Kids instruments are some of the most fun kids toys to play with as they really bring the family together. I remember what an awesome surprise it was when my mother gave me my first acoustic guitar when I was eight years old and my first electric bass guitar and amplifier when I was fifteen years old. In both instances, I couldn’t play well at all. But I really tried to stick with the bass guitar when I was fifteen, though at that point I had grown my hair long and was listening to thrash metal. I even joined a couple of bands and played a live show on Long Island, NY once in the winter of 1989.
Ultimately though, I was awful and musically ungifted, but I had some of the best fun of my life with that bass. As I got older and became a parent, I wanted to share some of the magic of music with my family. I never had expectations of anyone becoming a music genius, I just wanted us to get together, fiddle around with some kids instruments, and just have some fun while spending quality time together.
This First Act Acoustic Guitar was re-gifted over and over to our son starting at three until he finally fell in love with it and started playing with it regularly at five. Now he loves to perform in front of crowds large and small!
The Casio LK-40 Lighted Keyboard was much more her style. A gift for her ninth birthday, she continues to play with this really great kids instrument and brings it out for family parties and functions, providing the entertainment and setting some automatic features for extended playing while we eat and celebrate. Our three year old boy loves her Casio so much that we got him a First Act Discovery keyboard, but he still sneaks to play the Casio whenever he gets a chance.
A set of bongos was good for the boy’s third birthday. He loved them because he can just bang on them for hours and make all sorts of noises under the excuse that it is music! It’s fun! Especially when the family comes together and makes noise with all our kids instruments.
And while I’m at it, I may as well cover the electric bass guitars we have. I still have the first Hondo that my mother got me when I was 15. It has seen so much action and has been beat up over the years, but I loved it. There’s also the Carlo Robelli that my wife bought for herself when she was in her early 20’s that’s better than my Hondo, but still on the low end range of bass guitars. I’ll cover both of them here, but will recommend other electric bass guitars for your kids or teenagers that are much better, such as Ibanez or Yamaha brands, and save yourself the embarrassment of giving them a well intended piece of junk.
There were times even before we had kids that I daydreamed of having a wonder-genius band with my wife and future children. Oftentimes set to the sounds of the Dandy Warhols Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia on long drives, I’d go into an imaginary wonderland where our family would begin playing small functions such as birthday parties and Bar Mitzvahs and amazing people with our incredible skills. Ultimately, we would come to be discovered and crowds would roar in amazement as we filled the stages of Madison Square Garden or toured Ozzfest and lived lavish lifestyles of gold and diamonds portrayed in our music videos.
Life turned out to offer a much sweeter and tender reality. With the entire family sharing the magic of non-existing music talents, we relax and have fun with the noise we produce with our kids instruments. We do so with mutual fun and shared love for each other. In this spirit we hope you enjoy the time with your kids as well and consider some of the instruments covered in these pages.