What Are The Best Drum Sets for Kids? – 2020 Edition
Do you have a child filled with energy and interested in music? Drums have tons of fun benefits for young kids, but shopping for a drum kit can result in a pounding headache. Fortunately, finding the right drum set for your kid is easy with our complete buyer’s guide.
- What to Consider When Selecting a Toddler Drum Set
- Our #1 Choice – GP Percussion GP50MRB Complete Junior Drum Set
- Our #2 Choice – Mendini by Cecilio 3-Piece Junior Drum Set
- Our #3 Choice – Gammon 5-Piece Junior Starter Drum Kit
- Our #4 Choice – RockJam RJ103-MR 3-Piece Junior Drum Set
- Our #5 Choice – Paxcess Electronic Drum Set
- Our #6 Choice – First Act Discovery Drum Set
- Our #7 Choice – WolVol Electric Big Toy Drum Set
- Our #8 Choice – Best Choice Products Toy Drum Set
- Frequently Asked Questions about Drum Sets for Kids
- What’s in a Drum Set?
- What are the Different Types of Drums?
- Snare Drums
- Tom-Tom Drums
- Kick Drums
- What Makes a Drum Kit Suitable for Kids?
- Are Drum Kits Loud?
- What are the Benefits of a Drum Set?
- Directs Excess Energy
- Improves Focus
- Develops Interest in Music
- Helps Create Friendships
- Helps Improve Overall Academic Performance
- Are Drum Sets Suitable For Children With Special Needs?
- Can Drumming Relieve Stress in Children?
- Which Are Better: Electronic or Traditional Drums?
- Final Thoughts And Conclusion
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.
Here are eight of the best drum sets for kids for 2020 plus the answers to frequently asked questions from parents.
Our #1 Choice – GP Percussion GP50MRB Complete Junior Drum Set
Solidly built with a sophisticated design, this is a complete set perfect for beginners.
- Complete five-piece drum set for beginners
- Includes hardware, throne, drumsticks and hi-hat
- Cool black and blue design for “rock star” look
- Cymbals aren’t very durable
- Setup can be confusing
Introduce your child to drums with this complete drum set which features a bass drum (16” by 11”), snare (10” by 5”), tom (10” by 6”) and a 10” Crash Cymbal. Also includes all necessary stands and hardware such as a stool, drumsticks and more.
Minor setup is necessary but requires no additional tools. The drum heads are black while the outside is painted a metallic blue. Also includes a Junior Hi-Hat cymbal with stand.
Our #2 Choice – Mendini by Cecilio 3-Piece Junior Drum Set
This three-piece drum set has a big sound but a small physical footprint perfect for the playroom.
- Genuine hardwood shells for a full sound
- Three-piece kit includes bass, tom and snare
- Small footprint doesn’t take up much room
- Cymbals can crack easily
- Set can be small for an eight-year-old
A great drum kit for kids doesn’t need to take up a ton of space inside the home. This three-piece kit from Mendini by Cecilio includes a bass drum (13” by 8”), tom (8” by 6”), snare drum (10” by 4”) and an eight-inch cymbal. Both cymbal and drums are mounted off the bass drum to help keep the kit’s footprint small.
This set is recommended for kids between the ages of three and eight. An adjustable drum throne should allow the kit to grow along with your child. Also includes a pair of wooden drumsticks.
Our #3 Choice – Gammon 5-Piece Junior Starter Drum Kit
An all-in-one five-piece kit with everything a beginning drummer needs to rock!
- Gammon brand known for quality and customer satisfaction
- Full set with five pieces and all necessary hardware
- Drums have wood shells and high-gloss finish
- Available in black, blue, pink and red
- Might be too many pieces for novice drummer
- Pieces can fit together loosely
Gammon is a big name in professional drums, and their Junior Starter Drum Kit is a high-quality set with 16-inch bass drum, two tom drums, snare drum and more. The drums have real wood shells and a high-gloss finish.
This kit is a great choice if you absolutely don’t want to buy anything extra at a later date. Gannon’s kit has everything you need to start drumming right away. Aside from the gear, also includes all hardware such as stands, sticks, pedals, a stool and more.
Our #4 Choice – RockJam RJ103-MR 3-Piece Junior Drum Set
A simple and solid three-piece drum set which won’t intimidate or overwhelm brand-new drummers.
- Simple three-piece set for beginners
- Designed for kids between three and eight years old
- Metallic red creates a cool rock-and-roll look
- Three-piece set might need to be expanded later
Kids feel right at home with this three-piece drum set. All proportions are sized down to accommodate kids as young as three and as old as seven. Set includes a bass drum (16” by 12”), snare drum (10” by 5”), a hanging tom-tom (10” by 7”) and a hanging crash cymbal (10”).
