The Best Drones for Kids in 2020: Child-Friendly UAVs

Last updated: 1st May 2020
DJI Mavic Mini

DJI Mavic Mini

Contixo F18

Contixo F18

UDI U818A HD

UDI U818A HD

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Drones are really fun, for adults as much as for kids. But, there are some concerns when we are buying drones for our children. Best drones for kids need to be safe and sturdy as much as fun and easy to fly.

The type of drone you want will depend on the age and ability of your child. If they have already flown a drone, or if no one has any experience in the matter.

For the youngest drone pilots, safety is vital. Drones can fly very fast, and making sure that they won’t be able to do any harm will give parents and guardians peace of mind.

Additionally, they shouldn’t cost too much. The crash potential is too big for your kid to have hundreds of dollars to play around.

As they grow older, especially once they are teenagers, you can switch or more advanced models that have more features. At that age, features like the selfie camera and video recording become more important.

In all situations, you should prioritize the safety of your child first, followed by the ease of flying the drone. Finally, there are aesthetics, which are useful to incorporate in your search parameters, but not essential for your quest.

The Best Kids Drones

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Contents show hide

DJI Mavic Mini

This is an amazing drone but won’t be suitable for kids that are too young.

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DJI Mavic Mini
  • Flight Time: ~28 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~90 minutes
  • Range: 3000m / 9842ft
  • Remote Controller: WiFi 5.4GHz & 2.4Ghz (included in the set)
  • Camera: 3-axis gimbal 2K Camera with 12MP
  • Live Video Transmission Range: 2500m / 8200ft
  • Weight: 249g / 8.78oz
  • Working Temperature: 0°C ~ 40°C
  • Rated for indoor and outdoor use

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The only downside of buying the DJI Mavic Mini for your child is that they will get furious when you take it from them to play yourself.

This is one of the best compact drones on the market today and can be regarded as one of the best drones for kids aged 14 to 114! Feature-wise, there are few equals.

The Mavic Mini weighs less than nine ounces and can easily fit in the palm of your hand. And, with its GPS features and sensors, it can take off from and land on your hand as well.

For your teenager, the best features will be those connected with live video feeds, as well as streaming that video online. There is a 2.7K QHD video camera inside better than most smartphones.

Additionally, this drone can be operated entirely over the phone. The DJI Fly app is easy to use and easy to understand. As the GPS and the internal AI can do most of the flying, it will be easy to order the Mini around only using gestures.

Finally, the battery lasts for about half an hour, which will be more than enough for your teen to film everything they want and share it with all of their friends.

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+ Pros

+ Amazing portability
+ Excellent autonomous options
+ Long battery
+ Excellent camera
+ Long range

- Cons

- Narrow field of view
- Low wind resistance

Contixo F18

Inspired by a combat jet of the same name, the F18 from Contixo provides more than just speed.

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Contixo F18
  • Flight Time: ~20 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~240 minutes
  • Range: 600m / 2000ft
  • Remote Controller: WiFi 2.4GHz with 5.4Ghz video transmission (included in the set)
  • Camera: FPV 2K Camera with 12MP
  • Live Video Transmission Range: 460m / 1500ft
  • Weight: 453g / 16oz
  • Working Temperature: 5°C to ~35°C
  • Rated for indoor and outdoor use

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While not as portable as the Mavic Mini, the F18 offers similar features and an arguably stronger drone for a lower price.

This model also has a GPS, making it possible to fly from your smartphone. Also, you can order the drone to follow the controller or to plan a flight plan. All of this can be done inside a 2000 feet radius, which is enough for most of your teenager’s needs.

Additionally, the F18 has reliable, brushless motors that can withstand some high wind speed. If you are living close to the ocean, or experience heavy winds, this will be the ideal model to get.

The drone is not compact, as the wings can’t be folded. Instead, it is made from a sturdy plastic that can take quite a few hits and is much less susceptible to moisture and dirt.

Connecting to your iOS or Android device, the F18 indeed resembles its ‘Hornet’ namesake, as it is one of the strongest and most adaptable drones in this range.

Regardless if your teen is a novice pilot, or has some experience, they will be happy with this excellent piece of gadgetry.

