One day while teaching at at a local music shop, I noticed a mother and her young daughter trying to decide which ukulele they should purchase. The mother was holding an Ohana ukulele, while her daughter was holding a Luna ukulele with a honu (sea turtle) imprint around the sound hole. The sales man came; the ukulele with the honu was hung back in it's place and the Ohana was taken to the counter for purchase.
Now, these ukuleles were comparable in price and they both play nicely. Perhaps, one cost a little more...I dunno. What I do know is this: Choosing an instrument is exciting, and having the right one can inspire learning!
When shopping for an ukulele with your child, be ready to guide them to quality instruments and then...let them choose. I'm not saying to buy the top brand instrument, but, rather, I am suggesting you guide them away from poor quality ukulele's that will go out of tune easily, and may not play well or sound good. When you are at the store, encourage your child to play the different ukuleles and the guide help them to know what to look for with guiding questions: "Which ukulele sounds better?"; "Which one do you like best?" and then let them decide.
Now, going back to the scenario above, the mother of this little girl looked at me, as if to say, "What should I do?" It was at that moment that I smiled from afar and discreetly nodded towards ukulele her daughter wanted. This mother got it. It was a priceless moment and one that I will always remember as she smiled at her daughter and bought her the Luna honu ukulele!
You should have seen it! The little girls' eyes lit up as her mother bought her the ukulele of her choice. This parent had the opportunity to say yes, and she took it! And I guarantee you, that child will be more enthusiastic about playing!