Best drones for kids 2022: top toy drones for fledgling fliers

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

Best kids drones: boy flying drone
(Image credit: Getty)

Drone flying isn't just for grown ups – the best kids drones are really easy to fly, with simple controls that can be picked up in seconds. Also known as toy drones, these types of smaller drones 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 to fly, don't require a license or registering, and make thrilling gifts at mostly very affordable prices. 

Kids' drones usually focus on just a few key features, such as decent control systems (most are the same as you'll find in bigger drones) and in-flight stability features for incident-free flying. In this guide, you'll find drones suitable for 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.

We'll also 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. 

Best kids drones 2022, reviewed

Potensic A20W Mini Drone on white backgroundT3 Best Buy Award badge

(Image credit: Potensic A20W)
Best camera drone for seven-year-olds and above

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 the best kids drone you can buy right now. It's 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 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. 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. Head to our full Potensic A20W review.

Ryze Trello drone on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Ryze)
A brilliant programmable drone with built-in camera

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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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. Head to our Ryze Tello review for more on this cracking little drone.

WALLE kids droneT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: WALLE)

3. WALLE kids drone

A dandy gesture-controlled UFO for indoor flying

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 in 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 low sun-£20 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. 

Potensic A20 Mini Drone on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Press)
Same as the Potensic A20W above but without a camera

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for outdoor use
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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 full 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, reviewed above. Head to our Potensic A20 Mini Drone review for a more in-depth review.

Holy Stone HS210 Kids Mini Drone on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Holy Stone)

5. Holy Stone HS210 Kids Mini Drone

This palm-sized drone is perfect for knee-high wannabe pilots

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.

Hubsan Nano Q4 SE Quadcopter on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

6. Hubsan Nano Q4 SE Quadcopter

The best micro drone for teens

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.

PARROT MACLANE MINIDRONE on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Press)

7. Parrot Maclane Mini Drone

The best kids drone for keeping budding pilots entertained in the evenings

Specifications

Camera: None
Battery: 9 minutes
Age range: 14+

Reasons to buy

+
Stable indoor flight
+
Night flight features
+
One button tricks
+
Freefall mode 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as readily available

If you're looking for something different, the Parrot 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 Maclane Minidrone 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 Maclane is a master of stability that's so easy to fly you’ll have it mastered in minutes. 

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 Potensic, Hubsan, Ryze 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 a Pilot ID and Flyer ID before you’re allowed to legally fly. 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.

Ruth is T3's Outdoors editor, reviewing and writing about everything from camping gear and hiking boots to mountain bikes, drones and paddle boards. To counter all that effort, she also runs the site's Wellness channel, which includes sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy, for fear of getting smothered in the night.