Children seem to have a fascination with flying things - from airplanes and helicopters to UFOs and even their favourite superheroes - making flying toys a brilliant pick for inquisitive young minds. While children are known to quickly lose interest in some toys, the interactive nature of flying toys is guaranteed to keep them engaged for longer.

child with kite

Treating your child to a flying toy is not only a great way for them to spend time outdoors in the fresh air, but an opportunity to develop some invaluable skills. Requiring focus and patience, flying toys provide little ones with a chance to improve hand-eye coordination, practice problem-solving skills, and even foster an interest in physics, technology and engineering from a young age.

Meanwhile, parents will love the fact that flying toys have the ability to pull youngsters away from screen time (something that seems almost impossible nowadays!) and allow them to be children in a world that feels like it's moving a hundred miles an hour. Flying toys help slow down the time and take kids back to a time before video games, smartphones and tablets took over. 

Just as popular now as ever, there are plenty of exciting types of flying toys to choose from: between remote control flying toys with mighty flight ranges and revamped old-fashioned designs for the 21st century, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. To help you pick the best flying toy for your tot, we've helpfully narrowed down the choice to the eight best flying toys for children today.


What old-school flying toys can I buy?

At the mention of remote control flying toys, your mind might instantly jump to what has been a growing craze since 2016: drones. Luckily, flying toys cover a whole spectrum of designs, including non-motorised models, so as a parent you won't have to fear that irksome buzz!


Parents will be pleased to hear that the flying toys they once fondly played with as a child are still being produced and enjoyed by the younger generation today. From beloved kites, to novelty flying toys like slingshot chickens and parachute soldiers, to frisbees and boomerangs, virtual toy shelves are lined with classic flying toys that'll deliver a hit of nostalgia.

The flying toys of yesteryear also include remote control flying toys like helicopters and airplanes, and their extra-terrestrial counterparts, UFOs - albeit with more advanced technology! Just as popular today as they were before, their universal appeal will entice little ones of all ages, with designs for toddlers, primary schoolers and teenagers alike. 

Toy Plane

As with all things, flying toys have evolved since the good old days to now include everything from birds, fairies and unicorns (the allure of these winged creatures is never-ending amongst little ones!), to characters from their favourite franchises. 

Ticking off entertainment for two in one, you'll even come across nifty dog toys that'll double up as a flying toy for little ones when playing with their four-legged friend! Providing oodles of fun for both, there's no better way for kids to bond with their pets than through interactive playtime.

With traditional flying toys aplenty (and their contemporary counterparts), little ones will be thoroughly spoiled for choice when it comes to hovering, soaring objects to add to their toy box.

Types of flying toys on the market today:

  • Helicopters and airplanes
  • UFO's
  • Kites
  • Dog Toys
  • Frisbees & Boomerangs
  • Novelty toys: slingshot chicken, parachute sold...
  • Birds
  • Fairies
  • Unicorns

What makes a great flying toy?

While flying toys all share one thing in common, there are countless styles, features and price points that can make it difficult to know where to begin. Fret not: we've done the legwork for you and identified the aspects that form a successful flying toy.

Features to look out for: 

  • Long flight time
  • Durable build
  • Easy, quick charging
  • Long flight range

While flying toys all share one thing in common, there are countless styles, features and price points that can make it difficult to know where to begin. Fret not: we've done the legwork for you and identified the aspects that form a successful flying toy.

Firstly, if you're after a remote control flying toy for your youngster, look out for a long flight time (anything over 5 minutes is considered ample) that'll allow for longer enjoyment in between charging or batteries. A very short flight time is likely to lead to frustration and may not be worth the trip if they'll be taking their toy to the local park, for example. Indoor flying toys can get away with a shorter flight time as they'll be close to their power source to allow the fun to resume. 

This leads on to how the electronic flying toy is actually powered (single use or rechargeable batteries?) and how easy it is to top up with juice. If a toy is tricky to get back up and flying, chances are it will be reluctantly put away only to never see daylight again. To avoid their new toy soon collecting dust, make sure to pick one that's quick and convenient to charge.

If you're investing in a remote control flying toy, ensure it has a relatively long flight range for maximum thrills. Watching their toy soar through the sky will be that much more satisfying if the toy can make it several feet from your child. Flying toys that rely on a mechanism to shoot up will also provide more joy the higher or further they can glide.

Finally, whether remote controlled or non-motorised, a flying toy needs to be durable enough to stand up to any knocks, bumps and potential falls. That's why the quality of the build is essential - it can quite literally make or break the toy!


What are the benefits of flying toys?

Other than delivering tons of fun and hours of entertainment, flying toys can also be educational - a plus for parents eager to expand their little one's knowledge and skills during playtime! Below is just a snapshot of some of the advantages that flying toys bring: 

How flying toys can benefit children:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Imagination and creativity
  • Visual-spatial awareness
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Thinking skills
  • Foster interest in physics, engineering and technology


LEGO NINJAGO 70645 Cole Dragon Master

lego ninjago flying toy

Pros:

  • Draws on essential STEM skills to get children thinking 
  • LEGO quality ensures the toy can be enjoyed time and time again

Cons:

  • Shorter flight time compared to other toys on this list

The imagination of the creators behind LEGO never ends and this Cole Dragon Master flying toy from the NINJAGO collection is proof of just that! Containing a buildable LEGO brick handle, minifigure capsule, blade element, foil dragon wings and rip cord, the set is perfect for keeping little ones occupied.

