The best kids drones are easy to fly, with simple controls that can be picked up in seconds, and are often much, much cheaper than today's pro-level best drones. They make thrilling Christmas gifts and birthday presents, and are ideal for flying indoors.
If you’re a parent or guardian reading this, we suspect your little ones have seen your pricey camera drone in action and are desperate to fly it themselves. Quite rightly so, you're probably nervous about handing over the controls to a minor, but luckily the best kids drones share the same control systems as bigger drones, and many of them have 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+.
These types of smaller quadcopters, including toy drones, are some of the cheapest on the market. As such, they usually focus on just a few key features – as opposed to the bells and whistles of top-end models such as the DJI Mini 2 and DJI Air 2S – but this makes them ideal for little flyers. 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. Read on for some key buying advice, then our current picks.
Kids drones: what to look for before you buy
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.
The best kids drones to buy now
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.
The Oaxis myFirst Drone is the ideal starter drone for younger children, as it's simple to use and safe to fly – the little propellers are housed inside a cage design, so they're enclosed while the drone is in flight. This affordable kids drone, available in blue and in pink, uses Air Hover tech and self-flying modes to ease your child into flying a drone. There's an altitude sensor, which enables the drone to hover at a maximum height of three meters for your peace of mind. To use it, just switch it on and throw it upwards and the drone will take it from there. Flight time is seven minutes per battery charge (charging time is 40 minutes), with Air Bounce tech bringing the drone down very slowly and safely.
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.