Why buy a flying toy?
With children, play is actually a major part of their developmental process. Depending on their age, playing with toys—including flying ones—can be a great way to build and refine motor skills, boost cognitive thinking, and even introduce more nebulous (but important) concepts like sharing, taking turns, and problem-solving. And who doesn’t love throwing a frisbee or operating an RC plane? Thanks to modern technology, even drone flying can be a fun way to spend an afternoon. There are many different flying toy options for a range of ages.
What should you consider when shopping for the best flying toys for kids?
- Design: “Flying toys” covers a very broad range of toys. This can include everything from traditional unpowered frisbees, toy planes or helicopters, and other airborne toys. But it can also include RC planes and drones.
- Age Appropriateness:
- Powered vs. Unpowered: Flying toys can include those that are battery operated and those that aren’t. There’s no right or wrong, but keep in mind that powered toys must either have an internal battery recharged periodically or have physical batteries replaced.
- Ease of Use: Ease of use refers to whether or not the learning curve is steep for getting acclimated to a new toy. As a general rule, toys geared towards younger kids should have a very shallow learning curve.
- Durability: Unsurprisingly, kids can be rough on toys, especially younger kids. So, always check to ensure that a toy is durable enough to handle whatever a child can dish out.
- Safety: Especially when you’re shopping for smaller children, be sure that any toy is free from choking hazards or sharp edges that could pose a safety risk.
What flying toy is best for kids?
This is going to depend on the child you’re shopping for and their interests and age. Toy manufacturers usually list a recommended age range or at least a minimum age for a toy. Use this as a guide to pick accordingly. For example, getting a delicate drone with sensitive controls for a 4-year-old might be a bad investment, whereas a kid-friendly RC plane with simplified functions might be more appropriate.
Force1 Scoot Hand Operated Drone for Kids
An easy starter drone with a shallow learning curve.
Pros: These days, drones are a ubiquitous toy that delights people of all ages. But if you have a younger kid, you might be hesitant to invest in some of the pricier models. This simple hand-operated drone is the perfect solution. Since it relies on the built-in five sensors as well as hand operation, your children won’t have to figure out how to operate manual controls. And this USB recharging offers up to 8 minutes of fly time with every 50 minutes of charge.
Cons: Even though this product is made with children in mind, the total flying time on a full charge is pretty low. With only 8 minutes of fly time, you can expect to have some frustrated children just a few minutes after you hand this drone to them.
Bottom Line: If you have young children who’ve been pestering you for a drone, but you’re not ready to invest in a pricier model, this is a good entry option with fairly easy controls. However, it has a short flight time on a full charge.
Amerfist Flying Ball Toys
A light-up drone that will offer endless delight.
Pros: If you’re looking for a fun, low-stress drone to give your children, this flying orb is a solid choice as well. With lights, 360-degree rotation, and five colors to choose from, it’s a fun way to keep the kids occupied. While you still don’t get an amazing flying time (just 8 to 10 minutes) on a full charge, you can completely recharge this drone in just 20 minutes.
Cons: What you get in shorter recharging sessions you’ll give up in ease of operation. The most common complaint with this drone was that you had to learn to hold your hand in just the right position in order to get it to hover. However, many people noted that the drone tended to have a mind of its own.
Bottom Line: If you’re still prioritizing hand-operated drones, you’ll appreciate that this one offers a flying time range of eight to 10 minutes and can be fully recharged in just 20 minutes. However, the operation can be frustrating as you have to learn to position your hands precisely to control the hovering mode.
Crystal Flyers Pink Magical Flying Pixie Toy
A fun themed extension of the Hatchimals universe.
Pros: This I a fun hybrid between a drone and a more traditional toy doll. This Hatchimals Pixies Fairy can easily fly and comes with an auto-stop feature. Similar to other hand-operated drones, you won’t need a remote control to guide the toy’s movements. And it comes with a Crystal Egg Display Case as well as a USB charging cable.
Cons: The brand fails to disclose how much flying time you get on a single charge or how long it takes to fully recharge the toy. Additionally, a common parental complaint was that the Pixie had a knack for getting stuck in children’s hair — often leading to unwanted home haircuts.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for something a little more exciting than the traditional hand-operated drones, this is a cute themed version designed to look like a pixie. It comes with an auto-stop feature, but the brand fails to share how long it can fly between charges and what a recharge cycle timeline looks like. Plus, that pixie can get stuck in hair, becoming a nightmare for parents.
SYMA Remote Control Helicopter
Kick it old-school with older kids with this fun remote-controlled helicopter.
Pros: When you’re shopping for older kids, you want something that’s engaging for more than a few minutes. This RC helicopter is a great upgrade and is rated safe for middle-school-aged children. Since it’s an RC toy, you’ll get full 3.5 channels and two frequencies. The built-in gyro allows for this helicopter to hover, fly right and left, forward and backward, and go up and down.
Cons: While this toy is definitely made for older kids but is still fairly durable, it suffers in terms of flight time. Although it takes an hour to charge, you can expect to get only about eight minutes of flight time.
Bottom Line: Older kids who have refined motor skills, and take better care of their toys, will appreciate this RC helicopter that offers enhanced functionality. But they might not be too excited about the eight minutes of total flight time after an hour of charging.
Battat Skyrocopter Flying Disc Toy
A simply flying toy that can keep little ones entertained for hours.
Pros: Almost anyone who’s spent time around toddlers knows that the simpler the toy, the better off you’ll be. This age group can get excited about an empty box. So, if you want to introduce them to flying toys but don’t want anything too complicated or easy to break, these simple flying discs are a solid choice. All you do is pull the string, and the discs go flying. And it’s rated safe for kids as young as three.
Cons: Some parents noted that the pull string can fall apart prematurely.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a toy that will keep younger tots entertained for hours, this very easy-to-use flying disc toy set is the perfect solution.
BooTaa 2 Pack Airplane Toys
A fun plane that always flies right.
Pros: When you’re looking for a good indoor/outdoor flying toy that won’t leave marks on your walls or injure anyone, this two-pack set of foam airplanes is the perfect choice. They’re safe for kids as young as 3 years old and don’t have any hard or sharp parts. Although assembly is required, it’s fairly foolproof, and you might be amazed by the fact that these planes are quite large at 17.5 by 17.5 inches.
Cons: Some parents did note that sometimes you need to add a little extra weight to the nose to get the plane to stay airborne for longer. Likewise, if your child uses this toy frequently, don’t be surprised if the wings begin to get a bit wobbly.
Bottom Line: Get the kids off the screens with this fun, easy-to-assemble set of gliding planes. But if you want to get the planes to fly farther, you’ll need to add some weight to the nose or body.
Flying toys are a great way to get kids off their screens and outside. As long as you ensure that the toy you select is age-appropriate and offers decent flight time, there’s no reason your child won’t love it.