Drones for kids

Drones for kids

Drones, and in particular quadcopters, are incredibly popular right now all around the world.  They are flying off the shelves literally as fast as stores can stock them.

While sometimes difficult to get, the demand has really increased the number of choices we have, and there are some really awesome drones available right now, with great features, and even low prices!

Are you looking for really awesome drone for kids?  Great!  Drones are one of the hot gifts for kids this year, and manufacturers have targeted a number of models at them. They’ve made them easier to fly, more stable, very durable, and even thrown in some neat features that allow the drones to do so in flight tricks.

Blow are 5 of our top picks for Drones for kids.  Be sure and check out our Drone Tips for kids at the end!

>> Just want our top pick?  Head over and read the reviews on the Hubsan X4 with FPV Camera <<

Drones for Kids Buyers Guide

Best Drones for kidsWith the explosion in drone and quadcopter sales over the past couple of years, there are literally thousands of various models on the market right now.  Many of these models are marketed at children, and have very low price points.  All good right?  Well…

Before we jump in and share some precautions with you, let’s look at the qualifications we used to choose our best drones for kids:

  1. Durability
  2. Easy to fly
  3. Spare parts
  4. Small in size for both safe indoor and outdoor flying

Durability

With kids, durability was one of the key factors for the 4 models we choose.  All are considered the most durable on the market right now, we can personally attest to that fact.  We live in a wooded area, and have flown all of these, hitting numerous trees, and much to the dismay of my wife, our house too!

All of these quads, just needed to be flipped back over, and off they went.  There were a few bad crashes that required replacing the propeller blades, but on all of these models, it’s very easy to do and they all come with replacement blades.

Easy to Fly

best-drone-for-kidsWe recognize that for the majority of people reading this article, this will be a kids very first drone/quadcopter.  Being easy to fly is a very important feature, otherwise the child could get frustrated and give up.

All of of picks have beginner modes, that place the drone in a very stable an relatively easy to fly state.  We say “relatively easy” because learning to fly a quadcopter does require practice, and isn’t something you just pickup within 5 minutes.  BUT, it’s also not something that is going to take them real long either.

We also realize that once the child learns to fly their quadcopter, they are going to want it to do more and go faster.  Fortunately all of these models have “expert” modes that make the quads faster, and far more responsive.  They all even include special trick flight maneuvers that kids will love!

Availability of Spare Parts

As parents, we know that no matter how careful you and you kids are, eventually it’s going to get broke.  Just an unfortunate reality of kids and of quadcopters as a whole.  While our picks for best drones for kids are incredibly durable, they can stick break.   When they do, being able to get spare parts, and easily repair the quadcopter is important.

All of these quads have plenty of spare parts available, and generally in spare parts kits easily available on Amazon.com.  We recommend going ahead and just picking up an extra spare parts kits so you have one handy.

Small Size

Estes 4606 Proto X QuadcopterFlying outdoors is fun, but so is flying indoors.  Don’t worry Mom, you can fly all of these models safely inside.

All of the models we’ve selected are small, and either come with blade protectors, have them built in, or you can purchase them.  Blade protectors not only protect your quadcopter’s blades, but also protect furniture and people from getting hit the blades (which by the way, are plastic on all of these models).

We fly our quads inside often, and haven’t broken or damaged anything yet!

The small size also has the advantage of keeping the quad lightweight and easy to carry around.

Be careful of toy grade drones and quadcopters

Ok, so remember the precautions we mentioned earlier?  With all the models available these days, some are top quality, some are medium, and some are just plain bad (and we mean really bad).   Many toy grade quadcopters, like the ones you find in the toy section of your local department store are generally pretty bad.

What do we mean by bad?  Well, they don’t fly well at all, and are very difficult to maintain and keep flying.  We’ve purchased a few of these models, and literally after 15-20 minutes of trying to fly them, just gave up.

For just a few bucks more, you can get a much higher quality and better performing drone, that your kids will enjoy far more.

