The best kids drones make excellent gifts – here are our top picks
By Derek Adams , Ruth Hamilton Last updated 2021-11-08T12:44:53.616Z
Drone flying isn’t just for adults – the best kids drones are easy to fly, with simple controls that can be picked up in seconds. Also known as toy drones, these types of smaller quadcopters don’t come with the bells and whistles you’ll find in today’s best drones (or even today’s best budget drones), but they are tons of fun, don’t require a license to fly, and make thrilling gifts at often very affordable price points.
Kids drones usually focus on just a few key features, such as decent control systems (some are even the same as you’ll find in bigger drones) and in-flight stability features for crash-free flying. There are drones here suitable for fledgling fliers as young as 4 years old, and a few that are aimed at young teens, but most will suit ages 7+. For adults looking to get started with drone flying, you’d be better consulting our best beginner drone guide.
In this guide we’ll walk you through what the best kids drones offer in terms of features, performance and safety, so that you can make the right choice for the little one you are buying for (you’ll find more buying advice at the bottom of the page). The price widgets with each entry will automatically update to show the best prices – including deals – so you can be confident you’re not overpaying.
And speaking of not overpaying, we recommend you also take a look at the best Black Friday deals if you’re looking to pop a drone under the Christmas tree this year that won’t break the bank. After all, there’s nothing better than seeing a happy smile on a child’s face and knowing that your wallet is happy too!
The Potensic A20W is a step up from its stablemate, the A20 reviewed below, and comes with a 480p camera which is a great way for kids to get into aerial videography. The palm-sized Potensic A20W is an exemplary flyer because it comes with Altitude Hold for rock-steady stability even when the control sticks are released, and Headless mode, which makes the drone fly in the direction you want no matter which way it’s orientated in the air. The A20W also features a way-point Flight Route function – simply draw a route on the map on the phone and the drone will follow its path – and a Gravity Induction mode that lets the child steer the drone by tilting the phone. The A20W is equipped with three speeds, from slow to dragonfly quick.
The A20W requires a smartphone and an app to receive a live feed from the little front-mounted 480p camera. The camera itself is fixed into position so video footage will look a bit jumpy as the drone pitches and rolls. Video quality is no great shakes but it’s perfectly suitable for kids wishing to learn about framing and how to produce cinematic shots. And because this drone is classified as an indoor toy, it will not require registration with the CAA. The A20W’s two supplied batteries will provide a combined flight time of around 12 minutes. If your kid hankers after a proper camera drone but is too young to fly one, then this little model is a great introduction. Head to our full Potensic A20W review.
This WALLE kids drone is a bit different. It does away with fiddly remotes in favour of gesture control – you toss it into the air to get it started, then use your hands to control the height and direction of flight. Then to stop it, just grab it and flip it over. Sure it’s less of a pure drone experience than others in the list, but for a super-fun and sociable option for kids, this is a great choice. It has intelligent object detection, as well as a bumper cage to prevent damage to the drone itself if it does end up in a tussle with a wall (we suspect this will come in handy, as the low price suggests a less-than-robust build quality). It charges via USB, although the full 40 minutes of charge will only yield 5-8 minutes of flight time.
This ultra-small drone is ideal for use in the home. Small enough to traverse bits of furniture and fly through the rooms of your house with ease. The Potensic Mini Drone for Kids features a special battery slot to avoid kids from getting near. It also features full blade guards to help prevent fingers from getting injured if they get too close. When it comes to flight, there’s a Headless mode that ensures the controls always stay the same and a handy one-button take-off and landing option. Head to our Potensic A20 Mini Drone review for more info. This is a great drone for having fun around the home for both the kids and the entire family. But if you’d prefer to have the same drone with a camera fitted, then opt for the Potensic A20W, reviewed above.
One of the biggest issues for kids, when they start to fly drones, is control. Essentially understanding how the controls reverse depending on whether the drone is going away from them or coming back. The Holy Stone HS210 Kids Mini Drone has some smart technology that fixes the drones controls to the controller rather than the head of the drone. This Headless mode means that left on the controller will always be left on the drone no matter which direction it is pointing. This model comes with Altitude Hold to aid stable flight and fun modes such as 3D flip, making it a great option for new flyers.
If space is an issue and your little one is only going to be flying indoors, look no further than Hubsan’s tiny, lightweight Q4 SE Nano drone. The quadcopter is stowed within the controller itself, making it one neat package. A 6-axis stabilization system keeps the pocket-sized flyer stable in the air and flip and roll manoeuvres can be performed easily by pushing down on the controller’s throttle stick. Flight time may be limited to just three minutes, but the Nano Q4 SE charges in just 30 minutes so you’ll be ready to return to the skies quickly.
If you’re looking for something different then the Parrot Airborne Night Drone Maclane is certainly a break from standard kids’ drones. Designed for night flying, this compact drone comes equipped with lights and ultrasound that make it easy to see and fly after dark. The Parrot Airborne Night Drone is packed with fun features including flip and roll.
There’s even a spectacular free-fall feature that cuts the engines and lets you to restart and recover mid-flight. It also comes with a built-in camera so your kids can capture selfie’s or replay your flying acrobatics. In the pantheon of indoor toy drones, the Airborne Night is a master of stability that’s so easy to fly you’ll have it mastered in minutes.
The Joygeek Mini Drone is one of the smallest and toughest UAVs on this list, making it supremely portable and unlikely to falter in the event of a crash. To make life easier on newbie pilots, only a single button push is required to bring the drone in to land, and a built-in positioning system keeps things stable in the air, improving control. The drone also boasts high and low speed modes so you can start off slow as you learn to master basic controls. Once you’ve earned your pilot’s wings, there are four fun 3D flip stunts to explore and cool LED lights for when you’re confident enough to try a night flight.
When first learning to pilot a drone, your kid’s needs will be basic. That said, there are a few essentials that can really help novice pilots: built-in stabilisation is great for steadier flights and greater flying confidence, and single button take-off and landing takes care of two tricky manoeuvres. Many drones at this level also feature Altitude Hold mode, which keeps the drone in the air even if you release the controls. And some models also have Headless Mode, which ignores the drone’s orientation so that no matter which way the drone’s front end is pointing, when the child moves the joystick left, right, forwards or back, the drone will move in those specific directions and not confusingly veer off in the wrong direction.
There are hundreds of kids drones to to choose from, but the brands we’ve selected in this guide, such as Hubsan, UDI and Holy Stone, have a solid reputation in terms of performance, reliability and build quality. We think the best kids drone right now is the Potensic A20W. The drone delivers plenty of features to help beginners develop, including three speed levels and the aforementioned Altitude Hold mode. The 480p wide angle camera up front means kids can start developing their aerial photography skills, too. However, there are plenty more options to explore in our ranking too. For more info, check out our article on what to look for (and avoid) in a toy drone.
If your child will be flying their drone outdoors, you’d be better off with a larger model as featured in our best cheap drones guide. Be warned that most outdoor drones – especially those fitted with a camera – require registration for Pilot ID and Flyer ID before you’re allowed to legally fly. You can found out more about current drone regulations by heading over to our UK Drone Regulations Guide. Thankfully, none of the drones featured here requires CAA registration. Simply take it out of the box and start flying straightaway.
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The best kids drones make excellent gifts – here are our top picks