If your child has expressed an interest in wanting to learn how to play the ukulele, or if you just want to encourage your kids to learn how to play a musical instrument, it can be quite an undertaking trying to figure out which ukulele to buy. There are countless ukes out there that come in several different shapes, sizes, styles and prices, and knowing which one will be the right fit for your son or daughter can potentially make your head spin. Rest assured, it’s not nearly as complicated as you may think.
There are many benefits for children when it comes to learning how to play a musical instrument, such as developing motor skills, improving reading skills, increasing memory retention and even giving them emotional calmness. And, learning how to play the ukulele is no exception. Still, knowing which ukulele to buy for your child is where it all starts.
In this article, we will break down what to look for when picking out a ukulele for your son or daughter, as well as giving you our top picks for kid’s ukes, all of which cost less than $100.
Ukulele Styles and Sizes
As mentioned, ukuleles come in several styles, shapes and sizes, with the most standard styles being soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. And, the sound, size and tone of the uke will be different depending on its style.
Read More: 5 Reasons NOT to Buy Your Ukulele on Amazon
With that in mind, the soprano ukulele is the smallest in terms of its body size and neck length, which makes it one of the smarter choices when choosing a uke for a child. This definitely doesn’t mean that soprano ukuleles are made for children per se, but a soprano’s smaller body and shorter neck will make it easier for a child to hold and strum, which will make his or her learning experience more enjoyable.
Types of Ukulele Wood
Ukuleles are made from several different kinds of wood, such as cedar, rosewood, mahogany and spruce. These different woods all have their own, distinct characteristics when it comes to the uke’s tone, durability and overall appearance. Often times, the type of material that a uke is made from will determine its overall cost, and it can be temping to want to purchase a ukulele simply based on its looks or the fineness of its wood.
However, if you are buying a ukulele for a child who is a beginner, it’s very important to take into consideration the uke’s durability beforehand. Ukuleles that are made with laminate wood or carbon fiber are typically safe bets because they are more resistant to scuffs and scrapes, as well as being less expensive options. Also, there are plenty of laminate wood and carbon fiber ukuleles that come in different styles and colors to match your child’s personality.
Accessories and Starter Kits
If you are going to buy your son or daughter a uke in the first place, you need to consider all of the necessary accessories that go along with being a ukulele player. Selecting a ukulele is only the beginning, so you need to be prepared to shop for other things such as tuners, straps, cables, cases and replacement strings.
We have a large selection of accessories available at our online store to cover all of your ukulele accessory needs: store.ukelikethepros.com/collections/accessories
Selecting the Right Accessories
Just like with searching for the right ukulele for your child, there are countless accessories that come in several models, styles and prices, and having the right accessories is a vital part of learning how to play and properly care for a uke.
Not all ukuleles are designed to use cables or straps, so be sure to keep that in mind. (In other words, don’t worry about buying things that are not needed.) However, tuners, cases and replacement strings are things that are necessities for uke players of all skill levels. Even if you’re new to uke shopping, it’s easy to find all the accessories you need that are high-quality and will also fit into your budget.
Consider a Starter Kit
Many ukulele manufacturers offer starter kits that are specifically designed for beginners and, along with the ukulele itself, typically come with all of the additional accessories your child will need to get started on their playing journey. Like with everything else on the market, starter kits come in many different varieties and include different items, so be sure that you are selecting a starter kit that would be best suited for your child.
Some starter kits come with cases, some come with straps, and some even come with instructional books. Regardless of what you are looking to buy, it’s easy to find a starter kit that your child will love that won’t exceed your budget. Plus, buying a starter kit can be a very convenient way to get everything your child will need all at once.
Learning to Play
It goes without saying that if your son or daughter shows an interest in wanting to play the uke, or if you simply want to encourage them to play, you have to make sure that they have access to some form of lessons. You can’t just hand someone a musical instrument that they have never played before and expect them to become an expert overnight, so lessons are an essential aspect of learning how to play the uke.
Our Beginning Ukulele Kids Course Songbook is a great way to get started.
That being said, there are several ways to take lessons, many of which are very affordable and easy to follow. There are in-person lessons, live-stream lessons, lesson books and even apps that all range in cost and skill level. Again, it all depends on what you feel would be best suited for your child. Just be sure that you don’t forget this important part of learning how to play.
As mentioned, ukes, accessories and lessons can be all over the place when it comes to price, but that shouldn’t discourage you from your shopping. It’s important to keep in mind that if your child is just starting out, there’s a chance that they may not take to it, possibly lose interest or simply just not want to learn how to play. So, it’s not a bad idea to keep that in mind when shopping for your child.
The last thing you want to do is spend a small fortune on a ukulele, accessories and lessons only to have it all end up in a closet collecting dust. This is what makes the less-expensive ukes and accessories all the more attractive. If your child really enjoys playing and develops a love for the ukulele, you can gradually upgrade their equipment and their lessons over time.
Our Top Picks for Ukuleles for Kids
So, with all of that in mind, here are our top picks for ukuleles for kids, all of which cost less than $100. They come in different varieties and styles, but they are all solid options that would be enjoyed be any child who wants to learn how to play.
Ohana SK-10 Starter Pack
The Ohana SK-10 Starter pack is a soprano uke made from mahogany laminate, comes in a wide variety of colors, and includes a gig bag, a tuner, a strap and a chord chart. It’s a great way for beginners to get started with their playing at a very affordable price.
The Kala Ukadelic is an extremely affordable option for a soprano uke that comes in several different eye-catching colors. Made from mahogany laminate, every Kala Ukadelic comes with a tote bag and is a fun, low-maintenance option for beginners.
This concert ukulele is made from durable carbon fiber and polycarbonate, and has a slim, 2-inch body to making it easy to hold and play. It also comes with a case, a set of extra strings, a strap and a capo to help get your child started with their playing.
Cordoba’s UP-1S is made from mahogany laminate with a beautiful, traditional look. It’s a great, affordable soprano option for beginners that comes with a travel bag, a clip-on tuner, an extra set of strings, picks, and an instructional booklet.
Made from Meranti wood with a natural finish, this soprano uke is a great choice for beginners due to its ease of play, as well as being very affordable. Also, the Meranti wood gives it a very unique and eye-catching appearance.
This starter kit from Ohana allows your child to design and assemble their own ukulele. Your son or daughter can paint, color and decorate it however they want, and then install all of the included hardware for a fun, do-it-yourself ukulele experience.
Whether your son or daughter is a first-time player, needs a slight upgrade with their equipment, or is a more experienced musician looking to try out a new instrument, ukuleles are a great way to get them started, get them enthused, and ultimately enhance their lives.
So, be sure to check out some of these fun and affordable options. You can definitely find something that will work well for you and your child, as well as finding something that will fit into your budget.
Good luck, and enjoy your shopping!