8 Fun Musical Instruments for Kids (5 Year Olds)

8 Fun Musical Instruments for 5 Year Olds

Musical instruments for kids are fun to use but there are so many to choose from! You know the many benefits of teaching music to children and you’re ready to get started, so the next question is, what are the best musical instruments for your 5 year old or youngster? Is it too soon? At what age should you introduce your kids to instruments and music education?

The answer is that a child is never too young to be exposed to music and that starts with lullabies when they are a baby, and possibly learning their first instrument as a preschooler!

Read on to see our favorite choices for the best musical instruments for kids in the 4-5 year old range. Before you know it your child will be making music that will be pleasant to hear.

Hand Bells

Teacher and kids holding musical hand bells

Handbells make a great starter instrument for young kids. The bells and the music that is often included, is color coded so kids don’t have to learn note reading to be able to immediately play an instrument.

Start with songs your kids know well such as simple rhyming songs and holiday favorites and your child will quickly catch on to seeing the rhythm of the notes and hearing the rhythm of the song.

Another great bonus of hand bells is that if you have several kids they can all play a part and even mom and dad can play along too — this truly is an instrument enjoyed by all ages.

This instrument also grows well with your family; as your child gets older you can choose more complicated songs or expand your set to get higher and lower notes, sharps and flats and explore a whole new range of music including playing in harmony with more than one bell at a time.

Egg Shakers

Egg Shakers for kids making music fun

Egg shakers are a fantastic first rhythm instrument for preschoolers. You can purchase beautiful wooden shakers or even make your own at home with leftover plastic Easter eggs, rice for filling and strong tape to keep them closed.

Stream a playlist of “preschool songs” or songs from their favorite animated movie and help your child to feel the steady beat. March around shaking the egg to the beat and then switch it up and have them listen for the rhythm of the song. You’ll be amazed when they can keep the beat while you shake the rhythm!


little boy playing drums with headphones

You’ll be amazed at the rhythms a preschooler can pick up when learning music is all about games and fun. Get a kids toy rhythm drum and put on some John Phillips Sousa and march around the living room.

Play games where you divide the beat and you’ll find that you’re doing math, too! Learning music is easily combined with math as you count notes, divide whole notes and more.

Making music fun is the best way to introduce music to your kids — if they can’t master hitting the drum on the beat then don’t worry! Keep playing a long with them as they train their ear.


Kids playing Boomwhackers

These instruments are often used for older kids as you can play some really fun and complicated songs with Boomwhackers. The good news is, these tuned percussion tubes are color coded so it’s easy to introduce them to a preschooler as well.

Little kids will love gently striking the tubes to make sounds and hearing the different pitches. These instruments are a great introduction to pitch and helping kids train their ears and try to make music either of their own making or imitating popular songs.

Boomwhackers are also a great choice for families with kids of varying ages since everyone can be involved in learning songs together.


5 year old playing the Xylophone

The xylophone is a popular first instrument choice for preschoolers. There are toy xylophones that do the trick, or beginners instrument xylophones tuned to the key of C with color-coded bells that play a C major scale.

Let your child spend some time figuring out beginners xylophone music using the color-coded notes and see if they can identify the song they are playing and you’ll find that they figure out the rhythm and improve quickly.

The xylophone provides a lot of satisfaction for a preschooler who realizes how quickly they can learn new songs and make real music.


little boy having fun playing the Kalimba

A Kalimba is a thumb piano suitable for beginners. This instrument isn’t usually color coded but often has the music note names written on each of the keys instead.

The benefits of a Kalimba are the small size and the pleasing sound they make, the downside is that they can be a little trickier for preschoolers to quickly pick up on. If your child has already enjoyed some of the previously mentioned instruments then they’ll be ready to try the Kalimba.


Little boy playing harmonica

Harmonicas are fun for kids to play with and familiarize themselves with musical concepts as they play. Your child will learn how notes get higher in pitch as they go to the right on the harmonica and lower to the left, helping prepare them for the piano. These types of instruments are fun for preschoolers to express themselves and make up their own creative music.

Rhythm Sets

Rhythm set for 5 year olds

You can buy a rhythm set for preschoolers and get several fun percussion instruments to explore at once. These kits often come with bells, shakers, hand cymbals and tambourines. Have fun exploring the different sounds each instrument makes and the different ways they can be played. Practice these instruments with songs with varying beats and speeds to help them learn how to feel the beat of the music.

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