The bass drum has a chain-driven foot pedal with four lugs to help it stand securely no matter how wild the young drummer plays. Kit is metallic red. Includes everything needed to start playing right away including drumsticks and a stool.
Our #5 Choice – Paxcess Electronic Drum Set
This electronic drum set lets aspiring drummers practice without disturbing the rest of the household.
- Five-piece electronic drum set
- 10 hours of playtime between charges
- Headphones allow for silent play
- Kit can be connected to a computer
- Different feel than traditional sets
- Electronic aspect can be confusing for younger kids
Even the most patient parents need peace and quiet every now and again. This electronic drum set includes a snare, three toms, one crash cymbal, one hi-hat and more. Plus, because it’s electronic, the kit also includes eight demo songs.
The set is powered by a rechargeable battery which allows for up to 10 hours of play time. The drummer can listen through headphones for night-time playing and private practice. A standard MIDI output and a USB connector let you connect the drum to a computer.
Our #6 Choice – First Act Discovery Drum Set
Introduce kids as young as six to the fun of drums with this sparkly set from First Act.
- Introductory drum set for younger kids
- Available in both pink and blue
- Includes kid-friendly drumming guide
- Easy to set up
- Lightweight materials
- Not as sparkly as pictures suggest
First Act focuses on beginner instruments for younger kids. Their Discovery Drum Set includes a bass drum with foot pedal, snare drum, tom drum, cymbal, seat, drumsticks and more. Plus, a kid-friendly Color and Shape Learning Guide helps teach kids how to play.
It’s available in two designs: Pink Sparkly and Blue Stars. Recommended for kids six and up. Although some assembly is required, the patented push pin mounting system makes it simple (although it is a job for parents).
Our #7 Choice – WolVol Electric Big Toy Drum Set
Perfect for budding music maestros, the Big Toy Drum set has beats, songs, a microphone and more.
- Music playset with a mic and pre-recorded sounds
- Colorful, durable drum surfaces kids can hit hard
- Helps develop fine motor skills
- More of an electronic playset than a true drum kit
Rock the house with this electric drum set from WolVol. It has a bass drum, two cymbals, a stool, two drumsticks, a microphone and more. Note that, while kids can bang away with the drumsticks, this isn’t a true drum kit. It’s an electronic music toy housed in durable plastic.
The set has bright lights and tons of sounds. Kids can play along with pre-recorded beats, songs, and other melodies. There’s even a mic for singing!
Our #8 Choice – Best Choice Products Toy Drum Set
A toddler-friendly drum set with working microphone, volume control and a variety of pre-recorded melodies and sound effects.
- Colorful, durable drum set for younger kids
- Includes bass, snares, sticks, stool, and microphone
- Plays songs and sound effects
- Requires batteries
- Microphone occasionally makes feedback noise
Get the party started with this toy drum set with microphone, stool, and drumsticks. It’s colorful, durable and kid-friendly.
Enjoy a complete musical experience with a bass drum, two snare drums, a stool, a microphone and a pair of drumsticks. You can also play five different types of background music and alter the drum noise in four ways. It’s great for around the house because you can adjust the volume.
Frequently Asked Questions about Drum Sets for Kids
What’s in a Drum Set?
While specifics will vary based on brand, most drum kits will have four parts:
- Breakable: These are the drumsticks, cymbals, snare drum, bass drum pedal and throne
- Shells: These are the toms and the bass drum
- Extensions: Includes chimes, tambourine and similar
- Hardware: Drum stands, pedals, cymbal stands and more
What are the Different Types of Drums?
A full drum set will have the following types of drums:
Located in the center of the kit, these drums produce a crisp, buzz-like sound. They’re the backbone of the beat. Most right-handed drummers use their left hand to play the snare.
Also known as tom drums, they’re played with sticks. A drum set can have anywhere from one to three tom drums. Their sound is typically what you hear in drum fills and solos. Tom-tom drums are further divided into concert toms, floor toms, double-headed rack toms and roto toms.
This is a low pitch drum also known as a bass drum. They provide a basic beat. Double-bass drums provide a larger sound (one often used in rock and heavy metal songs).
Cymbals are rounded plates made from metal alloys which produce a high ringing sound. There are three types of cymbals:
- Ride Cymbal – A medium-weight cymbal used to maintain rhythm.
