The obsession with flying has occupied us as a species since the earliest of our ancestors. Thanks to technology, this ingrained need to conquer the skies is now within the grasp of even the youngest of us.
From flying kites to balls, drones to dragons, and everything in between, we now have an array of flying toys that kids can play with for hours to satisfy their urge to take wings and fly. Our guide to the best flying toys for kids includes mechanical, electronic, and plain old hand-held toys that use simple physics to take off and stay airborne.
- Different Kinds of Flying Toys for Kids
- How to Choose the Best Flying Toys for Kids
- Top 10 Best Flying Toys for Kids 2021
- 1. Toyk Disco Helicopter Shining Colorful Flying Ball
- 2. BooTaa Large Throwing Foam Flight Mode Glider Planes
- 3. Stomp Rocket Stunt Planes Launcher
- 4. Dreamworks Dragons Flying Toothless Interactive Dragon
- 5. Holy Stone HS210 Mini Quadcopter Drone
- 6. Hatchimals Pixies Crystal Magical Flying Pixie Toy
- 7. aGreatLife Huge Rainbow Kite
- 8. Syma S107G 3 Channel RC Helicopter With Gyro
- 9. Activ Life Kid's Flying Rings
- 10. Rocket Copters - Slingshot LED Helicopters
- Ready for Takeoff!
Different Kinds of Flying Toys for Kids
Flying toys are based on different mechanisms that require either electric or mechanical input to take off and stay airborne.
Electronic flying toys need batteries or a charging cycle to be able to fly. On the other hand, mechanical toys are either hand-held or employ different thrusts to provide the flying impetus, like a kick or a jump, to launch the toy into the air. Some mechanical toys require sustained efforts to stay airborne, like a kite.
How to Choose the Best Flying Toys for Kids
While all flying toys are fun, most are fun only for a short while. When choosing a flying toy for your kids, keep the following parameters in mind:
The design of a flying toy is an essential aspect in determining its durability. If the design emphasis is on looks and not on protecting easily damageable parts like propellers, wings, etc., the toy will not last long. There’s a reason why aerodynamics is such a vast field of study.
Most flying toys are lightweight as per aerodynamic requirements, but that doesn’t mean they should be made of flimsy material that gives out after a couple of flights. Whether the toy is made of paper, fabric, plastic, or other polymers, the material should be durable and resistant to scratches, as flying toys are subject to higher degrees of wear and tear than regular toys.
Ease of Use
Kids are only just beginning to appreciate the wonders of flying, so you shouldn’t buy them overly complicated flying toys that will kill their enthusiasm. Go for toys that kids will find easy to figure out, easy to fly, and master. Use these toys to ignite their love for airborne activities and as a stepping stone to more complicated flying devices as they grow up.
While flying toys are good at instilling a love of physics and aerodynamics in your kids, choose toys that also let them have a ton of fun as they indulge in this pastime and not just bother about the toy’s functional aspects.
Flying toys should be safety tested and approved by competent authorities for use by children. You should also be mindful of the manufacturers’ age recommendations when buying flying toys for your kids.
Important Note: Fly Responsibly
Flying electronics like drones, even as a hobby, comes under The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States purview. Learn more about the FAA guidelines regarding recreational drones here. While most of the toys on our list do not require such due diligence, we’ve marked the few that you might need to know more about with a ‘Fly Responsibly’ tag.
Without further ado, here’s our list of the ten best flying toys for kids:
Top 10 Best Flying Toys for Kids 2021
Includes: Flying Ball, Remote Controller, USB Charging Cable
Are you looking for a flying toy that can be controlled by hand movements besides a remote controller? Look no further, as this flying ball designed by Toyk has sensors to detect hand movements and respond to them.
Equipped with LED lights in different colors, the ball looks beautiful when it flies, especially during nighttime as the lights keep changing colors as long as the ball is up in the air. This feature makes it even more attractive to kids and keeps them engaged with the flying ball for long durations.
It is made with non-toxic and durable ABS plastic that’s safe to use. The design uses flexible blades and propellers to keep it afloat and prevent hard falls. An automatic power-off system minimizes the ball’s damage by shutting off whenever it comes in contact with other objects or gets dropped. A built-in gyro helps the ball keep its balance when airborne.
