The Best Drum Sets for Toddlers – 2020 Top Choices
If you’re ready to get your young drummer tapping away and on their road to becoming a legendary musician, you’ll need to get them a drum set.
In this article, we’ll review ten of the best drum sets for toddlers so that you’ll know which drum sets will put your child on the road to success — and which will drive you and your family nuts without offering any benefit.
By the time you’re done reading, you’ll also know which traits to look for in a child’s drum set as well as a few tips regarding how to maximize the learning potential of the set.
- What to Consider When Selecting a Toddler Drum Set
- Our #1 Choice – Ehome Percussion Toy Set
- Our #2 Choice – 12 Piece Kids Jazz Drum Set
- Our #3 Choice – WolVol Electric Drum Set
- Our #4 Choice – Wooden Percussion Set
- Our #5 Choice – Mendini 3-Drum Set
- Our #6 Choice – VTech KidiBeats Drum Set
- Our #7 Choice – Electronic Jazz Beats Drum Set
- Our #8 Choice – Ohuhu Xylophone Table Music
- Our #9 Choice – Melissa and Doug Band-In-A-Box
- Our #10 Choice – Westminster Desktop Drum Set
- What Should I Look for In A Drum Set For Toddlers?
- How Should I Assess My Child’s Percussion Needs?
- How Can A Drum Set Enable Learning?
- Are There Any Drum Sets To Avoid?
- Which Drum Set Is The Best For Learning How To Read Music?
- Are Drum Sets Good For Creative Play?
- Are Drum Sets Good For Developing Hand-Eye Coordination?
- Are Drum Sets Suitable For Children With Special Needs?
- Can Drumming Relieve Stress in Children?
- Which Are Better Electronic or Traditional Drums?
What to Consider When Selecting a Toddler Drum Set
If you’re considering buying your toddler a drum set, there are certain things you need to consider. First, you’ll need to consider how much space you have that you can use. Even a toddler size drum set can be challenging to store, and if you plan on giving it a permanent place, you need to make sure the drum set is protected from daily traffic to avoid it accidentally getting broken.
You also need to consider the size of the child. The child needs to be able to reach the drums to play them comfortably. They also need to be old enough to be able to grasp drumsticks without hurting themselves. Make sure you pay attention to the dimensions and keep in mind that a young toddler is going to have different capabilities than an older toddler.
Finally, consider the types of percussion instruments you want to introduce to them. Do you only want your child to play with a drum, or would you like to expose them to a variety of percussion instruments? Many toddler drum sets also include instruments like cymbals, maracas, xylophones, and others. Another thing to consider is whether you want an electric instrument or not.
Our #1 Choice – Ehome Percussion Toy Set
- Fifteen different percussion instrument groups
- Great carrying case
- Cheerful colors
- Weak emphasis on drums
You want your child to learn how to play the drums, but you also want them to know how to play other percussion instruments. That’s where this Ehome Percussion Toy Set comes in.
With the Ehome set, you’ll get a tamborine, two maracas, several bells, four shaker eggs, a xylophone, and a few other odds and ends. This means that the emphasis of the set isn’t on drums per se, but rather percussion instruments as a whole.
Nonetheless, you’ll need to fully understand each of the instruments if you want your child to get the most from this set. The main focus point should be on building general competency with percussion instruments so that you can set your child up for getting a larger drum-centric set in the future.
As a bonus, the set also comes with a convenient carrying case.
Our #2 Choice – 12 Piece Kids Jazz Drum Set
- Great introduction to the jazz drums
- Perfect for children who have shown an interest in the drums
- Great learning tool
- Not portable
- Weak volume
If you’re looking for a more serious drum set for your toddler, this 12 Piece Kids Jazz Drum Set might be the right choice for your family.
Make no mistake: this is a full drum set that is made for children that have shown that they’ll enjoy learning how to play the drums rather than any other percussion instrument. While the sound quality of the drums is not superior, the set is a complete introduction to the instrument.
This means that with the set you’ll get a standing drum, drumsticks, a stool, a cymbal, and several support drums. Your child won’t make a huge amount of noise when they’re banging on these drums, but they will be able to learn the principles of the instrument very effectively.
Because of how intense this set is, you’ll need to set aside a bit of floor space in your house as a dedicated drum area. The drums don’t easily pack away, and they are lightweight — but they’re not designed to be portable.
Our #3 Choice – WolVol Electric Drum Set
- Easy to silence
- Great for fun tapping
- Colorful aesthetic
- Not the best toy for learning
Real drums have their appeal, but sometimes you want the ability to turn the drums off and get some much-needed silence. With a true percussion drum set, you’ll need to be stern to get the silence you deserve.
But, with this WolVol Electric Drum set, you can simply take out the drum’s batteries. The set makes noises based on your child’s tapping and the speaker, which plays digital noises that approximate a drum.
