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The 10 Best Portable Musical Instruments for Kids

February 8th, 2023 | 4 min read

By Adam McCulloch

Two classmates enjoying Soundbops.

Musical instruments are great for kids but can take up a lot of space!

When your little ones begin their musical journey, it can also make practising on the go tough. You don’t want trips between the home and music lessons to feel like a removal company is needed! 

That’s why the team at pBone Music have pulled together some of our favourite portable musical instruments that make music truly mobile. As well as being a team of musicians who love to play, many of us have children and know that portability is a big plus point for young learners!

We’ve picked out ten lightweight instruments that pack a punch. From triangles to travel guitars - and even a piano - we’ve got the lowdown on a portable musical instrument for everyone!


A musician playing the triangle.

The triangle is a classic choice for young children who want to play a tune in a portable way. Triangles are affordable and can easily be stowed away in a school bag without taking up too much room. Although a simple instrument, they can introduce kids to simple concepts like pitch and rhythm. There are many models available, and they can often be purchased in multipacks for starting a triangle troupe!

This Tiger Triangle costs £4.99 from Amazon and comes with its own carry case.


The harmonica is another small instrument with a big sound. There are two broad types of harmonica: diatonic and chromatic. Diatonic harmonicas are an easier gateway to the instrument, as they are tuned to a particular key, usually a major scale. This means that children can quickly produce a sound and play along to a suitable tune. Diatonic harmonicas are lightweight, affordable and fit in your pocket. They can vary in quality and there is less potential to progress than other beginner instruments, but they are positively portable! 

You can pick up this Anwenk Harmonica in the key of C for £7.99 from Amazon. 


A kalimba is a popular option if you want a simple instrument that you can play anywhere. This wooden soundboard with metal keys originates from Africa. Like the harmonica, it is typically tuned to a major key, so children can easily create music without worrying about reading music. They also vary in quality and price, but they make great gifts for budding musicians!

For an instrument that fits in the palm of your hand, this Mini Kalimba costs £12.99 from Amazon. 


Two pBone minis in blue and red.

We couldn’t do an instrument round-up without mentioning brass. But a traditional trombone is typically heavy and bulky. You’ve probably heard of the pBone, our plastic version of the brass trombone. But for an even more compact set-up, there’s the pBone Mini. It weighs around 800g and is designed for young learners and smaller hands. A brass trombone weighs about three times the pBone Mini, making it a great option for younger brass players or those who want a lighter, portable option for practice. 

You can pick up pBone Mini from Amazon for £97.


Simple percussion instruments are a common gateway for young children into music. Percussion instruments can come in lots of forms: shakers, tambourines, rattles, castanets, and more! Although they are more limited in terms of the development they offer your little instrumentalist, they do encourage them to think about rhythm. 

There are lots of options for percussion sets. This basic Percussion Set costs £23.89 from Amazon.


If percussion is your thing then a Cajon is king! This simple box drum brings all the beats of a drumkit into a smaller footprint. The Cajon is popular in group settings, so children who are playing with their friends or classmates are in luck! The Cajon is intuitive: just hit the box with your hands and keep the beat. Be sure to supervise children as playing the Cajon can be tiring for little hands! 

A Cajon is usually played by sitting on the drum itself, but smaller boxes can still produce the trademark sound. This Portable Cajon is available from Amazon for £62.99. 


A child learning to play music with Soundbops.

Soundbops is a whole new type of portable musical instrument for kids. Now part of the Warwick Music range, Soundbops introduces children as young as three to creating sounds and reading music. Kids pick from a range of instrument sounds and place the ‘bops’ on the board to create chords. This introduces children to complex musical ideas in And because Soundbops is battery-powered and comes with a travelling case, it’s ideal for learning on the move.

Soundbops is available for £79.99 from Amazon. Along with the instrument and case, it also ships with an illustrated music book to get your child started.


A ukulele is a very popular portable instrument and with good reason. These small guitar-shaped instruments are available in a number of styles. They are easy to play and can help children to understand pitch and rhythm, as well as improve motor skills. Their size makes them a good fit for young learners and they are lightweight too, making the commute to classrooms and concerts a breeze. Prices and quality can vary, and remember that some basic maintenance such as changing strings is required to keep your ukulele sounding fresh!

There are lots of ukuleles out there. This Eastrock Soprano Ukulele can be found on Amazon for £54.99. 


A child playing the Carry-on folding piano.

A piano might not be an obvious choice for a portable instrument. But digital keyboards offer a lightweight version with the sound and feel of an acoustic piano. They also offer lots of areas for children to progress their musical knowledge, particularly with reading music. Carry-on by Blackstar is an educational partner with our team, and share a passion to make musical instruments affordable, lightweight, and easy to play. Their folding pianos offer all of the features of a premium digital piano but with a unique design that means a child can take their instrument in their school bag. 

You can pick up the Carry-on 49-Key Folding Piano for £69.99 from Amazon. There’s even a full 88-key Folding Piano too, costing £89.04. 


If there is one instrument that you don’t mind carrying around with you, it’s the guitar. Picking the right guitar for younger learners means paying extra attention to size and weight. Travel guitars are a portable solution for mini-musicians and those who like to pack light. You can find models with folding necks, acoustic guitars, and even electric guitars to plug in and play the portable way!

The Carry-on Mini Electric Guitar can be yours for £139.59 at Amazon.


If you want to learn more about Soundbops, our new portable instrument for children aged three and up, check out

Take a closer look at the folding piano from our round-up.

Are plastic brass instruments more your thing? Discover which one is the simplest to play in our beginner brass blog

Adam McCulloch

Adam is the Content Manager at pBone Music. This should mean that he’s the ideal person to write about himself, but he finds boasting in the third person a little awkward. He honed his word wizardry with a degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds. He has since written copy for clients and businesses across the land, from awards to something beginning with “z”. He also spent a number of years as a musician. He has written pop songs and even jingles for kids, performed more first dances at weddings than you could shake a pBuzz at, and once played a gig for a pie company at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester. When he’s not reminiscing about those good old days, you might find Adam enjoying the football (although as an Everton fan, that can be difficult). He also loves spending time with his partner, Jen, and his family and friends, and sincerely hopes they feel the same way.