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+ Pros

+ Very fast and strong
+ Amazing autopilot
+ Good camera
+ Visible LED nightlights
+ Great battery life

- Cons

- Quite bulky
- Fixed camera

UDI U818A HD

This very affordable drone is suitable for most kids but it can pick up some speed, so be wary!

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UDI U818A HD
  • Flight Time: ~ 10 minutes
  • Charge Time: 75 minutes
  • Range: 30 meters
  • Remote Controller: dedicated controller included
  • Camera: 720p HD / 2MP
  • Weight: 100g

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This is one of the best drones for kids when it comes to speed and maneuverability. It is made to do twists and turns both indoors and outside.

The 818A drone is lightweight and requires no FAA registration to fly. You can simply get it outside and have fun. While still a toy drone, it is fantastic to fly and buzz around, as it can flip, turn, and to all kinds of tricks.

It only has a 720p 2MP camera, but that will be an excellent introduction for your child to the world of drone photography. With it, they will be able to take photos from 60 feet into the air.

Inside, the drone has a six-axis gyro, making it quite stable and lined up compared to the ground. This means that it will always stand topside up when not turning.

While probably not the best option for beginners because of the speed it can generate, if your child is of a suitable age, they will love this stronger and faster model.

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+ Pros

+ Easy to fly
+ 720p HD video recording
+ One of the cheapest good drones available
+ Upgradeable storage
+ LEDs for low-light flying

- Cons

- So light that even the gentlest of breeze will move it

SNAPTAIN S5C

An FPV drone for beginner pilots that features voice and gesture control at a rock-bottom price. 

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SNAPTAIN S5C
  • Flight Time: 9 minutes (per battery)
  • Charge Time: ~90 minutes
  • Range: 80 meters
  • Remote Controller: controller with smartphone mount included
  • Camera: 720p HD / 0.3MP
  • Weight: 680g
  • Indoor and outdoor use

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The S5C is a midrange drone with a toy drone price. It has most of the features of much more expensive models but scaled down to fit the entry model level.

For teenagers who never flew a drone before, it is probably the best option to start with. It can make a great gift and is a good introduction to the industry.

The drone is stable, fast, and can easily do tricks.

But, the main feature of this drone is its compatibility with iOS and Android smartphones, where it can stream its 720p video directly to the phone.

Also, you can use the phone to stream video from the S5C and have an FPV when flying. This can make for some fun filming opportunities when your teenager is out with their friends.

As is the case with much pricier models, this drone can recognize gestures for taking a photo or starting a video. Even with a relatively low resolution, it can make an excellent group selfie.

While there is no GPS, the WiFi in the app and controller can find your drone if it gets out of sight or loses battery.

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+ Pros

+ VR compatibility
+ Voice & gesture control
+ Includes spare battery
+ Variety of flight features
+ LED lighting

- Cons

- Some reports of flying malfunctions, though believed to be fixed by firmware updates
- Cheap build quality

Hubsan Q4 Nano H111

One of the smallest, cheapest drones on the market. Perfect for a 6-7 year old’s first drone.

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Hubsan Q4 Nano H111
  • Flight Time: ~6 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~30 minutes
  • Range: 15m / 50ft
  • Remote Controller: WiFi & 2.4Ghz (included in the set)
  • Camera: N/A
  • Live Video Transmission Range: N/A
  • Weight: 136g / 4.8oz
  • Working Temperature: 5°C to ~ 35°C
  • Rated for indoor and outdoor use

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The Hubsan Q4 Nano H111 is officially one of the smallest drones on the market today. Its matchbox size allows for an easy flight on a small battery but has other advantages as well.

While it is to be expected that a drone of this size can’t fit everything as would a larger model, there is the benefit of material structural stability. Namely, because the drone is so small, the plastic doesn’t have many places to crack or break when it falls.

Additionally, your child can easily carry the drone in their hand, which is really important if you want them to learn on their own.

The inner workings of this drone are relatively simple. There is no GPS capability, but there are gyros inside that will make the drone quite stable when there is no wind.

Finally, the fact that the range of the drone is not very long is beneficial when your child is flying it. The H111 can’t go that far, and you will see its LED lights even in the evening.

