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I’ve given my nephews, godchildren, and even my nieces their first radio-controlled cars. I had one as a kid, and I loved it. Here are the things that you should know about the best first RC cars for kids.
What are the best first RC cars for kids?
Here are your choices:
- Prextex RC Police Car and Race Car
- Kidirace RC Remote Control Police Car for Kids
- Traxxas Rustler
- Rabing RC Car
- Redcat Racing EPX Drift Car
- Haktoys Blue Invincible Tornado Twister RC Stunt Car
- NQD Dual Motors Remote Control Truck
- DOUBLE E RC Monster Truck
- Kididdo Mechanical Master RC Racer Building Blocks Set
- ELEGOO UNO R3 Project Smart Robot Car Kit V 3.0 Plus
Of course, an equally important question is why are these the best first RC cars for kids? What are the characteristics you should look for when choosing one?
What are the Benefits of Driving RC Cars for Kids
There is no debate that RC cars mean hours of fun, but there are several other reasons why you should buy them for your kids. These are the other reasons:
Sure, you may need to be there to supervise your kid. But most likely, your kid will be maneuvering the car on his or her own.
Your child learns independent play, which is essential in helping them become successful adults later in life. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended unstructured play where the kids can lead.
Kids who enjoy driving their RC cars will soon discover the joys of racing. They learn how to compete with other kids, as well as how to win and lose with grace.
What’s more, your kids learn how to relate and interact with other kids. It also improves their self-esteem.
Supporting their interests
For some parents, the reason why they buy RC cars for their kids is because the little ones ask for one. So they agree and get them RC cars for birthdays or Christmas.
When you get RC cars for your kids, you are also helping develop their interest in other things. Perhaps, they like tinkering with parts and assembling them.
They might also be interested in engineering or electronics or simply in race car driving.
Develops their hand-eye coordination
Driving an RC car also helps your kids develop their hand-eye coordination. This skill is vital for young kids.
Studies have shown that hand-eye coordination is not only crucial for movement and video games, but it also helps your kids excel in school, according to Psychological Science.
One more reason to play outside
If you are worried about your children spending too much time on their iPad, having a sedentary lifestyle, and cultivating other unhealthy habits, then get an RC car to encourage them to play outdoors.
Playing outside is an important factor for kids to be physically healthy, according to Sanford Health. They get aerobic exercise, and being under the sun allows them to store vitamin D in their system.
Outdoor play can also help with their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Some studies show that it also increases attention span.
What to Look for in Your Kid’s First RC Cars
When choosing the right RC car to buy, your first consideration should be what your kids want. Kids would want something easy to drive and something that looks fun. They may also want a car model that looks familiar to them.
You would also want to get them something safe and durable.
RC cars for kids generally do not have the best specs, and it may not achieve speeds of more than 50 miles per hour. But, in a way, you are giving your kids a safe and fun introduction to driving RC cars. Plus, they are easy to use, even for beginners.
If you get something too complicated for your kids, they might not play with it. This is especially true if you have to assemble the RC car yourself. Younger kids might not be able to do that or might get bored while waiting for you to put it together for them.
Toy RC Cars
There are two types of RC cars that you can buy. One type is the hobby-grade RC, which might be a substantial investment even for some adults.
When it comes to children, what you are looking for are the toy-grade RC cars. They cost less and are not as complicated as hobby RC.
Toy RCs also do not require too much assembly.
Another option you have is to look for child-friendly RC kits. You will need to assemble these RCs, but the job will be a breeze, and it will not require any soldering.
What’s more, easy-to-follow and step-by-step instructions are included in the package. You can assemble them with the kids, and it would be a great bonding activity for you.
Pricing might be an issue for some parents. Some of these RC cars are going to be more expensive than the average kiddie toys.
However, you should consider the price per play. If your child loves the toy enough that he or she keeps playing it, then the high price might be worth it.
RC cars use up a lot of batteries, and getting rechargeable ones will help you save in the long run.
You should choose one that has long run times. Even the best RC cars will be no fun if your kid spends more time waiting for the batteries to recharge than actually driving them.
Another consideration is whether the battery used in the RC car you want to buy has a nickel-metal-hydride or lithium-polymer battery.
NiMH batteries are very affordable and require little or no special care. But these batteries are heavier than LiPO cells.
NiMH batteries also lose power steadily. When you have NiMH powering your RC, you will notice that your car becomes slower over time.
LiPo batteries, on the other hand, are more lightweight than similar NiMH batteries. They can also maintain their voltage longer. But these batteries are often more expensive.
You also need to take the utmost care of these LiPo batteries to ensure safety and longer life.
One last word about batteries
Short battery running times are not bad per se, but you should factor in how patient your child is. If you end up having to charge the battery longer than actually playing with the RC car, then your child might lose interest in it.
