When you’re ready to take a break from family board games, Avengers action figures, and magnetic toys, it’s time to get the kids outdoors (or at least, off their screens) and introduce them to flying toys. Of course, depending on your kids’ maturity (and your ability to run after them), this could include high-tech options like drones and remote control airplanes, or low-tech options like kites. In any case, they all have their own charms and levels of enjoyment. Some of them would even make great gifts for your boyfriend or partner, too (especially if they’re a kid at heart).
The best flying toys for kids give you the opportunity to introduce the fun of flying to your kids without the torture of flying with your kid on an airplane. This is something that they don’t put in the pregnancy books because there is no way to describe how truly horrible it is. (I believe United still has a picture of my then 3-year-old daughter at its terminal in Orlando in the “Do Not Ever Let This Person on Our Planes Again” section of the wall.)
Now for the downside. Flying toys tend to have a higher level of getting lost, stuck in a tree, or landing on the roof. They also have a high possibility of crashing to the ground, snapping in multiple pieces. If your kid has a meltdown over lost or broken toys, it may not be time yet for a high-tech flying toy for kids— stick with a large kite (with a string that doesn’t knot easily).
Or, on another note, maybe think about the best remote control car, which stays on the ground, so it can’t end up in a tree. (Or maybe we should say, it shouldn’t end up in a tree. Never underestimate the ability of a child to do the impossible.)
If they are ready to experience a flying toy, we know it will deliver on a lot of family, outdoor fun (especially if your kiddo is tired of doing the same tie dye kit for the tenth time). Some of these even work indoors. (OK, turning the kid loose with an indoor flying toy is infinitely scary. But we know you can handle it … as long as the wine fridge is full.)
Best Remote Control Airplanes & Copters For Kids
Sometimes as parents, we buy a toy completely for the kid’s benefit. And sometimes, we parents buy a toy because we think it’ll be cool, so obviously the kid will agree with us. (Granted, dads almost certainly do this more than moms.)
So if your kid ends up with this U.S.S. Enterprise drone as one the best remote control flying toys, we’re going to guess this was a parent’s idea. Even so, kids should have a fun time flying this RC drone, as any spaceship drone is awesome for kids.
This one makes 10 different sounds and lights up. Now we’re guessing if your kid knows Star Trek, he or she considers Chris Pine as Capt. Kirk. Sigh. Even though we all know William Shatner is the only true Kirk, you may have to let the kid have this one. Better yet, find a free Saturday and stream the original series, so the kid can see the truth. (Bonus points if he or she sits all the way through the first 15 minutes.)
Okay, so if you do trust your kids to fly an aircraft in the house (or you’re that desperate to get them out of your hair), this beginner-friendly helicopter is just the toy for the job. It’s actually designed for indoor use, making it a reliable source of screen-free entertainment, especially in inclement weather and especially if you have a basement or playroom that’s roomy enough for flying.
The S107H-E Aircraft is easy to control with one key take off and landing functions and the ability to hover. It’s also made with durable alloy so it can withstand multiple crashes … although, we can’t say the same for your breakables.
Other features include LED lights and selectable frequencies so you (er, your kid) can fly two helicopters at once. Might as well grab two, then!
When you’re looking for the best remote control flying toys for younger kids, you will want to be careful. We all know kids break things at a record level. And after the week our kid had playing ball, wildly chasing the dog, and working on his baseball swing — all in the house –the Guinness Book is ready to crown him as the new record holder for breaking stuff.
So you may not think a drone should fit among the best flying toys for kids. But this Holy Stone model has a very low price point, which means that in the extreme likelihood that the kid busts it, you don’t have to feel guilty.
This quadcopter has guards around all four blades, which is helpful for keeping the unit in one piece after bumping into items and crashing. It has an auto-hover mode, so kids can fly it without having to worry about controlling height.
We wouldn’t recommend telling the kid this, but it’s small enough to be flown in the house safely for some pilots. But if our kid flies it indoors? We’ll be ready for another record-breaking week of breaking things.
The best remote control flying toys we’ve listed so far will work for either younger kids or older kids. This Holy Stone drone is definitely for older kids who have a little bit of experience flying a drone. After all, it’s a little pricey versus some other beginner level drones, so you definitely don’t want to hand over the remote to a little kid who’s going to drive it straight into the ground in the first 25 seconds.
This is a high powered drone versus other remote control airplanes for kids, as it delivers 22 minutes of flying on a full battery charge. The video signal works over a distance of 2,600 feet. It’s definitely made for older kids or adults who are looking for a solid starter drone.
This drone has a camera hanging from the bottom that can achieve an impressive 2K video resolution. Just connect your smartphone screen to the remote control unit, and you’ll be able to see the view from the camera. Definitely a lot of fun for an older kid. Just remind him or her that spying on the neighbors with it is a no-no. A big no-no. A call the cops no-no. Hopefully the kid gets the hint.
