We all want to enjoy the excitement of drone flight, that goes for our children as well. You may have spent a good chunk of change on a larger machine just to have your child upset that they can’t play with the toy, good news, there are some affordable options to put a safe drone into the hands of a youngster.
This list was a bit more difficult to create than we initially intended, after all, the first thing that pops into mind when you think of children’s toys, is just that, toys. You could just jump over to our best cheap drones list – under $100, a great place to start to get your child in the air for as little cost as possible, or you could consider a more advanced unit with more features and better flight controls, exactly what we’ll explore here today.
Why trust Drone Rush?
I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.
Best drones for children
Hubsan H111: Tiny drone, safe to fly indoors
The Hubsan H111 is our favorite nano drone. This tiny machine is safe for young pilots and indoor flight. It offers no flight features, so there is a learning curve that younger pilots may not grasp, but it’s a fun machine to bounce around the living room as you learn how to pilot your first drone.
- Fun to fly
- Safe for indoors
- Good trainer
The Hubsan H111 is one of the best nano drones for flying around the house. It is a tiny machine that fits in the palm of the hand, flies slowly and is small enough that it is unlikely to cause harm to you or your house when it crashes. Enjoy a low-risk simple flight experience.
Syma X5c: Simple toy drone
This was our first drone. We chose it mostly for the sub-$40 price, but also because it is a popular style of machine with lots of available parts and accessories. It is a little large for indoor flight, but is slow and stable enough for your first outdoor flights on calmer days.
- Great beginner's drone
- Easy to fly
An excellent starter drone, the Syma X5C is resilient, reliable and easy to operate. Nothing fancy here, just a simple toy-class drone to practice flying a drone.
Ryze Tello: Fun and educational drone
The Ryze Tello is one of the most affordable drones with DJI tech built-in. In addition to being a fun aircraft, you can learn to code its navigation, perfect for beginner level education projects.
- Educational drone
- Safe for indoor flight
- Fun to fly
The Ryze Tello is one of the most capable and versatile mini drones around, enjoy different designs, code your own flight features, or just fly in your living room for fun.
DJI Mavic Mini: Affordable GPS drone
The DJI Mavic Mini is a fantastic starter GPS camera drone. The 2.7K camera is better than we had expected for the price, and the flight features and super stable auto-hover make this, perhaps, the best drone for beginner pilots.
- 249 grams
- Great 2.7K camera
- Very portable
The DJI Mavic Mini is the best drone to hit the market in 2019. It's no Mavic 2 series drone, but we've seen nothing this good under $500 before.
DJI Mini 2: Most affordable 4K camera drone
If the DJI Mavic Mini was good for your first drone, the DJI Mini 2 can only be better. The Mini 2 offers better flight time, more flight range, and a full 4K camera for just a few dollars more than the original Mini. Once again, the built-in flight features and GPS-enabled precision hover make this drone an easy choice for a safe flight.
- 4K camera
- Very portable
- Easy to fly
- 249 grams
The DJI Mini 2 is a superb update from the Mavic Mini, now offering a 4K camera, Ocusync 2.0 and more power.
Hubsan H107 series: Toy drones with options
The Hubsan H107 is a series of drones from a basic starter up to a camera-laden aircraft. They are all the same airframe, the different versions simply offer different accessories. Make no mistake, all versions are toy drones, please do not expect any advanced cameras or flight features, just expect some fun.
- Great beginner's drone
- Simple to fly
If you are looking for a solid starter drone, an inexpensive quadcopter for beginners, the Hubsan H107 series of drones is a great start.
Syma X9 Fly Car
Taking the dual RC toy to the next level, Syma has a drone that actually doubles as a driving remote controlled car. Firmly in the toy class of drones and more basic of RC functionality, the Syma X9 Fly Car does exactly what the name implies.
Get your hands on this two-in-one toy, the Syma X9 Fly Car for $32 on Amazon.
Did I get your attention? There are many knock-off Star Wars drones out there, but if you are looking for a high quality, officially licensed Star Wars inspired quadcopter, and not even the Millennium Falcon, here they are. Coming in several styles, you can grab a TIE Advanced X1 Starfighter, a 74-Z Speeder Bike or the ever popular T-65 X-Wing Starfighter in quadcopter form now.
In addition to the iconic styling, and the audio experience that the packaging provides, these drones are laser battle capable. Up to 12 pilots can partake in an aerial laser battle at speeds up to 35mph.
Check out the Star Wars drones for $43 today. Original price was nearly $200, regularly selling for around $75 these days.
Fun toy drones
If all you were looking for is a super easy toy drone to play with, perhaps something on this list will help.
Air Hogs drones
Let’s not beat around the bush, almost every drone with an Air Hogs badge is ready to go for your child’s entertainment. They have some really interesting and unique designs, not to mention a bunch of licenses for franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek and more. Best of all, almost all of their machines are under $50.
What to look for
Starting with the smaller, less expensive and borderline toy-class drones and quadcopters, the best thing to consider is safety. Many toy drones, especially those designed to fly indoors, have large propeller guards, even cages that protect not only the drone from damage, but your home and child’s fingers as well.
As we mentioned in our cheap drones guide, these little things tend to fly all over the place. For ease of flight, you may just want to bump up to a higher-end drone after all – if you’ve flown the Mavic Pro or a recent Phantom drone, you know how easy it is to actually fly.
That is all we have for you on our list of great drones for children. Do keep in mind that there are many great drones out there for all skill levels, we only mentioned one Hubsan quadcopter on this list, they have many more fliers that would be great for children. See more on them in our Cheap Drones guide and in our Best drones for beginners guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
The FAA does not place an age limit for pilots of small drones, however, you must be at least 13 years old to register your drone. For hobby flights, the FAA does not explicitly say that the registered owner of a drone has to be present for any flights, but the owner is still responsible for any issues that arise from the flight.
For commercial operations, you must be 16 years old to acquire your Part 107 certification, and there must be a certified pilot in command for all flights, but again, the age of the actual pilot is not specified.
For hobby drones under 0.55lbs, 250 grams, there is no age limit, nor a need to register before flight, but all of the rules of the sky still apply.
As we always say around here, there is a quality drone in most price brackets, and your needs of the drone will dictate the price bracket you’ll be wanting to consider. We encourage you to look at the fun $20 nano drones, and/or $30 toy-class drones as your very first flight. It just makes sense to learn how things work and make your mistakes on a low-cost machine.
From there, racing enthusiasts are going to want to spend upwards of $300 on a solid machine, camera drone fans will be looking at $400 and up before they get a camera of any significant quality.
If you have a few children, or are looking to throw a little drone party, you might be considering flying multiple drones at the same time. Almost every drone on the market operates in the 2.4 or 5 GHz frequency ranges. That said, they usually differ very slightly within a few channels. On the racing scene, you’ll mostly find up to 40 different available video channels, but there may only be about 8 control channels.
If your chosen drone uses a basic analog connection, then you may see cross-talk with just a few drones connected, more advanced drones can dynamically scan frequencies to find an open channel, and some will even connect and encrypt the connection, making it very hard to hijack the drone with unauthenticated signals.
Bottom line, the exact number of drones you can connect simultaneously differs based on the manufacturer and drones in use, but we expect you can get at least four at the same time without much trouble.