The best drone for kids – Chicago Tribune

Although you could call it a toy, drones for kids are sophisticated remote control unmanned aircraft that really fly. Depending on the model you buy, you might even have to register your drone with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).
The best drone for kids likely includes features that make it easier to fly. Our favorite is Holy Stone Chaser 1080p FPV Drone. This craft has an HD camera, smart control, and one-button takeoff and landing. If you’d like to learn more about the features to look for in drones for kids, keep reading.
Considerations when choosing drones for kids
In the United States, navigable airspace is controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). You might think you’re purchasing a toy, but the FAA recognizes a drone as an “unmanned aircraft.” It’s essential to determine if the drone you’re purchasing needs to be registered — if it does, register the drone. Requiring registration isn’t a good or a bad thing, it’s just something that may need to be done when you purchase certain models. Since it only costs $5 and it lasts for three years, it should in no way prohibit you from purchasing a specific drone.
Altitude lock
It can be difficult to fly a drone. Altitude lock keeps the craft at a consistent height so it won’t crash to the ground. Then, your child’s only concern is which direction the drone flies, which makes piloting — especially for the beginner — a much simpler task.
One-button takeoff
Some drones feature a special one-touch takeoff. The operator simply presses the correct button, and the drone launches into the sky without incident.
If an operator loses control of their drone, they can also lose the drone or injure someone. The return feature brings the drone back home to the operator.
HD camera
Many people enjoy drones because of the breathtaking pictures they can take. If this is why your kid wants a drone, make sure the model you purchase has a quality HD camera.
Battery life
If your drone can only stay airborne for a few minutes before the battery dies, it’s not going to be a whole lot of fun to fly for the kids. Look for a model that features a significant battery life.
Charging time
Although proper planning and preparation affords you some leeway, batteries that take an excessive amount of time to charge can also take a bit of the spontaneity out of flying. If you happen to get a model with a short battery life and a long charge time, that drone might quickly find its way into a donation box.
You can get an entry-level kids’ drone for less than $50. These models have limited features but still offer enough control to be fun. From $50 to $100, you can purchase a larger drone that may include a camera and an app so you can interact with the craft using your phone. Above $100, you can find drones with higher-end cameras and advanced flying controls.
Q. What happens if I neglect to register my child’s drone with the FAA?
A. If the drone you purchase requires registration (check with the FAA to determine this), failure to register the drone may result in steep fines and, in some extreme cases, prison.
Q. What are some basic guidelines I need to follow regarding where I can and cannot fly a drone?
A. Drones must be flown lower than 400 feet and respect other people’s privacy. A drone cannot be flown near an airport, over a crowd, at a public event, or near emergency situations.
Drones for kids we recommend
Best of the best: Holy Stone’s Chaser 1080p FPV Drone
Our take: A reasonably priced drone that features a 1080p 120-degree wide-angle HD WiFi camera with gesture control.
What we like: The real-time transmission this drone offers is a handy feature, but the voice control is its real selling point. The included batteries provide a long flight time of up to 20 minutes.
What we dislike: Control of this drone can be a bit tricky, especially in breezy conditions.
Best bang for your buck: Potensic’s A20 Mini Drone Quadcopter
Our take: A fun, affordable mini drone that can fit in the palm of your hand.
What we like: Designed for beginners, this model features a one-touch takeoff and landing mode as well as an altitude lock so all the operator has to focus on is not crashing into things. Additionally, this drone features propeller guards and an emergency stop to help prevent accidents.
What we dislike: Due to its smaller size, this mini drone can be difficult to control in windy situations.
Choice 3: World Tech Toys’ Mini Elite Orion Glow-In-The-Dark Camera Drone
Our take: A fun, durable glow-in-the-dark drone that features a live feed.
What we like: This drone offers 1280 x 720 30 FPS video and still photography. It’s lightweight and features an easy flight mode, an altitude lock, and return assist.
What we dislike: Some users experienced frustration with controls that weren’t as responsive as expected.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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