Sensors are situated at the base of the ball and detect hand movements with ease when flying. These infrared sensors are sensitive to motion, and the ball shouldn’t be held upside down lest it damages the sensors.
While the sensors are good at detecting objects nearby and changing the ball’s course, it shouldn’t be flown close to the ground, near faces, or amidst too many objects. Since the sensors are delicate, it needs to be handled with care.
The novelty of the toy lies in its ability to detect motion and change course. Once switched on, it takes a few seconds to warm-up before taking off. It needs to be held in position vertically to take flight. Use your hands to change its direction or send it back up if it starts flying low. It will keep flying as long as the batteries are charged or until it’s switched off with the remote control. Remember to keep it indoors as it tends to fly up and away in open spaces, as you can follow its flight for a few miles before losing it.
This flying toy isn’t costly and can be turned into a STEM learning project for your kids to understand its flight mechanism. They can learn all about infrared sensors, gyros, propellors, and more.
If you’re looking for a flying ball without the blades, this Globe-shaped Magic Controller Mini Flying Ball might be more to your liking. There’s also the Hand Operated Interactive Helicopter Ball Drone with motion detection sensors that can also be controlled with simple hand movements. It’s a disk-shaped drone that’s a slight variation on the flying balls.
Includes: Two EPP Foam Planes
These novel gliders employ basic principles of physics to take flight. It’s made of Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) which is a form of bead foam with excellent buoyancy, impact resistance, energy absorption, and most importantly, a very high strength to weight ratio. These properties make these gliders extremely lightweight, scratch-resistant, help them develop good momentum when thrown into the air, and make them resistant to wear and tear in the long term. EPP foam is 100% recyclable making it an eco-friendly toy.
The planes need to be assembled once opened. There are three parts – the body, main wings, and tail wings. The instructions provided are easy to follow, and it takes a few seconds to put them together. There’s no additional step like charging the batteries before you can launch them into the air. The gliders have all smooth edges so your toddlers can handle them without fear of scratches or other injuries.
These gliders are best used outdoors in large open areas. Once you throw the glider into the air, it follows a proper parabola trajectory, a a flight path. You can ensure that the trajectory is long, smooth, and even perform a few rare tricks like circling back to the flight’s origin point with a practiced hand. They get stuck in trees or land on hard-to-get-to roof tiles if you aren’t careful. Keep a large rod or stick handy to knock them down again.
These foam gliders come in four different sizes – 11”, 13.5”, 17.5”, and 20” being the largest. The smallest has the best lift and the smoothest glide, while the largest has the straightest and longest flight path. The difference in weight and length impacts their trajectory. Adding a small weight to the nose – like a dime or a nickel will make them fly for longer durations.
Since there are no joints, these airplanes aren’t given to breakage. Even after multiple nosedives, they remain scratch-free. You can, however, use adhesive tape around the tail and wings to reinforce their strength. This might have a minimal impact on their aerodynamics, but thankfully there are no passengers on board!
These flying toy planes are inexpensive, can be disbursed as party favors, and last quite long given the price they’re sold at. You and your kids can have hours of fun throwing these planes around on camping or picnic trips.
Includes: Looper, Glider, Wildcat, Adjustable Rocket Launch Tripod, Stomp Pad, Air Hose
This Mom’s Choice Award winner is one flying toy you can’t let your kids miss out on. It’s the perfect toy for outdoor fun, especially when you have a pack of kids to manage. Kids love running, jumping, and stomping on things, which makes this toy the perfect gift for all children above three.
This flying toy’s design and functionality ensure that kids get to do all these things repeatedly. This toy will keep them on their feet, literally, for hours. It also gets them away from screens and other sedentary indoor activities.
The package includes three pre-assembled planes. Just attach the air hose of the stomp pad to the launching tripod, attach one of the three planes to the black tripod tube, and you’re all set to launch.
Jump on the stomp pad to pump air into the attached air hose and subsequently into the tripod tube, and voila! Your plane has taken off at rocket speed! For a more high-intensity launch, run at speed for some distance before jumping onto the stomp pad.