Since this toy needs to be put together first, it taps into those essential STEM skills: the 92 pieces will need to be strategically connected by following the instructions, requiring thinking, problem-solving and fine motor skills, to name a few.

To get the toy up in the air, your youngster will need to feed the rip cord through the motor, give it a good pull to launch and watch it spin off into the distance! Offering tons of possibilities for play alone and with their friends, LEGO set can be used to set up exciting flyer challenges, learn moves like The Dragon Strike and The Eye of The Dragon, and lots more. 

Key facts:

  • Operation: Mechanical
  • Dimensions: H19 x W22 x D17cm
  • Item weight: 250g
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 8-14 years

Harry Potter Mystery Flying Snitch

Harry potter flying snitch

Pros:

  • Ultra-fast moving wings lend to the Snitch's magical flying appearance
  • Needs practice to become an expert at flying it so children won't lose interest quickly

Cons:

  • Strings can be a little fiddly to set up

A hand-painted replica of the famous little golden ball, the Mystery Flying Snitch will bring the wizarding sport of Quidditch to the palm of your youngster's hand. Invisible string allows the Golden Snitch to magically levitate in the air while the electronic wings flutter and replicate the sound of the one on screen.

The nifty Aramid microfilament thread used on the flying Snitch has five times the strength of steel of the same thickness, all while remaining almost invisible - a fact that's sure to impress little ones and their friends. It works by attaching a putty on one end of the string to the Snitch and a putty on the other end behind your youngster's ear - they can then use their hands on the string to control the Snitch around their body!

It should be noted that the wings are quite delicate, so the toy will need a little more care, but just in case, a spare set of wings is included in the box. A brilliant toy for aspiring Seekers and fans of Harry Potter, this clever toy will be a delight to play with and master all the tricks.

Key facts:

  • Operation: Mechanical flying and an in-built motor for the wings
  • Dimensions: W19.6 x D3.54 x H3.54cm
  • Item weight: 50g
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 6 years and above

Brainstorm The Original Flying Bird

brainstorm flying bird toy

Pros:

  • Flies up to 50 metres using its tear-proof wings through a nifty mechanical system
  • No batteries required!

Cons:

  • Turning the handle 50 times may be a little tricky for tiny arms

Delighting children with its brightly coloured design and life-like bird movements for over 40 years, it's no wonder The Original Flying Bird has swooped into land a place in our round-up of flying toys! Operated using a quality rubber band and mechanism, the patented toy can flap its tear-proof wings for up to a whopping 50 metres. 

Launching the flying bird may require a little practice and younger children will likely need help from a parent or guardian. To start, pull the lever under the right wing, hold the toy upside down and turn the handle 50 times (your arm muscles will thank you!). Then simply lift the tail and adjust the angle depending on the desired flight direction to allow the bird to climb and turn. Once you're happy with the direction, press the switch under the right wing and wait for the wings to begin to flap - the bird is then ready to be launched gently into the wind.

With a wingspan of 40 centimetres and an eye-catching colourway, the bird will dazzle little ones as it coasts and skims across the sky. Just as impressive today as it was back in 1969 upon its creation, the ornithopter (from the Greek words ornithos "bird" and pteron "wing") is guaranteed to stir an interest in engineering and science thanks to its clever mechanism.

Key facts:

  • Operation: Mechanical
  • Dimensions: W33 x L32 x H2cm
  • Item weight: 99.8g
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 4 years and above

Owleez White Flying Baby Owl

Owleez flying toy

Pros:

  • An interactive toy with lots of additional features to flying
  • While only a baby, Owleez is equipped with crash-safe features 

Cons:

  • May need a few tries to get Owleez ready to fly on her own

What could be sweeter than an interactive flying owlet toy? With a snowy white coat and big, wide eyes, Owleez has the ability to melt hearts with a single glance! Tucked away inside the owl's body are the hidden wings that help her flutter up from her nest.

Not just a flying toy, she cleverly reacts to touch with adorable baby owl sounds and blinking eyes. That's right, Owleez's eyes light up different colours to let your little one know her mood: for example, when her eyes turn yellow, her tummy is rumbling for some berries, while blinking red eyes indicate when Owleez needs a rest and replenish!

When it comes to flying their toy, your little one will need to give them a little heads up by gently moving it up and down in the air; Owleez will let your little one know when she's ready to fly when her eyes blink rainbow colours. She'll then need to be popped in her nest ready for take off! As Owleez is only a baby, your child can help her fly by holding their hand a few inches underneath her body.

