Have a little dronie in your life that you want to get started into the drone hobby early?
Get them a drone-inspired Christmas gift! And while drones themselves can be expensive, you don’t need to bust your budget. There are tons of great holiday gift ideas for kids that involve drones, but that aren’t actually a drone (and that also won’t cost as much as one).
For making the picks of what we would include in this guide, we opted for products that encompassed a range of budgets and that provided some sort of positive impact for kids, like augmenting their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies, inspiring creativity or serving as a fun gateway into the drone industry, like racing.
Here are our favorite drone Christmas gifts for kids for 2019:
Propel’s Star Wars drone
Price: $33.99 on Amazon (starting price)
There’s a new Star Wars movie coming out this Christmas. That, coupled with the newly launched Mandalorian show, has created Star Wars mania. What better way to get in on it than with a Star Wars drone?
Propel’s Star Wars drones are essentially a basic 4-ounce toy drone that is operated via remote controller — but they’re highly-detailed. They’re easy and fun to fly, with an auto takeoff and land button for new pilots, and options to adjust some flight settings.
And if you opt not to fly it, they also make an incredible keepsake item for the collectors in your life.
Prices vary based on model (designs include a tie fighter, X Wing and speeder bike) but they start at around $30.
Illustrated children’s book “The Adventures of Leonardo the Drone”
This picture book from Creative Cat Media was written by husband-wife duo John Purdy and Cindy Rodella-Purdy. It’s a sweet story that shows a positive use-case for drones. Plus, there’s an empowering message for kids that transcends all fields — not just drones — about not giving up when things get hard.
The book just launched in time for the holidays, but new books in the series are expected to come out in the future.
It’s so beautifully illustrated, that it’s totally worth going for the hardcover version.
Tello’s Iron Man drone
It was a big year for Avengers, and even if you didn’t see it in theaters, perhaps you saw it on Disney+. Either way, Iron Man is all the rage, and there’s a drone to capitalize on it, too. The popular Tello drone got a makeover earlier this year with the new Tello drone Iron Man Edition, designed to resemble Tony Stark’s red Iron Man suit. The Iron Man version of the Tello drone also comes with a special “Hero” app, simulating FRIDAY, Iron Man’s virtual assistant.
Other than the Iron Man design, the drone is otherwise the same as the standard Tello, and is also compatible with the custom Tello Hero app.
And great news, if you purchase it before December 4 from DJI’s site, it’s on sale as part of the DJI Black Friday 2019 sale for just $89 (typically $129).
The original Tello drone
The Iron Man drone is great, but you may be on a budget. If that’s you, we love the Tello drone, and we especially love that it’s on sale between now and Dec. 4 for just $69 (it’s usually $99).
The drone is smartly made by a Chinese startup called Ryze Tech, in partnership with both DJI and Intel (it’s got an Intel vision processing chip and flight stabilization from DJI). Besides being easy and safe to fly, the Tello drones have been massively popular in classrooms as a STEM tool for teaching kids how to code.
FlyBrix Electronic Quadcopter Drone Starter Kit
Price: $129 from Amazon
The FlyBrix Electronic Quadcopter Drone Starter Kit includes a preprogrammed board, propellers and motors for kids and kids-at-heart to build their own drones. It’s intended to be a tool to teach its users a variety of skills, from the principles of flight to computer science to the basics of electrical engineering.
You don’t just put together the drone, but you can install software on your computer that allows you to program it to fly (teaching you coding skills as well).
Note: the drone itself doesn’t fly very well (after all, it’s made of Legos!). So this gift is more about the process of building it and coding it, rather than having a seamless flying experience.
If you’re buying drone gear on Amazon…
One more note: most of these items are sold through Amazon. If you’re not a Prime member already, it’s likely worth it, as you’ll get free two-day shipping with no minimum order size, among access to other perks like movie/TV streaming, Kindle book downloads, photo storage and more. You can try a 30-day free trial here. And if you are a Prime member, make sure you’re using your Amazon Prime credit card, which earns you 5% back on your Amazon spending.
Do you have your own favorite drone Christmas gifts for kids that you plan on surprising a little dronie with this holiday season? Share your gift ideas in the comments below!