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  • Writer's pictureThe Drone Lady

Do Not Buy a $39 Drone For Your Kid. Spend $119 On A Good One Instead.

*Scroll to the bottom if you want a drone recommendation for yourself!*

In my drone group, a fellow drone enthusiast purchased a box of small drones for his kids Boy Scout troop. They had extras left over, and he was trying to sell them all for $150.

Well, hot dang! That's a good deal! I'll go pick up the box, and let the kids have fun.

It took about an hour before my kids gave up and were so discouraged. I walked outside fully intending to show off and impress my youngsters with how easy it was to fly these small drones.

It took about 10 minutes for me to launch the drone. Every time it fell, you'd have to reset it. And about 10 minutes after that, I lost this little cheap drone in a tree.

Mom fail. The drones I purchased were obviously cheap (I knew that going in), but instead of encouraging my kids to enter the drone industry, I just frustrated them.

I've always been a firm protonate that anyone can fly a drone... and in recent years, consumer drones have dropped in price. But here's why you should avoid the $39 drone for your kid:

1) These cheaper drones are just that... cheap. When you pay less, you loose features... like the ability to find your drone with GPS tracking if it's lost.

2) Altitude hold is needed for little future drone pilots. While this sounds fancy, it means that the drone will essentially hover when you don't touch the controls. Traditional airplane kits and FPV drones do not have altitude hold. This means you'll need to be constantly messing with the controls to keep your drone in the air.

3) Collision sensors will save your breakables. When your little kid is just starting out, flying indoors is a great way to keep track of the drone and learn spatial awareness. Nicer drones come with collision sensors which help the drone to stop before hitting an object (or another kid or the family pet). Even as a seasoned drone pilot, I love using collision sensors when I'm on a mission.


How much is a "nice" drone with GPS, altitude hold, and collision sensors going to cost?

Less than you think. My favorite drone to recommend to little future drone pilots is the DJI Tello drone. This is an amazing first time drone, and includes all of the features above.

And at $119, it's not a bad deal.

Oh, did I mention that the DJI Tello drone can help teach kids how to code?! Absolutely. The app allows you to set up physical mazes and "code" your drone to fly through. Not only is this a cool tech gift, but this is also a door into the STEM universe.

You can find the DJI Tello on Amazon with this link:

You can fly the Tello with a phone or tablet, but I would also suggest purchasing a controller for $39:

The battery life is pretty short, so I would recommend purchasing an extra one. You can find an extra battery here:

Can you buy the off-brand batteries? Totally. But I don't recommend it. There's nothing worse than an off-brand battery failing during a flight... and I don't think you want your drone stuck on a roof, or falling in your pool.

* Looking for a nicer drone for yourself? Cool, I got you. Check out the DJI Mini 3. For under $500, this drone is fantastic for vacation photos, videos, and social media (yes, it shoots vertical footage!). You can find it here:

More drone questions? Just ask! I'm here to help, and I want to see the drone community grow.

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