Best toy guitar

Pretend Play

Guitar toys can range from simple, plastic instruments with built-in speakers and buttons to real wooden guitars with authentic strings and tuning pegs.

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Which toy guitars are best?

Research has shown that learning a musical instrument can be great for a child’s development, teaching them hand-eye coordination and encouraging creativity. If you want your child to be comfortable around stringed instruments and they’re not quite old enough to play a real one, a toy guitar could be a great alternative. 

These toys are affordable, compact and great for a child who’s naturally drawn to the guitar. For a toy instrument that has real strings and an authentic wooden body, the KidKraft Lil Symphony Guitar is the top pick. 

What to know before you buy a toy guitar

Types of toy guitars

Just like other music toys, toy guitars can come in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes, from colorful, plastic toys for toddlers to real wooden instruments with strings. Consider the child’s age when thinking about the complexity of your toy instrument. A guitar toy that seems too complicated may overwhelm or bore the child, while an overly simplistic instrument may not be challenging enough to provide any educational value. 

The benefits of toy instruments

Countless studies have shown that exposure to music and musical instruments can be very beneficial for a child’s development. Playing an instrument is an intuitive way to introduce cause and effect to a child, while simply holding a guitar could promote fine motor skills and coordination. Music is also an inherently social activity, and playing another instrument alongside your child can be great for encouraging teamwork and collaboration. The following list includes some additional benefits that you might not expect.

  • Patience and memory: If you opt for a toy guitar with playable strings, you’re immediately introducing a toy that will reward patience and build memory skills every time they pick it up. 
  • Exposure to new cultures: The guitar has a rich and storied history that dates back to the ancient lute. Since that time, stringed guitar-like instruments have appeared on nearly every continent. An introduction to international styles of guitar music can be great for teaching a child about other cultures. 
  • Encourages creativity: If your child likes to make up their own songs and melodies, a toy instrument can offer them a way to perform their own imaginative creations. 
  • Boosts confidence: Learning an instrument, even a simple toy guitar, can build self-esteem and give your child a sense of pride and accomplishment.

What to look for in a quality toy guitar

Sounds

Virtually all toy guitars will produce some kind of sound, but the sound itself can vary widely. Some toys may have speakers that play various audio samples when you press the corresponding buttons on the neck of the guitar. These sounds can range from authentic electric and acoustic guitar sounds to barnyard animals. Many guitar toys function like a handheld keyboard, with a backing track that plays recorded music while the child presses the keys. 

Tempo control

Many toy guitars with backing tracks offer tempo control, so you can speed up or slow down the music to your liking. This can be helpful if your child is trying to learn the melody and play alongside the audio recording. 

Guitar strap

For a little added safety, look for a toy instrument that comes with a guitar strap. This can prevent the instrument from flying across the room if your child gets too excited while they’re performing.  

Adjustable volume

Your child may want to replay the same song over and over again as they’re learning, so you’ll probably appreciate a toy guitar with an adjustable volume. 

How much you can expect to spend on a toy guitar

The cost of a toy guitar can vary depending on the type and any included features. That said, you can usually expect to pay around $10-$40 for a toy guitar that your child will love. 

Toy guitar FAQ

At what age should I introduce a toy guitar to my child? 

A. Exposure to music can start in the womb, and musical toys can be introduced to toddlers who are as young as 12 months old. 

When can my child play a full-sized guitar? 

A. Most children can start to play a standard guitar around the age of 7. 

What’s the best toy guitar to buy?

Top toy guitar

KidKraft Lil Symphony Guitar

KidKraft Lil Symphony Guitar

What you need to know: This miniature guitar features authentic strings and a wooden body. 

What you’ll love: A perfect introductory guitar for any child over the age of three, this instrument has six strings and working tuning pegs. It also features a colorful yet authentic design and comes fully assembled and ready to play straight out of the box. 

What you should consider: A few reviewers questioned the overall durability of the instrument. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top toy guitar for the money

VTech Zoo Jamz Guitar

VTech Zoo Jamz Guitar

What you need to know: This adorable toy guitar is shaped like a giraffe and comes with tons of fun settings.

What you’ll love: There are eight buttons on the neck of the guitar, with each one creating a different and fun sound. You can change the guitar tone from acoustic to electric or distorted, and you can change the effects with the giraffe’s tail. 

What you should consider: Some users reported that the toy instrument was too quiet. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Toy guitar worth checking out

Baby Einstein Strum Along Songs Magic Touch Guitar

Baby Einstein Strum Along Songs Magic Touch Guitar

What you need to know: This interesting toy guitar has a wooden neck and features motion sensor technology. 

What you’ll love: Suitable for babies and toddlers over twelve months old, the Baby Einstein Magic Touch technology lets the child produce guitar sounds by making a strumming motion. There’s an integrated whammy bar for fun effects, and you can switch from acoustic guitar to banjo mode.

What you should consider: This toy guitar doesn’t come with a strap. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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