Flying drones can be an exciting and exhilarating experience that used to be reserved for experts only. Now, drones for kids are available with easy-to-use features designed for littler hands — and at a way lower price point. Whether your child loves flying toys, photography or adventures, drones make an excellent gift for any occasion.
You don't need to be a drone expert to buy the best drone for your child. The Good Housekeeping Institute's Little Lab is comprised of engineers who evaluate the best new toys and children's products for safety and efficacy. In addition, children play with the toys and give the Lab their feedback because, when it comes to toys, kids' opinions are the main ones that matter. These picks are from brands that have performed well, new models to market with impressive new features and drones with tons of rave online reviews.
Before buying a drone for kids, there are a few features to look at specifically:
- Altitude hold keeps the drone at a stable height even when you let go of the controls. This makes it easier to fly and avoids crashes.
- Propeller guards prevent any finger injuries during takeoff or landing, keeping your child's fingers safe.
- Cameras can capture awesome images from the flight with some models that sync to smartphones directly.
Our picks for the the best drones for kids 2021 are below:
- Doesn't require remotes
- Can be used by young kids
- Not as sturdy as more expensive drones
While other, more expensive drones may be sturdier, once the price is factored in this drone flew to the top of our list. Using hand-gestures to make this drone zip around will make kids feel like magicians, and pilots as young as 4 can get in on the fun. Plus, the "trick stick" makes it easy to grab.
- Propellers are fully covered
- Some reviewers had technical difficulties setting it up
For just over $20, this drone from SNAPTAIN has thousands of rave Amazon reviews for being easy to use and lots of fun. The propellers are completely covered for your child's safety and to prevent the drone from breaking. With three speed levels, reviewers loved that it can do flips in the air. It has one-button takeoff and landing, so your child won't lose their new favorite toy.
- 1080P HD camera
- Videos and images go straight to your smartphone
- Only 20 minute flight time
To capture awesome images from above, you'll need a drone with an excellent camera. This model from Holy Stone has a 1080P HD camera with 120 degree wide angle for amazing videos that go straight to your smartphone. The drone also offers voice control, trajectory flight options and auto hover for perfect pictures.
- 2,000 Amazon reviews
- Headless mode available
- Small size
With over 2,000 Amazon reviews, this mini drone is popular for being easy to set up and fly, ideal for kids ages 8 – 12. It features altitude hold (ideal for beginners) and can do flips in the air. With headless mode, you don't have to worry about the drone facing any specific way, making it much easier to fly. It's a fun and exciting gift that won't break the bank.
- Impressive camera for videos straight to your phone
- Longer flight time
Impress your teen with this drone from Potensic that features a 4K camera that's WiFi compatible with your smartphone as the controller. The camera can rotate 90 degrees to capture pictures from above that are sure to wow. With a 31 minute flight time (longer than most other models), it also offers innovative features such as follow-me controls, circle flights, auto return and emergency stop. We also love that the camera features PowerAC technology to prevent blurry pictures.
- Hand operated
- Rechargeable with included USB cable
- Can only be used indoors
This smaller hand-operated drone is best suited for younger children. To use, just toss it in the air and control where it goes with your hands — it'll always hover in reach. It's rechargeable with an included USB cable, so you don't have to worry about having batteries on hand. Only use this drone inside to avoid losing or damaging it.
- Mini size
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Propellers aren't fully protected
Much smaller than any of the other drones featured, this model is perfect for bringing with you on the go. For a mini drone, it has a ton of awesome features, including altitude hold, 360 flips and an LED light. Users report that it's so small, stable and easy to fly that it can even be used indoors (but we won't tell your kids that if you don't want us to).
- A combination of a helicopter and a drone
- Indoor and outdoor play
- Some reviewers wish it charged faster
If your kids love helicopters, this is a must have toy. The SYMA RC Helicopter combines the fun of a toy helicopter with the features of a drone. Designed for both indoor and outdoor play, there are propeller guards and a landing base to prevent damage while flying. Reviewers love this model as you can keep learning new tricks as you play with it.
- Star Wars design
- Laser tag like fight mode
- Doesn't fly very high
Your Luke- and Poe-loving Star Wars fans can finally fly an X-Wing of their own, just like the heroes in the movie. And if you round up a few, you can battle them in a laser-tag-like fight mode — the drones will keep track of stats like how many hits each one landed and received.
- Smartphone compatible
- Reviewers say it's "indestructible"
- Not suitable for younger kids
This drone from Snaptain has an impressive 6,800 reviews on Amazon. Especially popular for being "indestructible" and easy to fly and use, this model features propeller protection, gesture control, altitude hold and WiFi connectivity to your smartphone. Reviewers love that the videos are automatically sent to their smartphone via WiFI, ready to be shared on social media.
- Easy to use
- More affordable than other models that use the same technology.
- Short (13 minute) flight time
- Propellars not guarded
For drone enthusiasts who are starting to get serious, this model is a way to step up, equipment-wise, without paying what it would normally cost to get a DJI drone. Testers raved about this drone's ease of use, and this drone makes it simple to take great-looking photos and videos and master tricks.
- Affordable compared with other DJI models
- Propellers not guarded
And then, when teenagers get even more serious, they can graduate to this model. The company boasts that it's about as light as a smartphone, and yet it can still supports 12MP aerial photos and 2.7K HD videos and can stay aloft for 30 minutes when fully charged.