Key facts:

  • Operation: In-built motor
  • Suitable for: Indoor flying only
  • Flight time: Up to 5 flights of around 15 seconds each
  • Charging time: 15 minutes
  • Charging method: USB cable
  • Item weight: 390g
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 5 years and above

Javelin High Power Performance Stunt Kite

Javelin High Power Performance Stunt Kite

Pros:

  • Durable construction that’ll stand up to use time after time
  • Likely to keep children interested for longer with loops and various tricks to master

Cons:

  • Requires some patience to learn to operate with skill

With a hefty 190cm wingspan and a firm pull with an aggressive streak, the Javelin High Power Performance Stunt Kite means business. Its sail is crafted from ripstop nylon, a strong woven fabric often used for outdoor pursuits, making the kite resistant to tears and abrasion should it come into contact with a rogue tree branch (though it’s best to steer clear!).

A more advanced stunt kit, the Raptor is best suited to older children who will not only have the strength to keep hold of its pull and handle its large wingspan but will be able to get the most fun out of it through tricks and stunts. 

The kite features a wind range of 5 to 20 miles per hour, meaning it can be enjoyed on an average breezy day, thus maximising its potential for use. Together with a high-quality line set, a 6-millimetre hybrid frame, and its W-shape that’s commonly seen on stunt kites, the Raptor makes a serious step-up from a starter kite.

Key facts:

  • Operation: Mechanical
  • Dimensions: 180cm wingspan
  • Item weight: 299g
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 12 years and above

Chuckit! Flying Squirrel

Chuckit Flying Squirrel Dog Toy

Pros:

  • Light and easy to handle by both pup and child!
  • Relies on aerodynamics to glide through the air so provides a great learning opportunity

Cons:

  • This flying toy requires a pup for maximum enjoyment!

Technically a toy for your fluffy four-legged companion, the Flying Squirrel provides oodles of fun for both canine and owner. With its ability to glide and requiring a little practice to reach the furthest distance, it doubles up as a simple flying toy for your youngster while playing a classic game of fetch with their pet.

Similarly to a frisbee, the toy’s lightweight build gathers speed as it coasts through the air, encouraging pups to chase it with all their energy and requiring practice from your youngster to get the throw just right.

Crafted from durable nylon, the Flying Squirrel can withstand plenty of enthusiasm from children and pets alike while its bright colours and glow-in-the-dark paws make it instantly identifiable, day or night. The design features raised sides to allow for easy picking up off the ground. It even has the ability to float on water!

Key facts:

  • Operation: Mechanical
  • Dimensions: W25 x 25cm for medium size
  • Item weight: 180g
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 3 years and above

Carrera Flying Cape Super Mario

Flying Mario Toy

Pros:

  • Fun and easy to navigate with a 2.4GHz remote control 
  • Charges quickly via a USB cable

Cons:

  • The wings can be a little delicate so will require some care

We couldn’t put together a list of flying toys without including everyone’s favourite video game character, could we? Zooming his way around the house, the Flying Cape Super Mario will show off his impressive flying skills and delight everyone with his yellow cape.

No longer requiring an aircraft to explore the world from above, the famous Nintendo plumber has rotors attached to his back that help him move through the air with a stable flying balance. Using a gyro system, Mario mimics the flight of a helicopter for five minutes before needing a rest to replenish his energy levels.

His built-in rechargeable battery delivers an impressive flight time for such a small toy and the included two-channel remote control allows little ones to control Mario’s direction, helping him navigate his way around obstacles to outrun his number one nemesis Bowser!

Key facts:

  • Suitable for: Indoor flying only
  • Flight time: 5 minutes
  • Charging time: 30 minutes
  • Charging method: USB cable
  • Power: Rechargeable battery
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 8 years and above

Flutterbye Flying Unicorn

flutterbye flying toy unicorn

Pros:

  • Requires some skill and practice to control so children will be engaged for longer
  • Quick to charge using the supplied USB cable

Cons:

  • Short flight time of around 4 minutes

Enchanting and dainty, unicorns have been delighting children for years, and the obsession with these magical creatures is here to stay! So for little ones mesmerised by all things sparkly, pink and fairytale-like, their very own flying unicorn will be a dream come true.

To bring their mythical friend to life, simply press the central button on the base and watch as the unicorn magically floats up towards the ceiling. Your child can then cleverly guide the unicorn around the room with their hand a few inches underneath the unicorn’s body.

While the unicorn has a very short flight time compared to other flying toys on this list, it’s designed for use indoors and can be quickly topped up with power via a handy USB cable; the base itself is powered by six AA batteries.

Key facts:

  • Suitable for: Indoor flying only
  • Flight time: 4 minutes
  • Charging time: 45 minutes
  • Charging method: USB cable attached to base
  • Power: 6 AA batteries for base
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 6 years and above

Final thoughts

With flying toys on virtual shelves aplenty, it’s not always easy to figure out what features will make a successful one. That’s why our buying guide to the best flying toys for kids has covered all the functions to look out for - from flight time, to charging method, to build durability and more - to help you pick a toy that’ll bring joy for time to come.

Between remote control flying toys and old-school favourites, there’s no shortage of models to consider and our round-up has the top contenders to put a smile on every youngster’s face. Ready, set, fly!