- Hi-Hats – Two cymbals which open and close. Operated by sticks or foot pads.
- Crashes Cymbals – These produce a strong sound used in climaxes and crescendos.
Cymbals are often the least impressive part of the typical drum set for kids. Most kits just don’t include a variety of different cymbals. While that’s not an issue for beginners, once the drummer becomes more experienced he or she will probably be interested in a cymbal upgrade.
What Makes a Drum Kit Suitable for Kids?
When selecting a drum kit, choose one suitable for the age of the drummer. Age appropriateness is often related to complexity, not safety. Drum kits are generally safe for kids ages three and up. So you want to select the kit mainly based on the child’s familiarity with drumming. Younger kids will want to start with a smaller kit but gradually add more drums over time.
Generally, drum kits are suitable for kids between the ages of three and seven. Of course, kids often grow quite a bit during those years. But drum sets for kids will have adjustable hardware to accommodate changing height and reach. A drum kit specifically designed for kids, also known as a “junior drum set,” is usually the most comfortable option for all kids under five feet tall.
The average drum size for a beginner is about 10 inches by 12 inches. Snares should measure about 10 inches. Drums should be about five inches deep.
Most drum kits for beginners will have either three or five pieces. The difference between the two will be toms. Some kits will include just one tom while others will include three.
Also, most kits will include drumsticks. But drumstick sizing can be a bit weird for growing kids. Many junior-sized drumsticks will actually be too short. If the drumsticks included with your kit are uncomfortable or awkward for your child to hold, try out adult-sized drumsticks, which are longer.
Are Drum Kits Loud?
Parents can struggle between nurturing their child’s love of drums and their desire for some peace and quiet around the house. Fortunately, drum sets for kids aren’t nearly as loud as many people think. Kids are only able to hit the drums so hard. Usually a closed playroom door will be able to muffle the sound enough for the rest of the household.
If your family lives in an apartment or other situation where noise might be an issue, consider an electronic drum kit. These produce noise through headphones. The only noise heard in the room will be a light tapping against the drum pad. While they have a different feel than traditional drums, electronic drum sets basically eliminate drum noise completely.
What are the Benefits of a Drum Set?
Learning to play the drums can be fun just during childhood or it can be the start of a lifelong love of music. But don’t worry. Your child doesn’t have to be the next Phil Collins in order to benefit from playing with a drum kit. Even very casual drum use in early childhood can have a variety of development benefits. Here are just a few:
Directs Excess Energy
Some kids just have more energy than they know what to do with. Drums are often a great way to channel that energy productively. Drumming lets kids swing their arms around with abandon while also making a ton of noise. Drumming sessions are a physical and mental workout, letting kids burn off energy in a non-destructive way.
Drumming helps develop both gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills use the large muscles to make broad movements, like swinging the arms to hit the drums. Fine motor skills use the smaller muscles in the hands and fingers. Because drums require both gross and fine motor skills, they can be played by kids throughout a wide range of developmental stages, including kids with motor skill issues.
Plus, drumming helps kids express themselves. Hitting the drums and playing a beat is a type of communication. Kids who struggle to communicate in traditional ways often find drumming to be an effective way to release anger and communicate non-verbally.
Drumming might look pretty wild but it actually requires a lot of focus. The drummer must pay attention to the beat, the other instruments, their hands and feet and more. Although it may seem counterintuitive, drumming helps kids learn how to sit still and focus in the classroom.
Develops Interest in Music
Young kids might show an interest in drums just because they like making noise. But sooner or later most young drummers start to show a general interest in music. Learning about just one instrument can act as a catalyst towards learning about other songs, drummers, types of music and more.
Helps Create Friendships
A band without a drummer really isn’t much of a band at all. No matter what type of music your child is interested in, they’ll likely be able to find other people who want to jam. From childhood into adulthood, the ability to play music is often a great way to make new friends.
Helps Improve Overall Academic Performance
Research shows that kids who are given a musical education tend to perform much better overall academically compared to peers with no musical background. At-home musical instruction and in-school lessons were both helpful. Increasingly complex musical instruction has a direct connection to improved reading and language abilities.
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.
Final Thoughts And Conclusion
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.
Drumming is a great way to keep active kids busy – but it’s also much more than a distraction or diversion. Learning to drum can help kids develop a lifelong love of music. Plus, playing any instrument is often an effective way for kids to make friends by joining bands both in school and beyond.
But the benefits of drumming extend beyond music. Drumming helps kids learn to focus, follow instructions, express themselves creatively and perform better academically. Drums can provide the soundtrack for a lifetime of success.