This electric drum set is best for toddlers who are still trying to figure out whether they have a passion for the drums or only a casual interest.
Children who are more enthusiastic about the drums will soon be searching for a more intense drum set, whereas those who aren’t as crazy will be content to tap on this set.
Unfortunately, you may find that this set isn’t the best for playing music from a sheet, so if your child is at that level already you may want to get a more serious set.
Our #4 Choice – Wooden Percussion Set
- Easy to organize with the built-in table
- Doesn’t take much space
- Lots of instruments
- Not much replay value
If you want to give your child a selection of percussion instruments that is configured in a way similar to a real drum set, this Wooden Percussion Set might be the right thing for your child.
With this set, you’ll get a drum, bells, cymbals, a xylophone, and maracas — all organized in a small table that’s perfect to lay on your child’s lap. Having the entire set in one spot is great because it prevents your child from misplacing anything.
This set is easy to store, and it’s very compact. It also won’t produce very much noise, which makes it a great pickup for younger children who want to experiment with percussion instruments.
Your child will outgrow this set very quickly, however. If they show a preference for one of the instruments in the set, you’ll have an easy choice for the next instrument to get them.
Our #5 Choice – Mendini 3-Drum Set
- Great for children who have an affinity for the drums
- Long-term learning potential
- High quality instruments
- Too intense for most toddlers
- Only three drums included
When your child is into drumming at an early age, a drum set intended for children who aren’t sure what they like isn’t the right choice. The Mendini set is a real drum set that is intended for children who know that they like the drums.
This set is an investment into your child’s future with the drums. When your child uses this set, they can do far more than basic noises and simple songs. The best part is that this set can be something that your child uses for many years as they grow in their drumming skill.
Drumming to sheet music or jamming with friends are both possible with this set. The flip side is that many toddlers will be overwhelmed by this set. If your child isn’t a natural at the drums, this set is probably a bit too intense for their needs.
Our #6 Choice – VTech KidiBeats Drum Set
- Unibody design for easy transport and storage
- Child-safe design
- Weak sound quality
For the youngest toddlers who seem to enjoy the drums, this set might be a great introduction to the craft. With this set, your child will get a basic set that includes three drums, a hi-hat, and a cymbal, as well as two sticks.
This isn’t the highest quality instrument, but it’s easy to transport because of its unibody design. Likewise, the musical tones aren’t very loud or very pure, but they are enough for your child to drum out a few basic tunes.
Your child won’t have any problem using the sticks, which are made such that they have no risk of hurting themselves. Likewise, the set itself is durable to a fair amount of abuse on account of its plastic construction.
As an easy test of whether your child likes the drums, this set isn’t half bad.
Our #7 Choice – Electronic Jazz Beats Drum Set
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- Teaches your child to play interactively
- Uses microphone to provide your child with feedback
- Uses lights and sounds
- Short battery life
If you’re interested in getting a drum set that will help your child to learn a few tunes, this set will be right up your alley. With five different songs and a bevy of flickering lights to accentuate the sounds, your child can embark on a self-directed drum lesson.
The best part of this set is that it has a built-in microphone which can guide your child’s use of the set in the right direction. You’ll still need to supervise to make sure that your child is hitting all of the right notes, so this is probably a suitable set for the youngest drum lovers only.
Notably, this is an electronic set, so you’ll need to provide your child with batteries. This unit might run down the batteries a bit faster than others on account of its light-and-sound based lessons, however.
Our #8 Choice – Ohuhu Xylophone Table Music
- Multiple games to learn
- 18 different songs to learn
- Not the best for learning the drums
Don’t let the name fool you — this Ohuhu set is way more than a xylophone set. With the Ohuhu set, you’ll get a unibody instrument which has four drums, a cymbal, and a xylophone. The set has both electronic components and real music-making pieces, meaning that it’s a great instrument for multiple purposes.
Your child can learn 18 different songs when they’re using this instrument in its powered mode. They can also learn several non-musical lessons, including numbers, colors, and the names of animals.
These interactive modes for education are accompanied by several interactive games that your child can play using the set. The games include classics like whack-a-mole as well as others which are designed to teach your child specific drumming skills like the jazz drum.
As a drum set, this unit excels on its non-drum features. The drums themselves aren’t great for learning, but the other elements are excellent ways to teach your child some basic music and other concepts without much of a hassle.
Our #9 Choice – Melissa and Doug Band-In-A-Box
- Extremely high-quality instruments
- Great sound
- Convenient carrying box
- No standing drum included
Continuing their tradition of delivering amazing educational and musical toys, the Melissa and Doug Band-in-a-Box is an excellent introduction to percussion instruments. With six different instruments — including a triangle and a clacker — your child will get a full understanding of the scope of percussion instruments.