The three different planes included in the kit make sure that the game doesn’t get monotonous after a while. The Looper with the green accents is designed to perform giant loops as it soars into the air, while the glider with the orange accents is a more aerodynamic model that can fly up to 100 feet in the air. The Wildcat with teal accents is designed to perform stunts like flips, turns, and more. You can adjust the tripod tube’s angle to change the three airplanes’ direction, speed, and flight theatrics.
The planes are made of soft foam, so they can take some wear and tear but don’t expect them to last long term.
The manufacturer also sells a Stompin’ Science Book that explains the physics behind these toys’ and would make for a great accompanying gift if your kid is also interested in STEM subjects.
Includes: Flying Toothless Dragon, Nest, USB cable, Fish Food Accessory, Instruction Manual, Quick Start Guide
Dreamworks’ animated movie ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ based on Cressida Cowell’s book, was a massive hit that spawned two sequels and created iconic characters, while launching a whole horde of merchandise including dragon figurines for kids. Undoubtedly, Toothless is the most sought-after dragon from the franchise, and this iteration of Toothless is an interactive dragon that can actually fly.
Flying Toothless is designed to respond to various inputs like being fed, being comforted, and being taught how to fly. It comes with a nest to let Toothless rest and recharge.
The interactions are designed to help your child build a connection with Toothless, teach them to care for it, and teach them patience as they learn how to help it fly without accidents. It will lead them to be more responsible, empathetic, nurturing, and kind. It will also help them understand the responsibilities of having a pet before they’re ready to adopt a real live pet.
Flying Toothless has a hundred different built-in sounds and is designed to perform various acts like laughing, dancing, singing, asking for food, eating, and more. Kids can play with it even while it’s recharging in the nest provided, as it’s safety tested.
The toy is made of lightweight materials and has built-in sensors to avoid bumping into solid objects or crash landing. Upon contact with another object, the wings are closed to prevent damage, and it stops moving. The toy’s build is sturdy enough to survive a couple of crashes until your kid has mastered the art of flying the dragon. In fact, it encourages your child to try again after comforting it, helping your child understand the value of positive encouragement and perseverance.
Two instruction leaflets are provided to help you understand the functional and operational aspects of the toy. It can perform about five flights per charging cycle. It’s adorable to look at with its big eyes that frequently change color to indicate its mood.
A similar but non-branded flying toy is the Owleez Flying Baby Owl Interactive Toy with a slightly cheaper price tag. It performs all the functions and interactions that Flying Toothless can but just happens to look different and has no movie franchise behind it.
Includes: Mini Drone, Controller, Three Drone Batteries, USB Cable, Four Extra Propellers, Propeller Screwdriver, Instruction Manual
This mini quadcopter with a remote controller is the perfect beginner’s toy for drone enthusiasts. It’s tiny, lightweight, easy to manage, and designed with simple functions to help you learn how to maneuver an electronic flying toy with a remote control.
Just keep it on a flat surface, pair it with the controller, press the start key to let the propellers start spinning, then push the throttle up to allow the drone to take-off. Once your kids have mastered the controls, you can switch to flying the drone by tossing it in the air and switching on the propellers mid-air.
An Altitude-Hold function lets it hover and spin in place without any directions from the throttle. The ‘Headless’ mode makes it easy for your kids to perfect forward and backward flying. It performs various tricks like 3d flips in four directions, diving, executing loops, flying in anti-clockwise circles, and more.
An emergency stop button is programmed to stop the drone mid-flight to catch it if it loses its orientation or starts wobbling due to electronic interference. A low battery alarm is programmed into the drone and starts beeping when running out of charge. An accompanying LED light also starts blinking in tandem with the alarm to indicate a low battery.
The four propellers are encircled in plastic guards that save them from breaking. The design and build are sturdy, making the drone a very durable flying toy. The remote control is also lightweight and easy for kids to figure out on their own.
Each charging cycle is 40 to 60 minutes long, and this will give you about seven minutes of battery time. Since the package includes three batteries for the drone, you can extend flight time to over 20 minutes. Helpful red and green LED lights indicate the battery status while it’s charging.
When your kids get used to flying this quadcopter mini drone, you can graduate them to the Syma S107G 3 Channel RC Helicopter. It requires precision control, skilled maneuvering, and a practiced hand at flying electronic toys.
