for other toys too!
This toddler piano actually did surpass the expectation I had for it and I would actually recommend it as a good value gift for a toddler. It doesn’t have the best facilities for teaching actual music theory, but its bundles of fun, a great way to inspire and a great introduction to the instrument.
Schoenhut 25-Key My First Piano II
Continuing on our look at some of the toddler piano choice out there, this Schoenhut takes on a toddler piano is the more sophisticated out of my reviewed products. This toy piano has a look that I think most would agree with me when I call it stylish and a great addition to a living room or playroom. It does come in several colors, the one I tested is the red but white and pink are also available which gives you a bit of room to personalize it for the child you are buying for.
Like the others that I have reviewed so far, this piano is very small, and would probably be more to play when sitting at a table. The sound is very high pitched and sharp, sounding more like a kalimba, but don’t let this put you off, as its a sweet and soft sound, it was in tune the keys themselves felt great to play, with just the right amount of resistance to simulate a real piano.
This piano also comes with a songbook which is color-coded, and I really love it when a songbook is included because even you are buying a toddlers piano as a throwaway gift of sorts, if it did turn out the child loved I and developed a passion for playing or learning the instrument, they will always have the songbook to fall back on and learn the basics.
Ginzick Kids Giant Piano Fun Dance Mat
For ultimate enjoyment, and a brilliant idea for a kids party; the Ginzick piano dance mat is perfect. The children can really get up and boogie, alone or with friends this giant keyboard really does kickstart the party.
It can be very loud but has volume controls which are, as you can imagine, operated by foot. I wouldn’t say this one is really a product for a simulated piano experience but it does still have the quality of offering children the opportunity to create their own sound and put notes together to create a tune therefor opening them up to what enjoyment and expression music can bring to their lives.
The plastic material its made out of is extremely durable and does not tear easily unless of course, your kid likes to dance in hiking boots! It has an auto power off feature to save on the battery life, and so you need not worry that your kid(s) has not turned it off after they have finished with the toy.
Best Overall Piano
For its complete consideration for children’s learning and for providing all the help to make learning the piano as easy as possible for a toddler, the Melissa & Doug Learn-To-Play Piano is the top pick in my personal opinion.
It’s vibrant and multicolored which is not a style which suits me, and more color options would be preferable but ultimately I think a child’s learning and development is much more important. When it comes to learning concepts such as the musical language and then to go on from that into more complicated aspects of musical theory and trust me when I say, it is such an advantage to start young and I think your child would be forever grateful for giving them that opportunity.