Make sure you check our our “Things you need to know parents” section at the bottom of this article.

The Best Drones for Kids

Ok, now that you know how we picked them, let us wait no longer!  Here are our four top picks for best drones for kids:

1 – Hubsan X4 with FPV Camera

The Hubsan X4 series of quadcopters has been on our list of top picks for best quadcopter or more than 2 years running.   The X4 is still our goto pick for an easy to fly, stable, and incredibly durable quadcopter.   The X4 series is just plain fun.

For kids, we would recommend going with the Hubsan X4 with FPV Camera.  This model is one the few low cost quadcopters that comes with a camera, and the camera broadcasts it’s “view” to the controller where it is displayed on a small LCD display.  Hence the name FPV (First Person View).

The Hubsan X4 has a 6-axis flight control system that includes adjustable gyros – All of this basically means that it has one of the most advanced stability systems available and is very smooth and easy to fly.  Control distance for this particular model is about 100 meters, and the camera will broadcast that far was well.

Flight times are about 7 minutes, and it takes about 30 minutes to charge the unit using the USB charger.  One really nice feature of the X4 is that the built in LED lights will start to blink when the battery is slow, warning you to land.  The LEDs also help with night flying as well.

Them model also comes with two built in flight modes: Beginner and Expert.  Beginner mode helps kids to learn the controls and is a lot more forgiving, offering slower speeds and slower response on the controls.  Expert mode drops this, and gives you full control and speed of your quadcopter.   In Expert model, the unit is very fast, and responds very quickly.  Expert mode also has built in tricks, including a roll.

If you prefer a lower cost model, and are willing to give up on the FPV camera, the base Hubsan X4 is the same quad, just without the camera.

>> Get the latest pricing, and read over the reviews on Amazon.com <<

We recommend buying the Hubsan X4 with some extra parts, a propeller guard, and an extra battery:

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2- Dromida Ominus with FPV Camera

The Dromida Ominus is not a well known name, at least not yet, but don’t let that allow you to overlook this gem.

The Ominus is outstanding quadcopter for the money, that is incredibly durable, and easy to fly.

The Ominus has similar characteristics to the Hubsan, but is a little larger – helping increase outside flight stability.   The Ominus FPV comes with a built in 1MB camera.  Not only does this camera allow to record flight in HD quality, it also streams the camera view to your iPhone or Android device providing full FPV (First Person View).  Additionally, the Dromida provides a 8-10 minutes battery life.

Like the Hubsan X4, the Dromida offers multiple flight modes, but instead of two like the Hubsan, it offers 4: Easy, Normal, Advanced, Expert.  These modes adjust the responsiveness, max speed, and flight assistance features.   The modes allow you to gradually increase the quads flight capability as you learn to fly better.   On expert mode, the Ominus is insanely quick and responsive, flying up to 30 miles per hour!

One of the things we really like about this quad, and why we chose it as one of the best drones for kids is it’s durability.  This quadcopter is designed to take a beating and keep on flying.

There are 4 LED lights on the Ominous designed to make it easer to see.  The LEDs additionally provide a low battery warning by flashing.  One of the neat features of this quadcopter is that it’s available in multiple colors: red, green, blue, and yellow.

The Dromida Ominus is a great flying quadcopter, but does not have the advanced 6-axis stability of the Hubsan X4.  The Dromida comes with a 3-axis gyro and a 3-axis accelerometer.  Still very good, but not up to the quality of the Hubsan.

While our top pick is the Hubsan, the Dromida Ominus is an outstanding quadcopter, especially for the money and an excellent choice if you are looking for a low cost model without a built in camera.

>> Get the latest pricing and read  reviews for the Dromida Ominus FPV on Amazon.com <<

3 – Blade Nano QX

Blade is a very well recognized name in the personal drone and quadcopter industry, and they have a number of highly rated and successful quadcopters on the market.  The Nano QX is an excellent model for kids, that is easy fly, very durable and “cool looking”.

