We often get questions about appropriate instruments for children. Some key points:
It must be durable.
It must be reasonably easy to learn and play.
It must not have too many sharp edges or points, places where little fingers can get caught, or small parts that can easily be removed or break off and be swallowed.
It shouldn't be too expensive, in case the child loses interest after a week or two.
AGE 5 AND UNDER We have found that the most suitable instruments for children age 5 and under are percussion instruments, mostly the small handheld kind. On a rare occasion a younger child will be able to play a stringed or wind instrument, but these instruments are really better suited to older children. That being understood, here are some recommendations. We make no claims as to the safety for any particular age level -- please use your own judgment -- but we do recommend that you always supervise children under 7. A very determined toddler can break a plastic rattle or a toy accordion and swallow the pieces.