Do you want to know how to buy musical instruments early childhood for your preschool or day care centre?

There are three essential things to look for when you buy musical instruments for young children:

  1. beautiful sound
  2. safety
  3. durability

There are many musical instruments from which to choose.  It is definitely worth spending time and money at the outset to buy musical instruments of high quality because they sound better, they are much safer than poor quality versions and they last a for long time.

Beautiful sound- essential criterion # 1

The sound of the instrument is much more important that the look. The best idea is to play and compare similar instruments before you buy musical instruments.

Buy musical instruments early childhood
For example, here are two sets of sleigh bells. The one on the red plastic band may attract the child to pick up the instrument but it doesn’t sound fabulous – the actual bells are inferior to the ones on the dark blue band. The child will soon lose interest in the sound of the inferior bells and will either drop it or try to take it apart.

Safety – essential criterion #2

There are two levels of safety I’d like to discuss – ordinary use and hospital use. In most situations, I make use of the instruments you see in this post. I load them into small boxes that fit snugly into a trolley and load them into my car.

A pair of red and blue wooden castanets and a pair of finger cymbals with wooden knobsHowever, in conversation with a colleague who runs the arts program for a children’s hospital, I learned that some of the wooden instruments would not be suitable for use where infection risks are high. In that case, buy plastic versions  so you can sterilise them between uses.

Durability- essential criterion # 3

And that brings us to the third criterion, durability.  When you spend hundreds of dollars, or even thousands as I have, on instruments for use by children, you want them to last.

Six different coloured shaker eggs

Choose just a few tried and true kinds of instrument – sleigh bells; castanets; chime bars; finger cymbals; guiros; rhythm sticks;  shaker eggs; and sturdy drums.  Let the children play CDs and choose their own music for jam sessions. They can learn a lot by listening to expert musicians. Try the Putumayo Kids range of CDs.

Here are images of my instruments to help you choose wisely for your school, Music academy, early learning centre or library or even for use in a private home.  For music activities that really work with instrument playing download Single Instrument Activities or Rhythm Instrument Activities for 1-3 years old or Rhythm Instrument Activities for 3-5 years old or Melody and Harmony Instrument Activities.  Happy playing!

Do you need information on where to buy the best instruments? Check out our collection.

box of bells

Sleigh bells

Box of castanets


boxes of chime bars

Chime bars (Angel)

box of finger cymbals

Finger cymbals

set of guiros and claves

Guiros and rhythm sticks


Remo drum

Remo Drum

We’ve done the testing over the years and curated sets for three age ranges, babies, toddlers and preschool-school beginners.