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+ Pros

+ Amazing portability
+ Sturdy
+ LED lights
+ Changeable battery

- Cons

- Few features
- Low flight time
- Almost zero wind resistance

Air Hogs Millennium Falcon Quad

This Millenium Falcon drone is perfect for any kid that is a massive Star Wars fan!

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Air Hogs Millennium Falcon Quad
  • Flight Time: ~8 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~60 minutes
  • Range: 60m / 200ft
  • Remote Controller: WiFi 2.4Ghz (included in the set)
  • Camera: N/A
  • Live Video Transmission Range: N/A
  • Weight: 66g
  • Working Temperature: 5°C to ~35°C
  • Rated for indoor use

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As outer space has no air, this machine won’t be able to make the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs. But, that doesn’t mean that this Millennium Falcon Star Wars drone isn’t entertaining to fly around here on Earth.

The iconic memorabilia is not only entertaining to look at but is a good drone in its own right.

The four powerful motors of this quadcopter drone are hidden inside the body and can’t be easily damaged in case of a crash. Also, the fact they are secure means no fear from hurting yourself, or any furniture, on the propellers (unless you stick your fingers inside it, of course).

The drone makes all the sounds of the Millennium Falcon and even has LED lighting to increase immersion. 

The shape means that it is not wind resistant and that it should only be flown indoors. 

If your kid is a fan of Star Wars, this will be an excellent way to set them on the way of an interstellar smuggler and scoundrel. This might actually be a job by the time they grow up, who knows?

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+ Pros

+ LED lights
+ Original Star Wars sounds
+ Uses normal AA batteries
+ Safe and easy to fly

- Cons

- No additional drone features
- No wind resistance

Potensic A30 Mini

A low-cost quadcopter that will be perfect for teaching 6 to 10-year-olds the basics of drone flying.

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Potensic A30 Mini
  • Flight Time: ~7 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~75 minutes
  • Range: 15m / 60ft
  • Remote Controller: WiFi 2.4Ghz (included in the set)
  • Camera: N/A
  • Live Video Transmission Range: N/A
  • Weight: 318g / 11.2oz
  • Working Temperature: 5°C to ~ 40°C
  • Rated for indoor and outdoor use

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The A30 is a very fun little drone that looks like a car from the future. Its four large rotors make it very stable, but also very speedy.

Additionally, it is quite sturdy and can withstand countless crashes. The outside is protected by a strong rubbery plastic frame, and it lands on outer ‘feet’. This makes it possible to land the drone on grass or even gravel.

The controller is very responsive and can even engage a ‘headless mode’ where you won’t need to know which way is head of the drone.

This drone doesn’t have a GPS but acts as well as some that do. It has six-axis internal gyro and a barometer that will make the A30 stable. It even has a function to take off and land automatically, although not back in the same place that it took off from.

For both children and beginner drone pilots, this is an excellent entry model that will develop an understanding of how drones work and the love of flying them. Get this before moving onto a drone with a good camera.

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+ Pros

+ Durable
+ Very agile
+ Compact
+ Easy to fly

- Cons

- Low flight time
- No tricks

REDPAWZ JJRC Mini

This is a small and portable drone that can perform tricks at the push of a button.

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REDPAWZ JJRC Mini
  • Flight Time: ~7 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~90 minutes
  • Range: 30m / 100ft
  • Remote Controller: WiFi 2.4Ghz (included in the set)
  • Camera: N/A
  • Live Video Transmission Range: N/A
  • Weight: 22g / 0.79oz
  • Working Temperature: 0°C to ~ 40°C
  • Rated for indoor use

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While arguably a budget drone, the JJRC Mini is very fun to fly. It is pure joy watching it buzz around, flip, and roll in the living room while you sit on the couch with your kid.

The drone has a ‘headless mode’, making it easy to fly backward or to the side without needing to know which way is the front of the drone. This is a significant advantage here because you can’t see the body from the large ellipses.

The blades are protected in a sturdy plastic that is bendy and rubbery, making it more durable.

Additionally, the petite size of the drone means that it won’t be able to damage anything in the house or to crack from a fall.

For a pre-teen that is just entering the drone hobby, this is a good starter. It is easy to control and entirely secure to fly around the house, but it is also fun to operate and can do all kinds of flips.