Best Low- and No-Tech Flying Toys
Maybe the 100 feet of launch from the Rocket Copters feels like child’s play for you and your older kids. No worries. These Marky Sparky launchers promise 200-plus feet of flight height. That ought to satisfy even the most jaded pre-teen kid.
It’s extremely easy to use … and the kid gets a little exercise in the process. You’ll attach the missile onto the launch tube, stomp on the blaster pad, and the air pressure launches the missile into the air. And if the kid takes a run at the blaster pad and jumps on it with both feet, he or she will have a better chance of hitting the maximum height.
Because it’s so much fun, and because part of the fun is seeing how far in the air you can launch the missile, the adults are going to join in. Just make sure dad takes turns and doesn’t hog the toy.
The Rocket Copters check a lot of boxes for kids and toys. They go fast, soar as high as 100-plus feet, and have LED lights. The kids are sure to be bouncing around in excitement waiting to use these.
Younger kids may not be able to reach maximum height without mom and dad’s help, as the rocket propels through an included sling that you’ll operate manually. Pre-teens and teen-agers will have no problems launching these toys far into the air.
Fair warning: These represent an “as seen on TV” toy, which means kids may freak out a little bit when they see these, as most kids love playing with toys they actually see in TV commercials. On the downside, after figuring out how fun these flying toys for kids are, the kids may think every TV commercial has incredibly fun products. Get ready to receive non-stop begging for Chia Pets.
When seeking flying ball toys for young kids, this model is one of the easiest to control. Rather than flying it with a remote control unit, the kid can use his or her hands to guide it around without touching it. He or she will almost feel like a magician.
It has an ability to measure nearby objects, moving slightly as it hovers to avoid those items. For really small kids, the propellers on this flying toy for kids are encased inside a mesh cage, which will protect the blades from the kids and the kids from the blades.
It has a few lights to keep things interesting. It’s not quite as fun as a drone with a camera, but it’s a nice way to introduce a child to flying toys. It’s an indoor drone, but it only goes about 5 feet in the air, so your most valuable stuff should be safe. After all, if you have kids, you’ve probably already put your favorite items several feet off the floor in the safe zone from the kids’ grubby little hands.
No list of the best flying toys for kids would be complete without a kite. Finding a safe spot to fly a kite can be a challenge, as you want to stay well away from overhead wires and nearby trees.
But there’s nothing quite like the feeling a kid gets when he or she flies a kite for the first time … or the feeling mom and dad have watching the kid achieve this special milestone.
We really like the design of this kite for young children and those who don’t have much experience with kites, as it has a configuration made to maximize the available wind. You should be able to launch it even on a day with light winds.
(Notice we said “should.” If you haven’t flown a kite in a couple of decades, you may want to practice by yourself before taking the kid out. Few things will make you feel like a bigger failure as a parent than ramping up the kids’ hopes about flying a kite, only to have you be unable to launch the thing on the big day. Guaranteed this type of failure is something the kid will remember years into the future, letting you relive the humiliation, so don’t let it happen.)
For a kids’ sleepover party or when the cousins are coming over, having one drone as a best remote control flying toy probably isn’t the best idea. With just one kid flying, the others are sure to become bored pretty quickly. And bored kids equal troublemakers.
So try this pack of 10 toy parachutes. You’ll throw these by hand, and the paratrooper toy attached to the bottom of the parachute will float down to the ground. Kids can safely throw it from a treehouse platform or from the top of a backyard playset.
It also makes a great addition for a kid who has a collection of little green army toys. Best of all, there are no batteries required, no complex instructions with drawings that no human could actually comprehend, or any pieces for an accident-prone kid to break. It just works. What a concept for toys.
For another low-tech flying toy for kids, we like this set of two foam planes. Each plane measures 17.5 inches in length (and 17.5 inches in the width of the wings), so it has a bigger size versus some other foam planes that little kids will love. You can change the tail insert in one of two ways to allow the plane to fly straight or to encourage loops.
This plane has no sharp parts, consisting of a safe and soft foam that’s perfect for really little kids to protect themselves. (And to protect dad, as the kid is sure to launch it from a distance of about 7 inches from dad’s groin at some point … and then laugh maniacally. Hopefully someone has the smartphone video going when it happens.)
Since there are two in the kit, the kid and his or her sibling can play together, which is nice.
This foam airplane toy may remind parents of balsa wood airplanes they may have had as kids … and that they may have almost certainly broken on the first day. These foam planes eventually will break too, but they have enough durability to last quite a bit longer than the balsa wood, keeping the tears at bay for several weeks at least.
Maybe flying toys just aren’t practical—oh well. We’ve got quite a few other ideas for fun toys that will keep the kids entertained at ground level. Check out our toy guides for some non-flying ideas for playtime.