Best Drones for Kids (The Young Geeks) in 2017

Remote controlled toys have always been some of the most exciting and challenging toys available for kids and adults alike. However, latest advancements in technology now offer more sophisticated versions of these devices in the form of drones. What was once used for high-tech military operations are now more widely available to the masses, making playtimes more exciting for parents and kids alike.

The best thing about drones is that they are more than just a flying toy. These gadgets can do more than just entertain your little one by zipping around as some come equipped with cameras or are stable enough to carry stuff around. With some creativity and the love for remote controlled toys, your kids will surely have a blast with these toys.

If you’re thinking of getting a drone to give to your child, you will find tons of options available. So to help you out, here are ten of the best drones for kids today.

1. Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone

Ideal for: Ages 14 and Above

Designed as a training drone, this Holy Stone product is an excellent quadcopter for newbies. It’s quite easy to handle, although, there will be a learning curve for the very first time you try to fly this toy. With three different speed modes for various levels of expertise, ultra-responsive motors, wind and shock resistance, and superb stabilization make it an action-packed toy that kids of all ages will love to watch. It also comes mostly assembled, so you only need to attach the blades and mount the batteries before you can get to flying.

What We Like about This Product: The HS170 Predator Mini has a lot of great features. What I like the most about it, though, is its ability to do tricks, thanks to its 6-Axis Gyro Technology. It can flip and roll easily, adding more elements of enjoyment to your play time. Its LED lights are also very fun to watch.

2. Wonder Chopper Stunt Drone Quadcopter

Ideal for: Ages 10 and Above

The first thing we noticed about the Wonder Chopper Stunt Drone is its appearance. While it is still a traditional quadcopter like other drones in this list, this one has a less intimidating vibe to it. Maybe it’s because of its blade protectors or its alternating use of black and orange colors which tends to remind me of Star Wars-themed toys. In any case, it actually looks like a kid-friendly drone.

What We Like about This Product: Completely crash-proof, doesn’t require FAA registration, and capable of performing barrel rolls and flips, this drone will offer great fun and excitement for all ages. As it’s very easy to use and only weighs .1 lbs, even 10-year-olds can also play with it without a hitch.

3. EACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter DroneIdeal for: Ages 12 and Above

Don’t be fooled by the teensy size of this quadcopter because it’s definitely brimming with great features that your little one will love. While it can sit comfortably in one hand, it already has a 6-axis gyro technology which lets it do amazing stunts that can compete with bigger models anytime.

What We Like about This Product: For such an affordable price, this unit already comes with a homing device. This allows the drone to fly back to the controller in a push of a button, making retrieval easy for users. It can also do 360-degree rolls.

What makes this great for young users is its compass mode. This feature allows easy navigation, as it will change directions according to the directionality of the controller. It’s a fuss-free way to control the drone so little ones don’t have to fuss in making turns.

​4. Quadpro Nc5 Nano Quadcopter

Ideal for: Ages 8 and Above

Dubbed as a “pocket drone”, the Quadpro NC5 is definitely a tiny drone that you can play with indoors. It’s a beginner model that is specifically designed for stunts so you can expect a good deal of acrobatics with this unit.

What We Like about Its Product: We have lots of praises for this unit. For one, it handles really well. Its 360-degree flips are amazing and enjoyable as it also has a 2-level speed function that will let you customize your flips and rolls. You’ll also love its headless flight mode as it can quickly eliminate the need for positioning to achieve the right orientation. However, this unit doesn’t really handle wind that well. This makes it quite tricky to fly outside. It handles amazingly indoors, though, so if you’re looking for a toy that your little one can play inside the house, this might do the trick.

​5. Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera

Ideal for: Ages 14 and Above

For teens and adults who are looking to up their drone game, this Holy Stone quadcopter is an option you shouldn’t miss. As it already comes with HD camera, it can do more than just entertain you with its flying and buzzing about.

What We Like about This Product: Considered as one of the best mid-range drones, the Holy Stone F181 can already take high-quality videos and photos with its HD camera and hover in a single position for an extended time. These makes it useful for shooting aerial footages and photos, which is a fun hobby for your child to have. It’s also very easy to handle, especially with its automatic land and return to home functions, you don’t have to fuss about the unit’s retrieval. I also love that it’s made with durable ABS elastic plastic making it very durable even if you crash it at a medium altitude. The additional battery pack is a nice extra to have as well.

​6. UDI RC U845 WiFi 2.4 GHz 6 Axis Gyro FPV Drone with HD Camera

Ideal for: Ages 14 and Above

This is one of the products that really tickled me pink because of its unique appearance. It actually resembles a UFO flying saucer which will surely be a hit among kids and adults alike. It doesn’t really look like other drones, so it’s definitely unique.

