(Pocket-lint) – Drones are absolutely loads of fun – they’re amazing ways to get stunning angles on landscapes you might know perfectly well, while also being frankly exhilarating to fly when they’re up to speed. However, many of them are also really expensive and fiddly to control.
If you know a young person who’s really keen to try out flying a drone, or think that a kid you know could enjoy it, you might be looking for ways to give them experience without risking hugely expensive and technical devices in the process. That’s where the drones on this list come in – we’ve carefully selected models that are easy to control and affordable, to make sure that you don’t have to worry about them crashing anything.
Our pick of the best drones for kids to buy today
Hubsan Nano Q4 SE Quadcopter
This drone is almost bafflingly tiny – the “Nano” in its name is there for a reason, but that’s what makes it so fun to use. It’s really affordable, and extremely zippy, plus takes up far less space than many other models.
That means you can easily pop it in a bag for a day trip or take it out wherever you’re going, which is great for days out with kids. The controller is also very easy to use, and while the range and battery life aren’t amazing, it’s a great little toy for starting out.
Especially for younger kids, the drone controller is often the biggest barrier stopping them from being able to play with drones properly. This little drone solves that problem nicely – it’s motion-controlled, so you can waft it around without needing a controller.
It’s therefore a great little hovering toy for kids who can’t yet get to grips with controls, and a great way to get them thinking about flight and how drones move around.
RED5 Motion Controlled Drone
For a slightly finer degree of control, this drone from Red5 is a great middle-ground – it has a controller, but one that you use by making gestures, which works nicely for kids who are learning the ropes.
The drone itself is a more typical-looking quadcopter, although it’s obviously nice and small, plus its lightweight build is good for avoiding damage if it’s crashed. The cherry on top, of course, is that it’s really affordable, too.
Potensic Upgraded A20 Mini Drone
This mini drone is a bit more solid than the others we’ve featured so far and does have a controller, so you could put it in the intermediate category depending on whether your kid’s ever flown a drone before.
Still, though, it’s really easy to fly and doesn’t cost too much at all, which makes it perfect for families, and the controller provides a good way to get a grounding in how to fly more advanced devices.
Holy Stone HS210 Mini Quadcopter
This Holy Stone drone is a great alternative to the model from Potensic – they’re really similar, but you might prefer one’s aesthetics over the other, which is more than enough reason to pick between them.
It’s similarly small and manageable, with its own controller for learning to fly with.
Hubsan H107D X4
If you know a kid who’s looking to get a bit more experience on a drone resembling something more like those YouTubers and filmmakers use, this Hubsan model is a good stopgap that doesn’t break the bank.
It’s still affordable but ups the ante on power and flight time, and is a lot bigger, making it great for learning to fly without risking a more expensive drone. Its controller is also more complicated, which is again a useful stepping stone.
DJI Mavic Mini
We know, this is a big step-up in price, but there will be loads of kids out there, especially in the later teen years, who want a DJI drone because the name is big in the sector. If so, the DJI Mavic Mini is a great little drone that’s nice and portable and isn’t the most expensive the company makes by a distance.
It’ll still be a lot scarier watching them fly while hoping they don’t crash, but the footage they get from it will be eye-popping.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Editing by Dan Grabham.