Are you having a tough time trying to find the perfect keyboard for your kids? Or just want the perfect combination of quality and price? If so, you’ll be glad to hear that in this comprehensive guide, what the best options have to offer, have been researched and reviewed. The hard part has been taken care of for you.
All you need to do is have a quick read below to learn more about what the best piano keyboards have to offer.
In a rush? These are the top picks
Best Keyboards for Kids
Alesis Melody 61 MKII
The Alesis Melody 61 MKII is a versatile keyboard with tons of preset tones, demo songs, and plenty of recording options too. The keyboard has 61 weighted keys, which makes this a touch-sensitive piano. Your kids can learn to adjust the volume of each note by pressing harder or softer on the keys.
Not only does the Melody 61 MKII promote developing good habits but it also features around 300 built-in tones. 40 songs are already available in the piano’s memory. To those, you can add your own music as the piano is capable of recording.
The interesting thing about Melody 61 MKII is that it’s a complete package deal. You don’t just get a piano but also a pair of headphones, a sheet stand, a piano stand, a microphone, and a power adapter. Pretty much everything you need to start recording or to start learning your first notes.
This is what ultimately makes this a great piano for kids. It’s also not too big, which means that reaching all the keys shouldn’t be an issue. But, a good pair of headphones will show you just how good and consistent the piano sounds when using a well-calibrated tone.
Three months of use for the Skoove piano-learning software is also included. And, it’s this feature that might have most parents ready to hit the purchase button. Skoove has many exclusive beginners to advanced piano courses and is one of the best ways to introduce the little ones to the instrument.
- 300 tones
- 40 demo songs
- 3-month Skoove premium subscription
- All accessories included
- 61 touch-sensitive keys
- Average quality speaker
Casio SA-76 Mini
The Casio SA-76 is a very small keyboard piano. It has been designed for the young. The 44-key model will be a great fit for kids and anyone else with very small hands and just starting out.
It may not seem like much but 44 keys cover the essential notes. The instrument may be small but it’s far from boring even after the kids learn the basics. They can make use of any of the 50 rhythms or 100 tones and start exploring basic compositions in many genres, the better for understanding music.
The SA-76 also comes with 10 integrated songs and five drum pads. If your child is passionate and interested in more than just playing the piano, the SA-76 might just be the ideal fit. Besides, the sound quality is quite impressive too.
A small LCD screen is available for making adjustments and browsing through different presets. The speakers aren’t too loud but there’s also the option of pairing the SA-76 with headphones if the kid wants to practice at odd hours.
- Compact 44-key keyboard piano
- 5 drum pads included
- Many tones and rhythms available
- Easy to use
- No touch-sensitive keys
Hamzer 61-Key Keyboard Piano
If you are not a stickler for impeccable sound quality, then you would be surprised to see how much you can get at a decent price. The Hamzer 61-key starter piano bundle. It has an integrated learning system that covers beginner to intermediate lessons.
The 61 keys offer a nice range and potential to progress to more advanced piano techniques. Multiple accessories are included. Hamzer added a stand, stool, pair of headphones, microphone, sheet stand, and sticker sheet to sweeten the pot and make the keyboard ready to use out of the box.
In terms of effects, your child will have access to vibrato, sustain and ensemble. Fingered auto-bass chords are also an option, as are various editing features for the chords: timbre programming, rhythm sync, fill-in, tempo, etc.
The included options are as follows: 255 tones, 255 rhythms, 24 demo songs, and 61 keyboard percussion sounds. You would be hard-pressed to find a more complete bundle in this price range.
- Headphones, mic, stand and stool included
- Hundreds of rhythms and tones
- Transparent key note stickers
- Customizable effects
- Lightweight build
- Average sound quality
Yamaha YPT 260
The Yamaha YPT 260 doesn’t just offer great value for the money but it also offers a good degree of playability. For starters, the 61-key design allows kids to learn basic as well as intermediate and advanced piano techniques.
Included in the price is a very reliable power adapter too, the PA130. While a USB connection is not part of the design, it is still a versatile instrument. There are 400 tones and over 100 backing tracks spread among various genres.
Once your kid gets past the basics and develops good muscle memory, the practice routines can become more engaging and challenging too. Having this much variety is a good way to train the ear as well as the fingers. It should also help your child to find a playstyle or genre that is appealing.
Another cool aspect is the Yamaha Education Suite access. The YPT-260 grants access to a 9-lesson program that can be run on any phone, tablet, or computer. It’s a good way to ease a kid into playing the piano, even without a teacher. This is another way in which you’ll be able to save some money.