Make sure that you choose an RC car that has an ergonomic remote control. This means a remote control that is comfortable to hold. Choose a multi-channel remote that will lessen interference if two or more cars are running alongside each other.
If you are planning to give the RC car to younger kids, you may want a simple controller: one that goes forward, backward, left, or right.
Where are your kids going to drive?
If you have a small space, house, or apartment, consider getting an RC car that you can use outdoors. These RC cars have bigger wheels and a higher base, allowing them to easily go over grass and run in the dirt.
Safety and durability
RC cars for younger kids should have very few small loose parts if any at all. Check if there are warnings for choking hazards, which are usually printed on the box.
Go for something durable. After all, children tend to be rough with toys in general. The RC cars will end up colliding into walls or falling down the stairs.
You should also take into consideration how big or heavy the RC car is. If it is too heavy for your kid to pick up, then it will probably gather dust where it is stored.
While parents might be interested in things such as safety, durability, speed, and other features under the hood, kids are more interested in what they can see, touch, and hear.
Your child might prefer something with flashing lights, colorful designs, or honking sounds.
Types of RC Cars
As you go through the process of selecting your kid’s first RC car, you will encounter five different types.
First, you have the street variety, which runs the fastest on paved concrete and other flat surfaces. These cars are not suitable for use in your backyard where there’s going to be grass.
Drift cars, on the other hand, have slick tires, and they can slide when making turns. Drifting can be a bit difficult to perform, so these types of cars are better for older children and younger teenagers.
Meanwhile, buggies take the best features of on-road and off-road vehicles. These products are best for kids who spend a lot of time driving their cars on flat surfaces, but sometimes want to take it to the playground or backyard.
Buggies, however, are better suited for on-road conditions and may be too slow when navigating on dirt. If you want something faster, get a truggy with monster truck tires that help it navigate grass and dirt better.
Monster trucks are the master of off-road RC vehicles. If you solely drive your RC car around the backyard, then choose a monster truck.
How We Chose Our Recommendations for the Best First RC Cars for Kids
To come up with our list of recommendations for the best first RC cars for kids, we took into consideration the characteristics that these products should have. Then we looked into dozens of products on Amazon and pared down the list to the products that have the features we outlined in the previous section.
We also picked different types of RC cars as well as a variety of products that would appeal to different age groups.
The Best First RC Cars for Kids You Can Buy in 2020
The best first RC cars for kids will be excellent options for parents who want to give their children fun, educational, and exciting toys. Depending on what your child wants, here are our recommendations.
1. Prextex RC Police Car and Race Car
You can introduce younger kids to the fun world of remote control cars and racing with the Prextex RC Police Car and Race Car set.
This set comes with a police car with a removable policeman action figure, a race car with driver, and two remote controls. The remote controls work on different frequencies, allowing you to race the vehicles without interference.
What we like:
- Realistic police siren and honking sounds
- Has flashing headlights
- The remote control is shaped similar to a steering wheel
- Great for creative play
- Affordable at around $30
What could be better:
- Needs 10 dry cell batteries for both vehicles and the remote control to work
- Some kids might find it hard to steer
This product is perfect for introducing your toddler to RC cars. Because you get two vehicles in this set, it’s great for young kids with siblings or for playdates.
2. Kidirace RC Remote Control Police Car for Kids
The Kidirace RC Remote Control Police Car for Kids has easy-to-use controls. It allows the user to maneuver the car in any direction, even when making tight turns.
It uses a 2.4-GHz remote control that allows for up to six cars to run together without interference.
This RC has a rechargeable battery that offers up to 30 minutes of driving time.
What we like:
- Realistic siren, horn, revving engine, and other sounds
- Flashing lights
- Long runtime
- You can turn the sounds off
- Made with top-notch materials for durability
What could be better:
- The battery is not replaceable
- Some remotes need to be in sync with the car
This is great for older tykes who might like a more grownup-looking RC car but still want it to be easy to drive.
3. Traxxas Rustler
The Traxxas Rustler is a two-wheel-drive RC car that has a 12-turn motor and can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
The Traxxas Rustler impresses with its design. It uses the company’s TQ 2.4 GHz radio controller, which guarantees long-range control without interference when you’re driving with multiple vehicles.
But that’s not all. Even if your kid drives it through mud and snow, the waterproof chassis and electronics will be safe from damage.
What we like:
- Powerful motor and speedy top speeds
- Excellent on-road and off-road performance
- Compact and durable size at 1/10 scale
- Hand-grip style remote control with a steering wheel, making turns and swerves easier to do
What could be better:
- More expensive than most RCs as it retails at around $160
- Only has a NiMH battery included at its price point
This RC car is ideal for kids who can handle driving and maneuvering at high speeds. Adults will enjoy this RC car, as well.