The drum component of the set is not the emphasis, but each instrument is surprisingly high quality. Whether your child is tapping on the triangle, shaking the clacker, or banging the tambourine, they’ll be pleased with the pure tones.
While this isn’t the best set for a drum enthusiast, it’s an excellent percussion add-on for a child who has a broad musical interest.
Our #10 Choice – Westminster Desktop Drum Set
- Compact footprint
- Adult drum set aesthetic
- Good quality sticks
- No stool included
- May be awkwardly sized for some children
For a drum set that’s an intermediary between a serious set and one intended for a toddler who is only a dabbler in percussion instruments, the Westminster Desktop Drum Set might be a great choice.
The Westminster Desktop Drum Set has three drums and a cymbal along with a child-sized stand. The aesthetic of the set is similar to that of a real set for adults, which is perfect to get your child into the habit of using a more serious set.
The main problem with the set is that it doesn’t have a stool for your young drummer. The good news is that it can be perched on a table, allowing your child to sit at a chair and have access to the drums. This may be a problem for toddlers who are too small, however.
What Should I Look for In A Drum Set For Toddlers?
The main things to pay attention to in a drum set for toddlers is whether it’s the correct level of complexity for your child’s interest in the drums.
If your child has shown an early affinity for the drums or other percussion instruments, you should look for a drum set that is closer to what an adult drummer would use.
If your child is musical but not necessarily deeply interested in the drums, getting them a less serious set would be better. Likewise, if your child is too young to have shown any preferences, you’ll need to get them a versatile set where they can find their niche.
The quality of most drum sets for toddlers is relatively low. That isn’t a very big problem, however. Your child will probably not use their drum set for very long.
They’ll probably show a preference for a particular instrument after a short period, at which point you’ll need to upgrade them to a more serious set.
How Should I Assess My Child’s Percussion Needs?
Not all children gravitate to a certain style of drums or percussion instruments, but some do. If your child seems to want to play casually, you can test the waters by giving them a simple set with drums as well as other instruments integrated in one spot.
If, on the other hand, your child appears to be developing songs or trying to replicate the music that they hear elsewhere, you will need to find a set which can match their ambitions.
Note that it is common for toddlers to sing while they tap on their drum set. The fact that they sing while drumming does not mean they are any less enthusiastic about drumming, it means that they need someone to provide them with some more instrumental support.
Pick up a tambourine and tap along to give your child a helping hand.
How Can A Drum Set Enable Learning?
Some drum sets are electronic and include learning programs which seek to teach your child how to play using call-and-response style lessons.
These are good for the most basic level of learning where your child is still trying to figure out how to manipulate the drumsticks.
Getting the instrument to make the exact sound they want can only occur after they have the basic competency of manipulating it and the familiarity with the instrument to know where they need to tap.
More songs to learn using the electronic lessons does not necessarily equate with having a greater learning potential, however. Once your child knows how to pick up the drumsticks and understands the different noises that each of the elements of their set makes, the most basic lessons won’t teach them much.
Likewise, once your child’s basic competencies are developed, learning the simple tunes may not be as useful as learning more involved pieces using sheet music. You’ll need to be the one to provide these lessons, however.
Are There Any Drum Sets To Avoid?
There aren’t any particular children’s drum sets to avoid unless you know beforehand that your child is at a higher level than what the set is intended for. Most sets will break with extended use, and most sets will not have the best sound quality because they are intended for basic learning.
You also don’t need to worry about the safety of drum sets for toddlers, as they are designed specifically for children to use them in a semi-supervised fashion. The only exception is for the very few children’s drum sets that require assembly by an adult.
These assembly-required sets aren’t the best for the youngest children because they may have parts which are not safe. Furthermore, you’ll need to spend time assembling them, unlike many others.
So, you may want to avoid these sets unless they offer something especially compelling for your child.
Which Drum Set Is The Best For Learning How To Read Music?
There’s no single drum set for toddlers that will teach 100% of the skills that they need to be a great drummer.
Instead, each teaches a slightly different level of the skill. The sets that are best for helping your child to learn to read music are the sets which are the most similar to adult drum sets.
This means that the most involved drum sets for toddlers that closely mimic full-sized sets will be the best for learning to read music. Nonetheless, there are a few caveats.
The best sets for learning to read music may not necessarily include everything that your child needs to start playing. You might need to purchase additional sets, drums, stools, or other things.
Likewise, you will need to be the biggest factor in your child learning to read music. Without your guidance, your child won’t be able to simply use a drum set and become a virtuoso on the drums.
Are Drum Sets Good For Creative Play?
Some drum sets for toddlers are great for creative play, but you can’t automatically assume that they are. A drum set that offers your child with no room to experiment also offers your child with far fewer opportunities to use their creativity.