- 61 keys
- 400 tunes and hundreds of backing tracks
- Good sound quality
- Access to Yamaha Education Suite
- Power adapter included
- Aux input play-along feature
- No USB connection
The piano sounds pretty good for its size and market value. The scale of the instrument will make it easy for the youngest students to reach the high notes. You might also appreciate the portability and autonomy of the instrument. The RJ561 can run on batteries too so the kid won’t be dependent on a working outlet.
Being a student of music myself, I know how important it is to develop muscle memory. The RJ561 can help your kid with this thanks to the included keynote stickers. Once installed, they make the instrument more accessible and the lessons easier to follow.
Although a small keyboard piano, it has plenty of features too. For example, the RJ561 houses percussion sounds, 10 extra instruments, and 10 rhythms. It also has sustain and vibrato effects that will be necessary for intermediate lessons.
A music sheet stand will be included as well. Access to the Simply Piano teaching app will also be granted. Kids can use that app as a starting point.
- 61-key keyboard piano
- Headphones input
- Key note stickers
- Simply Piano access included
- 16 tunes
- Records up to 40 notes
- Comes with limited accessories
- Can make crackling sounds at times
Best Keyboards for Toddlers
Best Choice Toddler Keyboard
With an interactive design and a microphone, this keyboard is a winner. The size and colors make it easier for toddlers to use, especially if they’re beginners in using keyboards.
It’s an effective way to develop your child’s color recognition skills, while also making it more accessible for them to learn about how to play the keyboard in a fun way.
This Keyboard Playmat comes with 4 demo songs that kids can use for inspiration on how to come up with their own songs. The larger design of this playmat is incredibly exciting for children to play with. It comes with a total of 24 keys that are touch-sensitive. They allow kids to choose between 8 different instruments to play.
The SAOCOOL Piano has a range of 16 different rhythms and 16 instruments available for kids to play with. Therefore, they have plenty of options to remain entertained for hours of play.
There are also 8 demo songs included which inspire kids to come up with their own songs and be more imaginative. We were impressed with how a microphone is available with this set as well.
This allows kids to sing along to the tunes that they’ve created which they have been having an absolute blast with. While children are playing the keyboard, their motor skills and hand-eye coordination are able to develop incredibly well too.
How To Choose The Best Keyboard for Your Child
Make sure the keyboard is a full size
- As long as an acoustic piano with at least 61 keys. The keys should also be the same size as a real piano. These two points are really important for learning the correct finger spacing and scale of the instrument. It means that they’ll be able to adjust to other pianos and keyboards that the player might need to play elsewhere in the future.
- A synthesizer offers more options with different effects and can reproduce the sounds of many other instruments. There is a wide choice available from reasonable starter ones to the more sophisticated versions great for budding composers when used with computer programs. However, all these extra features can be both confusing and distracting for a young beginner. So are not essential for a beginner’s keyboard.
- Make sure your keyboard comes with an adjustable stand. You might need to purchase one separately. You can then use any chair or stool that fits comfortably for the pupil’s hands to be at the same level as the keyboard.
- Choose a keyboard with weighted keys. This means that you need to press them down but they spring back up like a real piano. Cheaper keyboards don’t usually have this feature. Learning to play on weighted keys builds finger strength and technique and means you can always adjust easily to a real piano.
- Touch-sensitive keys mean that they respond in volume according to how hard or softly you play them. This facility is usually only available on higher-end keyboards. While it’s very convenient it’s quite different from an acoustic piano, which might cause problems later on. So this is something to watch out for. Most digital pianos should have an option to turn it off if they do come with it.
Try to keep it simple for young beginners.
- Too many extra features and special effects can be a little overwhelming for kids. After all, learning to play and read 88 notes in the right order is quite a challenge itself.
As in all things you get what you pay for and you can pay a lot for a high-end instrument. On a personal note, I don’t think it’s necessary to start at the top end for a young beginner.
There are cheaper options available but they won’t have all the features discussed above and you’ll only find yourself having to replace it after a year or so. The Yamaha YPT 260 is a perfect compromise as it’s still reasonably priced, sounds fantastic, ticks all the boxes, and will not disappoint. And importantly, it’ll suit a child all the way through without an upgrade.
If money is tight you can always start off with a fairly used keyboard and it’s always worth keeping a lookout for freecycle schemes in your area. It’s amazing what some people throw out.
The main priority should always be to make music fun for kids and toddlers. If they enjoy it, they will remember it. So, it’s the right time to start learning to play the keyboard.
Ensure that you choose a keyboard that fits with your child and doesn’t try to make your child fit with a keyboard. Make music fun, and they will love it.