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+ Pros

+ Amazing portability
+ Good additional button functions
+ Very durable
+ Quite fast

- Cons

- Not wind-resistant
- Low battery time
- Low range

What Drones to Buy for Young Kids?

Regretfully, there are no drones suitable for toddlers and children under the age of six. Some finger dexterity needs to be developed, and that only starts at a certain age.

But, once your child is six or older, you can start planning for some beginner drones to let them have fun. This way, they will also be introduced to physics and technology, which can develop a lifetime affinity for these fields.

For young children, it is essential for the drone to look cool, which usually means some LED lighting or pop-culture references. The ability to do fancy tricks definitely outweighs an extra minute or two in battery life. Getting an FPV drone with any video quality is probably better than having no FPV but with a better camera for photos or images.

What Drones to Buy for Teenagers?

Teenagers are a strange bunch (sorry teens), can anyone understand them?

Well, unlike those of us with slightly higher numbers on our ID cards who value sleep more than most things, teenagers have different needs. Almost every teenager these days — along with a fair share of adults — craves self-actualization. They want products that will help fulfil that need.

Thankfully, drone technology mostly developed right in that direction, either by chance or design.

For your teenager, it is often better to spend a bit more money focusing on that primary need, than to go cheaper. They are capable enough not to crash, but for that they need not want to crash.

Selfies, streaming, and sharing. If the drone can get your child some additional popularity in the form of a few internet likes, they will probably become a pro drone pilot in a few weeks!

Thankfully, drones that fit the class needed by kids 14 and up are usually market leaders. They are often some of the best drones in the industry period.

To recap: for teenagers, look for drones that look cool, are highly portable, and have good cameras. Emphasis on the good cameras. You may even want to look towards a racing drone if your teen is interested in that kinda thing.

Best Drones for Kids: Quick Buyer’s Guide

As most people have already realized, the best drones for kids are not selected on their features or abilities, but rather on how they will adapt to your child’s needs.

There are several aspects to consider, starting with the developmental influence of the drone on your child, as well as health and safety. As they grow up, these needs will change, and the drone needs to comply with these new needs.

For younger kids, you are always looking for something that will be safe and easy. Children around six don’t have their dexterity as developed and will need something easy to practice on.

As they reach their pre-teen years, they will be more focused on fun than safety. Here you will want something that can’t be lost easily and wouldn’t cost piles of money due to the risk of damage, but is still fast and can do tricks.

Finally, as we become teenagers, our primary concern becomes ourselves, which usually last up to the point we get children of our own.

Your teenager will want a drone that can film amazing videos and take good pictures. They will send these images online and share with their friends.

Are Drones Suitable for Kids?

Short answer? Yes. Not all drones are suitable for all ages, but there is a drone for any age of a child that has reached uninterrupted hand-eye coordination, which usually happens between the ages of four and six.

Thankfully, smaller and safer models are not as expensive and are very hard to break. And it can have a positive influence on your child’s development.

While all drone manufacturers will cite the age range proposed for the drone, common sense will usually do the same. There is a good drone for your six-year-old, but it is not the one that weighs 20lbs and has blades bigger than their face.

What to Look For In a Drone for Kids?

Always go with safety first. Even when it comes to your teenager, you should be vigilant when picking out a drone from an unknown manufacturer.

The best drones for kids will be tested and rated or will come from market leaders. This way, you know you are buying a good thing.

Next, once you know that your child is safe, you can assess what they need. For this, it would even be good to talk with them and go through this list together.

Once your research is done and your child is consulted, the final selection will be natural.

Conclusion

Drones are awesome. They are fun to play with and can be really useful.

Letting your child learn about drones and flight from an early age can get them interested in physics and technology, as well as photography and videography. You will be giving them a new perspective — in this case, a bird’s eye view.

Finally, flying drones is an excellent activity to bond over with your kids. It will be equally fun for you as it is for them, and the collective memories will last you a lifetime.

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DJI Mavic Mini

DJI Mavic Mini

The Mavic Mini has replaced the hugely popular Spark model and will become one of the most popular drones of all time.

Contixo F18

Contixo F18

Inspired by a combat jet of the same name, the F18 from Contixo provides more than just speed.

UDI U818A HD

UDI U818A HD

There's a 720p / 2MP camera in this easy-to-fly and budget-friendly beginner drone.