The rule of thumb is that the more electronic and guided features that the drum set has, the worse that it will be for creative play. The reason behind this is that these features, while useful for learning, put your child on rails, which can inhibit their creativity.
The best drum sets for creative play are often those that are the simplest. This means that the collections of percussion instruments that provide minimal guidance are great options for creative play.
Likewise, the drum sets which emulate adult drum sets tend to be better for creative play than those which are intended for developing basic competency.
Are Drum Sets Good For Developing Hand-Eye Coordination?
Yes, most drum sets for toddlers are great for developing hand-eye coordination in your child.
Drum sets also help your child to develop another essential coordination skill for making music — hand-eye-ear coordination. When your child uses their drum set, they will correlate their body’s motions and their execution of those actions with the noise which the instrument makes.
For electronic children’s drum sets, this lesson will be even simpler. The strength that your child taps on the electronic drum set helps your child to build the initial relationship between their movements and noises coming out, which is key for future learning.
For more involved drum sets which mimic adult drum sets, your child will learn how to introduce subtlety in their motions. They will develop not only hand-eye-ear coordination, but also a greater degree of motor control over their body.
This skill will come in handy in other areas of their life, such as when they exercise or play sports. In this sense, giving your child a drum set to experiment with can be a great way of helping them to grow and become accustomed to their body as it changes.
Are Drum Sets Suitable For Children With Special Needs?
There are a lot of ways that children with special needs can benefit from drumming. If your child has speech difficulties beating out a rhythm on a drum can help reinforce speech patterns and the ability to form syllables that combine to form words. It can also help support hand-eye coordination and work on developing fine and gross motor skills.
Drumming can also help special needs children to self-regulate and control their impulses. It can also help them build their self-esteem by teaching them how to break more complex tasks into smaller tasks to complete them successfully. When children play in a group, it also helps them learn social skills and gives them a way to relate to another person.
Research has shown that drum therapy offers numerous health benefits for children with autism, as well as people struggling with eating disorders, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. It is because of this that many music therapists are now incorporating drum playing into their therapy sessions.
Can Drumming Relieve Stress in Children?
Even if your child doesn’t have any special needs, drumming can help them deal with stress. Drumming for an extended period can release neurotransmitters that help elevate mood. The same effect doesn’t only hold for children either; drumming has the same impact on adults.
When your child is drumming, they end up focusing on the sound of the drum and the act of playing it. Doing this takes focus away from whatever the stressor is. According to clinical psychologists like Barry Quinn, drumming can actually change a person’s brainwaves. Quinn says that drumming prompts the release of alpha waves, which are associated with feelings of well-being and happiness.
Which Are Better Electronic or Traditional Drums?
Both electronic and traditional drums have their benefits. You are going to be the best judge of what your toddler needs in a drum set and which type will be best for your living situation. Traditional drums tend to have a better tone, but they are unwieldy. Electronic drums are usually easier to store away than traditional drum sets and lend themselves well to traveling.
Another good thing about electronic drums is the fact that you can control the volume of them just by pushing a button. Being able to control the volume is great because your child can still play the drums without disturbing the neighbors. Some electronic drum sets also come with a headphone jack for quiet play.
Of course, electronic drums can run into the same problems as other electronic equipment when it comes to needing batteries, and some models go through batteries very fast. If your child wants to play drums and you’re out of batteries, be prepared for a toddler tantrum if their drum set isn’t working. Electronic drums are also harder to clean because of their electronic components.
The physical experience your child has of playing the drums is also going to be different depending on whether you choose a traditional drum or an electronic version. While electronic drums still require the use of drumsticks or hands to hit the drum to create a sound, the response you get won’t have quite the same tone as you’d get with traditional drums.
We’ve known for a long time that playing an instrument helps a child’s brain development. It also helps a child’s emotional development as well. It gives toddlers a way of expressing themselves even if they have not yet developed the vocabulary to express their emotions verbally. They can turn their frustrations and excess energy into music, and as they play, they can begin to calm down.
Drumming also helps develop motor skills and coordination. Every time a toddler plays their drums, they are exercising and strengthening fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, arms, shoulders, and legs. Being able to take the drumstick and hit the drum to make a sound is an excellent exercise in hand-eye coordination.
Considering all these benefits and the fact that children learn new skills at a rapid rate during the baby and toddler years, it makes sense that the earlier you start your child with playing drums, the greater the benefits they’ll reap. However, it’s also important to remember that because they are developing so rapidly, they will eventually grow out of whichever set you choose.
What’s essential at the toddler age is forming a good foundation that they can build on as they get older. A basic toddler drum set can provide an introduction to percussion instruments and help you see where your child’s instrument preference lies. It can help you gauge whether a child is musically inclined or if they’re interests lie elsewhere. Allow your child to explore and then follow their lead.