Best drones for kids 2024: toy flying machines for fledgling pilots

The best kids' drones are tons of fun and make excellent gifts – here's our top selection

HoverAir X1
(Image credit: HoverAir)

The best kids' drones – also known as toy drones – offer simplified functionality that enables young pilots to practice their flying skills without completely ruining the family residence. 

They usually focus on key features, such as decent control systems (generally the same as in bigger drones) and in-flight stability features for incident-free flying. 

These mini drones might not come with all the bells and whistles you'll find in today's best drones, but they don't require a license or registration, and they make thrilling gifts at mostly very affordable prices. For adults looking to start with drone flying, you'd be better off consulting our best beginner drone guide.

We'll walk you through what the best drones for younger operators offer in terms of features, performance and safety so that you can make the right choice for the little pilot you are buying for. 

The price widgets with each entry will automatically update to show the best prices – including deals – so you can be confident you are not paying over the odds.

T3's top 3 toy drones

The best drones for kids you can buy

HoverAir X1

(Image credit: HoverAir)

The HoverAir X1 is among our favourite drones for kids and families, purely because it is so simple to fly, yet the imagery and video results are mightily impressive. 

It sits at the top of the budgets spectrum, but it's a solid option for those slightly older fledgling drone pilots that perhaps like to capture gnarly action at the skatepark or down on the mountain bike trails. 

Best overall

HoverAir X1

(Image credit: HoverAir)

1. HoverAir X1

Best drone for simple but high octane footage

Specifications

Camera: Yes,2.7K
Battery: 11 minutes
Age range: 7 and above

Reasons to buy

+
Great footage
+
Simple to fly
+
Small and portable

Reasons to avoid

-
Short battery life
-
Limited data storage
-
Requires open space

The HoverAir X1 basically redefines what is required from any drone, even if you are an experience flyer. It essentially folds up and can slip inside a pocket and a bag, while the distinct lack of controller makes operation about as simple as things come.

Harnessing the power of AI, it's just a case of powering up the drone and then selecting from a bunch of programmed modes - all of which are labelled with voice prompts so the user doesn't have to recognise the labels.

The drone's camera will then locate the user and lock onto its target, performing a series of moves to capture the right content.

It is this ease of use and lack of controller that makes it such a doddle to use for younger ones, should they have an adult on hand to first download the accompanying smart app and play with some settings.

There's also the possibility of unlocking a manual flight mode by using the smartphone app asa controller, which could be good for building up confidence in young drone pilots.

But bear in mind there is no collision avoidance technology at play here, so take it easy.

Best programmable

Ryze Tello drone in someone's handT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Rich Owen)
A brilliant programmable drone for kids with built-in camera

Specifications

Camera: Yes, 720p
Battery: 13 mins
Age range: 10+

Reasons to buy

+
Rock-steady DJI technology
+
720p camera
+
You can program it

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires CAA registration

The Ryze Tello drone is still a superb kids' drone and offers more in terms of specs and flexibility than almost all other drones in this guide. Designed by Ryze and featuring flight technology from DJI, the comparisons with the larger craft are instantly apparent. The Tello is a doddle to fly – using a mobile phone to control it, it hovers on the spot and can stay aloft for up to 13 minutes at a time. Its small 720p camera comes with digital image stabilisation, which is very unusual at this point. 

Amazingly, the Tello is also fully programmable, so you can code in Scratch and then upload your own routes and flight characteristics, making it an ideal educational tool. The level of coding is aimed at teaching kids, but there's plenty here for everyone, whatever the age, flight skill or coding ability. However, because it’s equipped with a camera and classified as ‘not a toy’, the Tello will require an Operator ID which is very easy to get hold of online. You can learn more about the CAA’s legal requirements in our Guide to UK Drone Regulations.

Read our full Ryze Tello review.

Best indoor

WALLE kids droneT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: WALLE)

3. WALLE kids drone

Best drone for kids for indoor use

Specifications

Camera: None
Battery: 5-8 mins
Age range: 6+

Reasons to buy

+
Gesture controlled
+
Easy to use
+
Collision barriers

Reasons to avoid

-
Short flight time
-
Flimsy build quality

The WALLE kids’ drone 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. To stop it, simply grab it and flip it over. Sure, it's less of a pure drone experience than others on the list, but for a super-fun and sociable option for kids, this is a top choice. The WALLE 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 very 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. 