Includes: Hatchimals Pixies Crystal Flying Fairy, Display Case, USB Cable, Instruction Sheet
Rechargeable toys that can fly are a dime a dozen, but few offer the exciting experience of flying a classic and beloved fairy tale figure. It’s more than just a flying toy: it is an electronic fairy that your kids will fall in love with while they master the art of flying a pixie through the house.
This flying toy comes from the Hatchimals brand and is aimed towards girls above the age of six. You can, of course, choose to give it to your boys if they’re so inclined. It comes in two colors: one in pink and a brunette variation in a purplecostume.
It’s beautifully constructed, comes with glittery wings, looks like a magical fairy, and can be flown indoors once it’s fully charged. When it isn’t in motion, it can rest and recharge in the lovely display egg provided. The glittery display egg mimics the fairy wings and adds to your little ones’ room decor. The USB cable provided winds around the bottom of the display egg.
You get a few minutes of flying time per full charge. There’s a small LED indicator beneath the skirt that flashes when the battery is going out, and the pixie needs to recharge. It will slowly start coming down as it spins, indicating a low battery.
These pixies shouldn’t be taken outdoors. They’re made for indoor entertainment and might get damaged if they come into contact with trees, poles, and other hard surfaces. Even indoors, you should fly them in rooms with wide-open spaces.
The petals are delicate and expected to fall when the pixies bump into solid objects. But fret not, you can simply slide the top and bottom cylinders on the petals back into their hooks to fix them. If the fairy stops flying, just restart it by switching the back button off and on again. She’ll start air dancing again in no time at all.
Do not be concerned if the toy doesn’t fly properly at first. It gets better with practice. Let your kids have a little pixie magic fun to spread around the house on lazy afternoons.
Includes: Kite, Rods, Spool, 50-Meters Dacron String
Kites were probably the first flying toys and the inspiration behind the first crude flying machines. A kite is a simple aerodynamic piece of paper or fabric that can pierce the wind and take to the skies with a properly timed lift. It is guided by the bridle tied through the holes around the spine or the kite’s vertical support. The bridle extends into a long string known as the kite line that unwinds from the handheld spool.
This particular kite is made of ripstop polyester fabric and has a simple design to help beginners get accustomed to kite flying. This fabric is more resistant to scratches than ordinary fabric kites making it a very durable option. It’s rainbow-colored and looks very attractive as it soars in the air with its massive wingspan of 51” and a 55” long tail. It’s lightweight enough to take flight even in low wind conditions.
Flying a kite is an outdoor sport that builds up stamina as it requires sustained physical activity. Flying kites keeps your kids engaged for hours, takes them away from screens, improves their hand-eye coordination, and also inspires a love of flying as the kite soars carefree in the open skies. It will also help your kid appreciate nature and learn to enjoy the outdoors.
This kite needs to be assembled, and here’s a helpful video that shows you how to do so.
Includes: Helicopter, Remote, Extra Tail Blade, Battery, Charger, Instruction Manual
If you’re looking for a flying toy that mimics a real flying machine, then look no further. This helicopter can simulate a real chopper’s flight with 3-channel controls that allow forward and backward movements, up and down motion, and left and right turns. The inbuilt gyroscope helps it maintain balance when it is in the air and aids in precision control.
The body of the chopper is made of durable, scratch-resistant, lightweight polymers. A metallic frame enhances the aesthetics and the durability of the toy. This miniature chopper measures 22 cm in length and has a built-in charging port with an LED indicator that shows battery status and automatically shuts off when fully charged. It takes only 25 minutes to fully charge, which gives it a flight duration of about 10 minutes.
The chopper can be operated with the help of a battery-powered remote control. It has infrared sensors that can respond to the remote’s signals, so the remote needs to be in the helicopter’s visible vicinity to control it. This is also the reason why it’s recommended that you fly this copter indoors rather than outdoors. The remote is designed to operate at two frequencies, letting it control two different choppers simultaneously. The remote requires AA-sized batteries that need to be bought separately.
