The Lauren Guitar, a great inexpensive first childrens guitar. Check them out!
The Lauren guitar is really inexpensive. Most of their models are less than $100, many less than $50. They are pretty good as a knock around item, by this I mean that their models might be worth considering if your purchase will be getting a lot of abuse and you don't want to spend a fortune on it. This is often the case if you are purchasing the first guitar for a child.
Lauren primarily supplies acoustic guitars. These models have steel strings and a big complaint about most of the cheaper guitars across the board is that they often have slight intonation problems up and down the neck but for a child, this is usually not a big problem.
I did some searching to try to find out a little bit about Lauren. Tracing the Lauren Guitar company's roots was a little difficult but I think I have worked most of it out. Not sure of the accuracy but it is the best I could come up with. Lauren Guitar is a trademark of Kaman Music, it has it's roots in the Kaman Corporation, a very diversified corporation located in South Carolina which includes aerospace, defense, and lighting entities in addition to musical instruments. Kaman was started by an engineering genius, Charles Kaman, who in addition to being an aviation and helicopter wizard, was also a muscian.
The musical portion of the company, was operated under several trademarks including KMC Music, Kaman Music Corporation and a few others. They were noted for the popular Ovation, Haman, and Takamine guitar brands so they did produce some really excellent guitars in addion to other well known types of musical instruments. Glen Cambell and Josh White bot played Ovation Guitars. Charles Kaman once tried to purchase a Martin Guitar but was unsuccessful, this illustrates that the company was a serious Guitar producer.
Kaman Music Corporation was sold to the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation in 2007 for about $120 million. I believe Lauren is now part of Fender as the trademark is owned by the Kaman Music Corporation.
So for a pretty good guitar for kids at a cheap price made by a decent manufacturer, you really might want to consider the Lauren Guitar Brand, the company has experience, Fender is the parent company, and the quality isn't bad for a kids guitar!