What We Like about This Product: A few things about the UDI RC U845 really stood out for me. The first of which is its Wi-Fi video transmission. This makes it really handy for those who wants to take lots of videos of their flights as well as use the camera for taking aerial footages for various purposes. Its circular design is something I like as well. This keeps the propellers out of reach and safely secured. This can help prevent accidents and ensure durability. It’s also equipped with LED lights so it’s a sight to behold in the dark.

This drone also has a few tricks up its sleeve as it can also do 360-degree flips. It also has a headless mode feature so you don’t have to worry about having to reposition every takeoff.

7. Cheerwing CW4 RC Drone with 720p HD Camera

Ideal for: Ages 12 and Above

For a minimalist and professional looking drone that parents will also adore, the Cheerwing CW4 is an option worth considering. It may look like a clone of high-end drones with its all white design, but before you balk at this product, you should know that it’s a better-than-basic unit at a very affordable price.

What We Like about This Product: You might not know it at first glance, but the Cheerwing CW4 is actually an aerial photography drone that is made for beginners. With its one-key takeoff and one-key landing, operation is a breeze. It also has an altitude hold mode so you can take your photos and videos easily.

​8. TEC.BEAN X902 Black spider Mini RC Quadcopter

Ideal for: Ages 14 and Above

Another option for those who are not a fan of the traditional quadcopter drone design is the TEC.BEAN X902. This unit resembles a large spider which can really catch spectators’ attention and freak you out a bit if left lying around the house in the dark.

What We Like about This Product: Because of its unique design that puts the propeller under the unit, this drone is actually suitable of being flown indoors. While I do not suggest you fly it where it can hit the ceiling or other obstacles, its design allows it to be enjoyed practically anywhere.

Another thing to note is that it has a very responsive motor. This makes it a bit tricky to operate, so you should always supervise your child when playing with this unit.

​9. USA Toyz UDI 818A Quadcopter

Ideal for: Ages 14 and Above

Got a serious aerial photography enthusiast in your hands? Then this USA Toyz drone is something you need to check out right now. This drone, in my opinion, is the perfect beginner unit for a teenager who’s serious about aerial photography.

What We Like about This Product: Its 2-megapixel camera can automatically transmit its feed to a mobile device, making it possible for your little one to monitor the footage in real time. This can allow them to adjust their altitude or angle instantly for the best shot.

As it also comes with an extra battery and power bank, your child can get extra playtime with this drone. These can easily multiply their flying time up to three times, which is one of the longest in this list.

​10. Holy Stone F180C Mini Quadcopter

Ideal for: Ages 14 and Above

Beginner drones may be perfect for a lot of kids, but if you want to have a more versatile gadget that both the parents and kids will enjoy, the Holy Stone F180C is another option you should consider. This mid-range drone is ideal for drone enthusiasts of all levels, making it a great beginner unit for those who will enjoy the device thoroughly.

What We Like about This Product: With 4 sensitivity modes, you can easily play with this drone at any experience level. This can ensure a good challenge for everyone – may they be a beginner or a proficient drone-flyer. It also allows easy indoor flying. For its friendly price, the F180C also has a 2-megapixel camera that can take photos and videos. It can also do flips and other stunts, promising hours of excitement.

​11. Epoch Air Flying Ball

Ideal for: Ages 8 and Up

This one isn’t exactly a drone but since it is still a fun and exciting remote-controlled flying toy, I’m including it to the list. Epoch Air’s Flying Ball is a tiny disco ball with wings on top. It doesn’t really do much aside from fly and emit multicolored lights, but it’s still a very exciting device that will really stimulate your child’s brain.

What We Like about This Product: What sets this toy apart from the others on this list is its motion sensor. By placing your hand underneath the ball, the toy will fly higher. This can start a fun game of running around, letting your little one get some exercise and even refine their motor skills in the process. As it is also remote controlled, you can still easily direct what you want the toy to do.

12. Helizone Sparrow Mini Drone

Ideal for: Ages 14 and Above

If you want a drone with all the bells and whistles but not the hefty price tag, the Helizone Sparrow Mini Drone is exactly what you should look into. This little quadcopter can basically do everything most drones four times its price offer, so it’s a nice starter unit for those who aren’t sure about spending so much on a toy.

What We Like about This Product: It can flip, take videos and photos, and even return home with just a single press of a button. What makes it even better is its excellent radio frequency, allowing you to control the unit up to 100 meters away.

​13. SYMA X1 Quadcopter UFO

Ideal for: Ages 14 and Above

Another cute quadcopter option is the SYMA X1. It features a UFO-designed central body, complete with flashing lights that can really make the unit look otherworldly.

What We Like about This Product: There are lots of sophisticated features this product has but what stands out are its three-axis flight control that will let you direct the unit to go up or down, left or right, and forward or backward and its indoor/outdoor mode. These make controlling these drones a breeze so your little one won’t have to fuss with the transmitter that can easily cause crashes.

