The 10 Best Toddler Pianos
This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Give your kids a jump-start on their musical education with one of these toddler pianos, many of which are equipped with exciting and interactive features, like preprogrammed songs, multiple instrument sounds, flashing lights, and brightly-colored keys. Some even offer the option to record, making it both easy and fun for little ones to develop their creativity at an early age. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best toddler piano on Amazon.
December 05, 2019:
Today’s update brings in a host of new options from established manufacturers of children’s toys and games. The Fisher-Price Around the Town is equipped with removable legs, which makes it suitable for tiny tots who are not yet walking, as well as those who are a little older and prefer to stand. This table offers a multitude of fun, interactive activities – including a five-note piano that teaches about numbers, foods, and colors. From the same manufacturer, the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn offers four ways to play: Real piano notes, animal sounds (from ducks and cows), learning songs, and spoken phrases. When kids press any of the numbered keys, lights, songs, and sounds are activated.
The Baby Einstein Magic Touch also comes on board in this update, and this popular choice was a winner of the ToyAward 2019. Judges deemed it to be an ideal way to introduce toddlers to the world of music. This innovate toy features “keys” (which are just printed on a flat wooden panel) that are activated by the touch of fingers alone. (This eliminates any worry that your child will break off any of the keys or injure their little fingers between them.) It’s hard to find any knock on this toy; if you had to call one out, it would be that on the included music cards, the color-coded orange and red are highly similar, which can be confusing to a young child. Another new addition from the same manufacturer is the Baby Einstein Discover & Play. It provides its own cleverly designed playing panel for young children: A soft piano panel with “keys” that respond easily to the touch. It’s a safe, fun way for kids to learn the sounds of both musical instruments and animals, and it also teaches numbers.
The newly added Melissa & Doug Learn-to-Play features 25 keys that span 2 full octaves. Of all the options on our list, this one most closely resembles a traditional piano. It features a high-quality wooden construction and is available in either pink or blue. Many a reviewer comments on how well it has held up over the years, even under rambunctious banging by little hands. The sound quality is quite good, too. It’s a solid value for the price, and would make a great gift for a toddler and would introduce them to the world of making music.
The Prextex Electronic Keyboard also joins the selection. In addition to organ sounds, it can mimic the sounds of other musical instruments, including the guitar, violin, trumpet, flute, harp, and music box. This lively model plays 22 preprogrammed songs with light-up buttons that follow along. Kids can even record their own songs, a feature that can lead to hours of fun at a time.
Retaining a spot on the list is the Dimple Mat. (Anyone who was around in the 80s will likely remember the iconic scene from the Tom Hanks movie "Big" in which the star dances on a piano similar to this one.) This is a great way for for kids to learn to play music and get exercise at the same time. For more models like this one, see our review of the best piano mats.
Leaving the list are several choices that aren’t well suited for younger toddlers, and we want our selection to have them covered, too. No matter which catches your eye, be sure your child falls within the manufacturer’s stated age range, and always supervise your child during playtime for safety’s sake.
Tickling The Keys: The Toddler Piano
Before selecting a toddler piano, the parent must first decide if they prefer a unit that resembles a toy or a genuine musical instrument.
From the toy perspective, many can be had for a very reasonable price.
A piano is a great gift for a toddler for many reasons. The young child can enjoy hours of fun tapping away at the keys of a piano, even without a direct association between the sounds produced and music at large. Kids love cause and effect activities and enjoy pressing down a key and creating a distinct sound long before they are aware that they're playing notes at all. There's no telling when a gifted musician will first discover a passion for music, so the earlier they can be exposed, the better.
Before selecting a toddler piano, the parent must first decide if they prefer a unit that resembles a toy or a genuine musical instrument. From the toy perspective, many can be had for a very reasonable price. Some pianos leverage electronic sounds that often go well beyond simply a note played when a key is struck. These types of pianos include preprogrammed songs, sound effects, voice recordings, and flashing lights, and are usually brightly-colored.
In the other category, we have compact pianos that act as scaled-down versions of standard pianos, whereby the strike of a key produces a note (usually using a bell-like tine instead of a string) and many of which feature two full octaves.
Note that an exception in the category of electronic pianos comes in those higher digital keyboards that recreate notes approximating the sound of a genuine, full-sized piano.
Perfect Tunes For Tots
With a bit of practice (and adult assistance), even a young toddler can learn to play simple songs on his or her piano. If you want your young musician to be able to play music with minimal help, the key is to find a song that features only a few notes with plenty of repetition.
When in doubt, stick to the classics. One of the easiest songs to teach a child to play is a piece of music that he or she will already know how to sing, thus making mastery of the tune that much easier. Try songs like Mary Had a Little Lamb if you want your young pianist to excel with ease, as only four notes are required to play the piece. The song requires the notes E, D, C and G to be played in time with syllables of the lyrics, making it easy to play the song at whatever pace is comfortable for the child. Another classic song that likewise matches the strike of each key to the syllables of the lyrics is none other than Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. This song requires the same notes as Mary Had a Little Lamb with the addition of A and F, bringing the total note count to six and adding a bit more complexity to begin building the youngster's skill set.
Finally, consider moving on to songs that remain simple but require the use of two hands to play, such as Chopsticks, originally known as The Celebrated Chop Waltz.
The Gifted Child Pianist
Don't think that a toddler playing music on a piano for amusement is not creating the muscle memory and neural pathways that lay the groundwork for a future proclivity for music. It's no great secret that certain people simply possess an aptitude for certain pastimes (think of the so-called "natural" athlete or the gifted mathematician, for example), but the sooner a person is allowed to capitalize on their abilities, the more fully their skills can be honed and developed.
He showed keen interest in striking the keys of the clavichord -- a forerunner to the piano -- upon which his father taught his older sister to play music.
For evidence of the importance of early exposure to musical instruments, look no further than a few of the most famed musicians of all time. Witness the early start of the career of Ludwig van Beethoven, who had commenced a dedicated study of music by the time he turned five years old and who also performed music publicly by 1778, his seventh year of life. He would go on to compose some of the most famous symphonies, sonatas, and concertos the world has ever known in his 56 years of life.
Even more impressive than the early musical aptitude of Beethoven was that of his rough contemporary, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. By the age of five, Mozart was not only playing music, but was in fact composing original pieces. Mozart's musical odyssey began at the age of three. He showed keen interest in striking the keys of the clavichord -- a forerunner to the piano -- upon which his father taught his older sister to play music. It soon became clear that young Mozart could easily identify notes, follow tunes, and even create his own musical arrangements. He began to perform music as a celebrated child prodigy at the age of six, and by the time he was eight years old, Mozart was composing symphonies.
There's little guarantee that getting your toddler a piano will pave the way for him or her to become an internationally renowned musician, but there's no doubting that it will help tease out any skills lying hidden within. If all the piano provides is amusement and happiness, it will still be well worth its purchase price.
Statistics and Editorial Log