Kalimbas: Constructive, Educational Summer Fun for Kids 6 and Up!

This summer, instead of letting your kid’s cell phone instruct them in the way of video games… maybe it is time for your kid to get a kalimba and begin their kalimba journey?

  • Playing kalimba exposes your child to new cultural and musical ideas.
  • Playing kalimba promotes independence, as your kid goes off and figures it out.
  • Playing kalimba calms your kid down, as they focus in on this sweet little musical instrument.
  • Playing kalimba is good for the brain, promoting right – left collaboration and hemispheric balance.

My rule of thumb for kalimbas and kids is: one tine per year of age. There is a lot of slush in that equation. A 7-Note Kalimba could work for a 6-year-old through 10-year old. Well, my wife was also joyfully learning on a 7-Note, so there really isn’t an age range. And I just turned 60, and still play my 17-Note

OK, here are four kalimbas that I think are great for kids of varying ages:

The Magadi Mini-7 (Big or Small) are great kalimbas for youth. Comes with a free 32-page booklet. Pentatonic tuning, great for beginners.

The Kalimba Magic Spiral-10 Kalimba is a really good place to start your kalimba journey. The tines are wider, the tine spacing is a bit larger than typical… so it is easy to play the intended tine. There are 5 tines for each hand, a number that seems doable. The tine tips are rounded and soft for tender thumbs. And everything you learn on this kalimba is immediately transferable to the more advanced 17-Note Kalimbas in C. Comes with a free 32-page booklet on playing the 10-Note Kalimba.

Are you looking to go in a different direction? For those looking for a different experience, try the Moon-10 Kalimba. Available in several exotic tunings!

Near the top of our entry level kalimba lader is the Bamboo-17 Kalimba. Though this comes with an intro booklet for the 17-Note Kalimba, there is also a lot of instructional material for the 17-Note Kalimba.

The Student Karimba has the notes arranged in a traditional African tuning that is thought to be the original metal-tined tuning, because these notes are at the center of many other traditional metal-tined kalimbas from Africa. This comes with the free booklet “Student Karimba for Kids”.

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