How we Chose these Top 13 Drones for Kids

The thing with drones is, there are so many things that you can consider in finding the right one for your needs. However, since what we’re looking for models that are suitable for kids, the search is narrowed down significantly. Don’t get me wrong, there are still tons of different options for kids, but since these products have a very wide feature range, finding the ones suitable for young users can make your search a lot easier.

Since drones are now commercially manufactured for general use, you can now find really solid units that have sophisticated features. We skipped most of those because they tend to be expensive and too complicated for little users. I made sure to pick models that are easy to use and operate, so even grade school kids can learn how to operate them.

The quality of the materials is an important factor as well. Kids aren’t necessarily careful when it comes to using and looking after their toys, so I was very particular about whether a product looks or feels flimsy or not.

Some of the drones in this list also have a few tricks up its sleeve. These additional features tend to pile onto the price and aren’t always necessary if you just want to get your kid acquainted with a flying toy so I didn’t prioritize these features. I added a number of products with cameras and some extras, however, for some good measure.

The company’s reputation is also an important factor. Most drone manufacturers are relatively new companies so there are lots of them that still need to iron out their after sales services, so you need to know if you’re spending a good amount of money on a brand that stands behind their products. This way, you can be better guaranteed of quality products and customer service.

Drones vs. RC Helicopters

Drones may have only taken off in the past few years but remote controlled helicopters have been around for decades. As both of them can be manipulated by a wireless controller, they do seem like pretty much the same thing.

In actuality, both are classified as UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles. However, RC helicopters are pretty much just that – toy helicopters that are equipped with a motor and controls to allow them to take flight. Drones, on the other hand, are more sophisticated because they are equipped with more features that make them more useful for various purposes.

Drones are a lot easier to control. Some even have the ability to fly back to its owner once the signal is lost. There are also a number of top tier units that don’t require any sort of piloting once in flight.

The biggest difference between the two, however, is the fact that drones can actually hover. While both can easily take off from the ground, RC helicopters find it very difficult to stay in one place at a time. Drones can do this with great ease, though, making them excellent tools for photography.

Most drones today are quadcopters as well. While there are drone helicopters available, they’re not often for commercial sale as they’re more complex and costly. RC helicopters mostly look like plastic helicopters, however.

FAA Regulations for Drones

Some drones are subject to the rules and regulations of the FAA (Federal Aviation Association). It’s also very important to know if the drone you intend to buy is subject to the regulations as these rules can definitively alter your gameplay. Drones for kids are often exempted, however, as they don’t qualify for registration as they don’t meet the 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and 55 pounds (25 kilograms) requirement for such.

Drones and the Future of Play and Learning

Being such sophisticated toys, a lot of parents think twice about getting a drone. One of the most common reasons is the delicateness of the units. As these toys are packed with technology, a lot of parents tend to worry whether their little one can take good care of it. Add to this the fact that drones do not come cheap, and you’ll have a practical parent who just doesn’t want to spend a good amount of money on something that their little one might destroy in the first go.

However, there are lots of ways your child can benefit from playing with a drone:

  • It can improve your little one’s motor skills.

Operating a remote control to direct the flight of the drone can take a lot of hand-eye coordination for starters. They’ll need to be precise if they want to fly the drone nicely, so it will really challenge their dexterity.

Drone flying can also require a lot of physical movements from your little one. Even if they only need to go after the toy to pick it up and re-orient it often for the next flight can also help a young child’s development.

  • It can introduce them to the world of electronics, technology, and robotics – which are all excellent fields of work that they can specialize in.

Drones are excellent ways to get your little one interested in STEM. And since drones are showing great potential, being able to play with drones at a young age may just give them a leg up in the field.

  • It gives them a real world challenge.

Getting your child a drone can also expose them to real world challenges that can help them develop practical skills. For one, they can quickly learn the value of things if they actually play with them. Real-life crashes will have a different effect on your child as compared to on-screen crashes.

The fact that they can also actually learn to build drones is another exciting reason why you should consider getting your child a drone. There are lots of custom building kits available that will let your child get a hands-on experience in putting an actual machine together. This is an exciting activity in itself and can give your child a good sense of accomplishment that will boost their self-confidence once their kit is up in the air.

  • Their imagination will soar high with this toy.

A flying toy can also be a great way to ignite your little one’s imagination. It can let them create their own fantasy world that’s filled with different narratives every time their little drone takes flight, letting them exercise their creativity in many ways.

Conclusion

Because drones don’t come cheap, they’re not always the first thing that will come to mind if you’re looking for the perfect gift for a child. However, with all of the benefits they offer, as well as the availability of so many drones for kids, it shouldn’t be completely ticked off your list as well. Kids and kids at heart can really enjoy these toys, so it’s not just a gift for your child. Since it can also bring the family together, the time you’ll spend with them playing with these toys can also be treasured by your young one.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Mum of two. Child psychologist. Ardent admirer of art, crafts and cooking. She is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she's not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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