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Not only can drones supply kids with hours of fun, but they are also an excellent way for children to start learning about everything from coding to physics.
But if you’re thinking about giving a drone as a gift, there are a few things you need to consider first. You need it to be fun, robust, safe, easy to use, and ideally, to include some learning tools.
So, which are the best drones for kids that you can buy right now? Let’s take a look.
1. DJI Tello
DJI is one of the most well-known brands in the world of drones. The company’s range of products covers the full spectrum; it manufactures cheaper entry-level drones right through to top-of-the-range professional models.
The DJI Tello offers 13 minutes of flight time, a 100-meter range, support for 720p video capture, and a five-megapixel camera for photos.
The drone is also easy to use. It has throw-and-go technology, meaning your kid only has throw the drone into the air to start flying—there is no complicated take-off procedure. It can also perform stunts that’ll amaze a child, such as bouncing up and down on top of your hand and 8D flips for dramatic in-air maneuvers.
You can even buy a special DJI Tello Iron Man edition of the drone. It comes decked out in Iron Man’s colors and will delight children who enjoy Marvel’s franchise.
Although the DJI Tello supports some coding, if you would like to use a drone to teach a child how to code, you should opt for the DJI Tello EDU instead.
The Tello EDU is a programmable drone that’s perfect for education. Three programming languages are supported: Scratch, Python, and Swift. The basic Tello model only supports Scratch.
Once your child develops their skills (and assuming you have more than one DJI Tello EDU drone to use), you can write code that’ll make multiple Tello EDUs fly in a swarm, perform synchronized maneuvers, and fly over Mission Pads in tandem.
The Tello EDU also provides a basic introduction to AI technology. The improved Software Development Kit (SDK) means you can teach your drone to recognize certain objects and track them.
Elsewhere, the Tello EDU’s technical specs are broadly the same as the basic Tello. There’s 720p video, five-megapixel photos, and 13 minutes of flight time.
3. Altair AA108
Another of the best drones for children is the Altair AA108. It has three flight modes: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. As your child’s proficiency improves, they can move up through the skill levels, thus keeping them entertained and preventing the need for you to shell out on a premature upgrade.
Other features that make the drone ideal for children include:
- Headless Mode: The pilot doesn’t need to consider the drone’s orientation while flying.
- Altitude Hold: The drone can hover automatically without any user input.
- One-Touch Take-Off: A single button can be used to make the craft take-off and land.
- Crash Resistance: The Altair AA108 is made of durable plastic so it can withstand a few bashes while the child is learning.
The Altair AA108 has a 100-meter range, 10 minutes of flight time, a 720p video camera, a 120-degree wide-angle camera for first-person flying, and an emergency landing feature.
You do not need to use a smartphone to operate the drone, making it one of the best cool drones on the market.
4. GoolRC T36
So far, the drones we’ve looked at haven’t really been suitable for very young children. That’s where the GoolRC T36 comes in. It’s probably the best drone for little kids.
It has toy-like aesthetics which could appeal to a very young child more than an impressive-but-complex fancier model might. It also features a simple, bulky, and easy-to-hold flight controller. Again, it won’t overwhelm young minds when they start using it for the first time.
And adults will be able to breathe a sigh of relief about the price tag. At sub-$30, it’s not going to leave you in tears if it gets broken during boisterous play.
To further aid ease-of-control for little kids, the drone has a one-key button for returning home and performing 360-degree flips. There’s also a switch to change between low and high-speed flying.
Specs-wise, it has a 30-meter range and five minutes of flight time. There is no way to take photos and videos, so if you want a kid-friendly drone with a camera, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
The Holy Stone HS177 is great beginner drone for young children to use. Like the Altair AA108, there are three flying modes, allowing your kids to progress as they improve their piloting skills. The drone also comes with four different fuselage colors to suit their style.
The machine even has LED lights—they look great while flying at night. Other key features include an emergency stop button, one-press take-off and landing, nine minutes of flight time, and a range of 50 meters.
However, the Holy Stone HS177 really shines when you have two of them. You can pair them together and fight in a mid-air battle using infrared lasers. If your drone is hit four times, it’s been defeated. It will automatically descend and land. It’s a fun game even for adults, but kids are sure to absolutely love it.
The Best Drones for Kids
These drones for kids can be both fun and educational, but remember, never let a child use a drone while unsupervised. They have a considerable potential to cause damage and injury.
If your kid is taking a keen interest in drones and flying, you should tell them to visit MakeUseOf! We’ve written loads of resources that they’ll find interesting. Start them off right by checking out our article on the craziest things you can do with a drone.