Looking to get an awesome gift for a child? Maybe you’re an educator looking to get a drone to facilitate a child’s learning about STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math).
Whether you’re looking into the best drones for kids for their education or for their entertainment (or ahem, both!), drones are a fantastic tool to enrich a kid’s life.
Looking for more guides around drones and kids?
- If you’re looking to use drones in classrooms: The best educational drone for a STEM program
- If you want the best drone for flying indoors (great for rainy days or just for better keeping an eye on kids!): The best indoor drones of 2021
The best drone for kids overall of 2021: Tello
The best drone for kids by a long shot is Tello, a $99 kid-friendly drone that combines DJI flight technology and an Intel processor to create a budget camera drone that also can be used to teach newbies the basics of programming. It’s a great little drone for people looking for a low-cost introduction to stunt flying and shooting videos, as well as people looking to learn how to use drones how to code, making it one of my favorite educational tools, too. The Tello drone, which weighs just 80 grams, can fly for 13 minutes and shoot 5 megapixel photos.
And this is fun: there’s also an Iron Man version of the Tello drone.
Flight time: 13 minutes
The best if you want to quickly get in the air and learn how to fly: EACHINE E010 Mini Quadcopter Drone or the Tomzon Mini Drone
The EACHINE E010 Mini Quadcopter Drone ($22.99) and the Tomzon Mini Drone ($49.99) are very similar. We’ve grouped them together because they almost seem like the same drone. Obviously go for the former as it’s typically cheaper. But if it’s sold out – or you find the latter on sale — which it frequently is — then it might end up working out.
Both are super simple to get flying. There’s no app to connect with, or no fiddling with syncing it to your phone. But while that’s a blessing, it’s also a curse. With these drones, there’s no smartphone connection to see what the drone’s camera could be seeing. Well, this drone doesn’t even have a camera to begin with. These drones are strictly for flying (and are capable of some stunts like “3D rollover”). They have a few modes including high and low speed modes, or headless and compass mode. Thus both are great if your primary goal is learning how to fly.
Price: $22.99 (EACHINE E010 Mini Quadcopter Drone) or $49.99 (Tomzon Mini Drone)
Flight time: 5 minutes (Eachine) or 8 minutes (Tomzon)
For good, cheap fun: the Aura Gesture Control drone
Fascinated by the idea of gesture-controlled drones like the DJI Spark, but not willing to drop $100? This Aura drone from KD Interactive is controlled entirely via a glove — and it is just $24. The drone embodies the spirit of a Jedi using the Force — you don a controller on your wrist, and control it entirely with the movement of your hands.
Flight time: 5-7 minutes
Read my full review of the Interactive Aura Gestured Control Drone here.
For Star Wars fans: the Propel Star Wars drone
Propel Star Wars drone ($88): If you’re a Star Wars fan and you like the idea of a Jedi Mind Trick drone, why not just get an actual Star Wars drone? Propel’s new line of Star Wars battle drones are essentially a basic 4-ounce toy drone that is operated via remote controller — but there’s a whole lot more to it than just that.
And not only do the Propel drones fly, but they can also actually battle with other real drones via eye-safe lasers that can be fired at other Star Wars drones. The drone actually wobbles and the controller vibrates in your hand if hit. After three hits, the drone will crash land.
These highly-detailed, hand-painted (and very pricey) drones are a perfect gift for the Star Wars fan in your life, and an incredible keepsake item for the collectors in your life.
Flight time: 5-7 minutes
If you want to learn computer programming: Flybrix LEGO drone
Don’t expect to have a ton of success actually flying this drone. The success here is learning how to code, and letting your code fly the drone.
The Flybrix drone must be assembled by you out of LEGO parts (they come in the kit). The real challenge is for computer programmers who want to fly it.
Flybrix’s brain is an Arduino-compatible processor with a barometer, magnetometer, several indicator LEDs, ADC converters, SD card slot, and bluetooth. Its code is open-source, allowing for creative software engineers to program the drone to fly itself.
Of course, if you’re not into computer programming, you can also fly the drone with a traditional remote controller, as you would with most drones.
Flight time: a couple minutes
Buy the Flybrix LEGO drone from Amazon