Best for aerial photography

Potensic A20W Mini Drone on white backgroundT3 Best Buy Award badge

(Image credit: Potensic A20W)
Best drone for getting into aerial videography

Specifications

Camera: Yes, 480p
Battery: Combined 12 mins, from two batteries
Age range: 7+

Reasons to buy

+
Really easy to fly
+
480p camera
+
Reasonably priced

Reasons to avoid

-
Camera isn't great

The Potensic A20W is a step up from its stablemate, the A20 (which you'll find further down our ranking), and comes with a 480p camera which is a great way for kids to get into aerial videography. The palm-sized Potensic A20W is equipped with a hand controller for ease of use and is an exemplary flyer because it features Altitude Hold for rock-solid stability even when the control sticks are released.

It also comes with a Headless mode, which makes the drone fly in the direction you want no matter which way it is orientated in the air, 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 – we would advise starting in slow mode before progressing to the fastest mode, which makes the controls much more responsive and the drone itself as fast as a dragonfly.

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. The video quality isn’t great, 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.

Read our full Potensic A20W review.

Best toy drone

Potensic A20 Mini Drone for kids, in someone's handT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Rich Owen / T3)
Best kids' drone without a camera

Specifications

Camera: None
Battery: Combined 12 minutes from two batteries
Age range: 7+

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra-small and easy to transport
+
Protected blades
+
Easy to control

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for outdoor use
-
No camera 

This ultra-small drone is ideal for use in the home – it’s small enough to navigate around furniture and fly through the rooms of your house with ease. The Potensic A20 features blade guards to stop 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. 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 listed above.

Read our full Potensic A20 Mini Drone review.

Best for manouverability

Holy Stone HS210 Kids Mini Drone on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Holy Stone)

6. Holy Stone HS210 Kids Mini Drone

Best drone for kids for controllability

Specifications

Camera: None
Battery: 21 mins, from three batteries
Age range: 7+

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to fly
+
Advanced stabilisation
+
Headless Mode
+
Comes with three batteries

Reasons to avoid

-
Long charge time

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.

Bet micro

Hubsan Nano Q4 SE Quadcopter on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

7. Hubsan Nano Q4 SE Quadcopter

Best micro drone for kids (14 years and over)

Specifications

Camera: None
Battery: 3 minutes
Age range: 14+

Reasons to buy

+
Effortlessly portable
+
Built-in stabilization system
+
Fast charging time

Reasons to avoid

-
Really short flight time

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.

Best trick drone

Holyton HT02 mini drone for kidsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Hoyton)

8. Holyton HT02 Mini Drone for kids

Another decent toy drone for kids

Specifications

Camera: no
Max battery life: 8 mins
Age range: 8+
Size: 1.85 x 1.85 x1.41" (70 x 48 x 35mm)

Reasons to buy

+
Can flip 360-degrees
+
4 spare propellors and 3 batteries included
+
3 speed modes + headless mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Too light to fly outdoors

Next up in our guide to the best drones for kids is the dinky Holyton HT02, which sits inside the controller for easy storage and transport. This one comes with four spare propellers and two protective propellor guards included in case of collisions, as well as a useful emergency stop button. The takeoff button prompts the drone to hover off the ground, and there's a headless mode and three speed options to suit different abilities.

For extra excitement, this drone can also flip 360 degrees. A battery will get you 7-8 minutes of air time, but there are three included to swap in for longer flying sessions (each battery will take around 30 minutes to recharge). Although you can fly it outdoors, like almost all toy drones, it's not heavy enough to deal with any kind of wind. Reviews are broadly enthusiastic, although a few customers found it too speedy and difficult to control. 

How to buy the best kids' drone for your child

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 dozens of drones to choose from that are suitable for younger fliers, but the brands we have focussed on for this guide – including Potensic, Hubsan, Ryze and Holy Stone – have a solid reputation in terms of performance, reliability and build quality.

If your child will be flying their drone outdoors, you’d be better off with a larger model, as featured in our best cheap drone guide. Be warned that most outdoor drones – especially those fitted with a camera – require registration for a Pilot ID and Flyer ID before you’re allowed to fly legally. You can find out more about current drone regulations by heading over to our UK Drone Regulations Guide. Thankfully, only one of the drones featured here requires CAA registration – the Ryze Tello. Otherwise, you simply take the drone out of the box and start flying straight away.

Derek Adams

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, Delboy etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version – on a typewriter! He now writes for T3 between playing drums with his bandmates in Red Box (redboxmusic). 

With contributions from