If you stop getting a good 8 to 10 minutes of flight time after a full charging cycle, you should replace the batteries. Here’s a helpful Youtube video that shows you how to replace the S107/S107G’s batteries. If it’s not flying right, putting a small weight, like a blu-tack on the nose of the helicopter will improve its balance when it’s in the air.
Beginners should make minimal throttle movements to get accustomed to operating the device with care. Land it on a non-hard surface when you’re learning to fly to avoid wear and tear from accidental crashes. Once your kid has mastered the controls, you can fly this chopper smoothly, make it perform a few tricks in the air, fly it through hoops, and land it properly without crashing to the ground.
Includes: Two Flying Discs
When it comes to frisbees, Aerobie is likely the big brand one would think of. However, Aerobie makes flying discs that require some level of skill to master. They’re made for professionals and people who have been throwing and catching discs for ages.
For beginners, especially kids, the Activ flying rings are more apt and hence the reason for inclusion in our list of best flying toys for kids. There’s also the price factor with Activ flying discs being much cheaper than Aerobies.
The rings come in different colors that glow in the dark, so you can also play with them at night. Hard, thick, but lightweight plastic material is used to make these rings so they don’t fly long distances or whizz past your kids before they can be caught.
Hard plastic is a little brittle and easy to break, but these discs have been known to withstand the pressure of being run over by cars without breaking, so you need not worry about their durability.
Teach your children to throw and catch frisbees with these easy-to-catch flying rings. The discs fly straight and float at a speed that’s easy for children to react to quickly. They cover shorter distances of about 15 to 30 feet, so your kids don’t need to stand at great distances from each other as they play with these discs.
If you notice the ring wobbling on being thrown, just lay it flat on an even surface under the sun or use a hairdryer to warm it until it regains its perfect shape. This will correct the wobbling, and your disc will fly in a straight path again.
Since the disc is made of plastic, it is prone to get scratched when it comes into contact with hard surfaces. These scratches usually do not impact the disc’s performance, but if you want a disc with a smooth surface, gently rub them out with fine-grit sandpaper.
Besides wobbling and scratches, these discs face no other wear and tear problems and last quite a long while before you need to replace them. At the available price, the value for money is excellent.
Includes: Three Launchers, Six Rocket Copters, Rubber bands
What’s better than launching rockets into the air? Launching rockets that light up and float down slowly like helicopters, turning into a spectacular light show at night.
This toy takes the usage of slingshots to another level by combining them with whirring copters. The package contains three slingshots made of plastic. Elastic rubber bands are also included in the box to hook the choppers to the launchers. The six lightweight helicopters are equipped with LED lights that turn on once the copter is launched. The lit-up wings of the rocket spin and whirr as it slowly floats down to the ground.
There’s no need to assemble anything, no batteries to charge, and you can start launching these copters as soon as you open the pack. The instructions given on the package are easy to follow. Just hook the copters onto the slingshots with the rubber bands, aim up and let go!
To get the maximum joy out of this toy, replace the mediocre rubber bands included in the package with a pack of 7” rubber bands from a local store. It will immensely improve your launching game, and you can even launch the rockets up to 150 feet in the air.
The LED lights can be viewed from a distance of half a mile. According to the manufacturer, their batteries are not replaceable, but it’s relatively easy to replace them and prolong the helicopter’s lifespan if you have a basic toolbox. Just use a screwdriver to open the battery chamber and replace the CR123A batteries with new ones that can also be bought online.
These toys are best enjoyed in company with many copters being launched in tandem to create an enjoyable light and sound show. That’s right; there are a few built-in sound effects too to add to the enjoyment of launching rockets into the air.
Although the official recommended age is 8+, you can guide younger children with this toy under your supervision. The copters’ wings are lightweight and kind of flimsy, so you need to handle them with care.
Ready for Takeoff!
Whether it’s a flying toy that requires charging or one that just needs to be thrown into the air to take-off, flying toys have a distinct charm to them that inspires your kids to look up, raise their eyes skywards, and aim big. The best thing about flying toys is they keep your kids away from screens, make them move around and about for a while, and engage most of their senses. Most of these toys are quite easy on the pockets and durable enough to last a long time.
Choose one of the above flying toys and give your kids a reason to step out of the house or away from their sedentary games and activities, and experience the magic of flying!