A really nice feature of the QX is that it’s arms are flexible, allow it hit something without breaking or cracking.  The QX additionally comes with a built in blade protector as well.  Like the other models featured in this article, the QX is a very durable quadcopter, a key feature when choosing a drone for kids.

The QX has two modes: stability and agility.  Stability mode of course is designed for beginners, and agility mode for experts.  The Nano’s stability mode is a lot more stable than the other models in this review in “beginners modes”, making it easier to fly for new flyers.

Flight time is about 7-8 minutes, an amount to be expected for a quad in this size range.   Distance is about 200 feet before the unit will start to not respond, again average this a quadcopter in this class.

The only major downsides to the Nano QX is that it has no LEDs to assist with orientation or night flying, and it doesn’t include a camera.

>> Get the latest pricing and read reviews for the Blade Nano QX on Amazon.com <<

4 – Cheerson CX-10

Last, but certainly not least on our list is the Cheerson CX-10.  This “micro quad” is very small, and literally fits in the palm of your hand.  But don’t let it’s small size fool you, this is a great little quad, and a really good choice for kids.

This little quad has all the major features of it’s “bigger brothers”, including multiple flight modes, stability control, and a very durable hardshell frame.

The CX-10 is very quick and agile, but still easy to fly.  Due to it’s size, it’s a great option for indoor flying.

We love flying these little drones around the house, both indoor and outdoors.  You can buy multiples of them, and have races too!

>> Get the latest pricing and read reviews for the Cheerson CX-10 on Amazon.com <<

Things you need to know parents

While we would love to say things with drones and quadcopters is all hunky dory, we would be lying.  If you pay attention to the news, you’re probably already nodding your head.  The news has been covering some pretty negative sounding news items about drones and quadcopters over the past year or so.

It’s not as bad as they like to make it, but we do think there are a few things you need to be aware of, and we’ll offer you parents some tips as well.

Your new drone is not a toy

Remember we said avoid the toy quality drones?   Remember we said get a good one instead?  Well, when you make that decision, you need to be aware that your new high quality Drone isn’t just a toy.

These are flying remote control vehicles, that can move very fast in the higher agility modes.  They can hit people (and hurt them), break windows, and damage property.  Now, with that being said, all of the models we recommend here have plastic blades, and are small in size, but they can still do damage.

Remember too that due to the press, drones can scare people.  So fly them away from others, and be respectful.

It takes time to learn to fly a drone

Drones take time to learn.  You or your child will not just turn on the controlling and be zipping your drone around in a few minutes.  It will takes hours to get to the point of being able to fly it without crashing, and then days to weeks to get to the point where you can do so really well.

BUT, the learning process is fun!  Have patience and encourage your kids to keep at it.  Be sure and read our How To Fly A Quadcopter article too!

Understand the Laws in your area

Laws pertaining to drones is still a bit sketchy, but that doesn’t excuse you from having to know them.  Most laws only apply to commercial use, but various states and cities are beginning to put laws that apply to personal use in effect as well.

For example, you cannot film using drones or even fly drones in National Parks now, without a permit.   Also, California just recently announced new laws restricting photography when taken from a drone.  So it’s coming, and if you are going to fly a drone or help your child fly one, you’ll want to stay up to speed.

We’ve also heard that various city parks, and even some HOAs are putting regulations in place about drones.  We would recommend checking with your local park authority before bringing a drone.

The people aspect of drones

Unfortunately the press along with some recent high visibility “drone encounters” has gotten people all worked up about Drones.  So be careful and respectful when flying one, or it just might get shot down.

We recommend talking to your neighbors about your new Drone, explaining to them about how it will be used, and when.  We would also recommend you let them see it, and even fly it if they want.  This all helps people overcome their fears.

Sit down with your child, and have some agreements about where and when it’s ok to fly, and where it’s not.  This will really help reduce the risk of future issues or run ins.

Now get out there and get flying!

Photo credits: Howard County Library Systems