With the much-missed presence of spring being here in a major way, you may be wracking your brain thinking of ways to get your kids active and use fresh air as a major motivator!
As video games have become more and more interactive, they have the seemingly absolute power to lure kids and teens into their clutches for hours on end. While this is all well and good, especially if you are monitoring the content, it simply does not make for many opportunities to exercise. Much to many parents’ frustrations, it can take some pretty exciting activities to get kids off of the couch these days. We came up with some ways using drones that could be sure-fire solutions to breathe some healthy activity into your kids’ daily ritual.
This awesome activity is going to be just what the doctor ordered if you want to get your kids using drones and engineering, and then outside to play with their new creation. There are basic 4-motor designs, and you can also make many varied airframes by adding more motors, and there’s no stopping how awesome your final, up to 8-motor creation will be.
With this kit, you also get access to the Flybrix Software Program, which is a swipe-to-browse catalog full of varied design plans. To get started, you just build your model by snapping on the LEGO bricks that come included, plug in the custom boom-arm motors that quick connect to the pre-programmed circuit board, and then you’re ready to go! You can use the Flybrix Bluetooth app, or RC controller to govern your flight. With this awesome kit, you can build something cool with your kids, and then get the benefit of outside exercise when your creation is complete!
Drone racing leagues are another very cool way to get kids outside and active, and many are upping the ante on high levels of competition, and stakes. Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, has invested at least $1 million in the Drone Racing League, where pilots reach speeds of up to 70 M.P.H. on courses that are reminiscent of what Star Wars Pod Racers looked like. From Madison to Miami, tons of leagues have gotten kids very excited about getting outside, and participating in the action.
It’s not just racing that takes place on these meet-ups, some of them are great times to collaborate with others as they have build days! Here you can show less experienced enthusiasts your chops, or learn yourself from someone who has tons of flying and build time. Just last month, British teenager Luke Bannister won $250,000 after winning the World Drone Prix in Dubai, which has a combined prize pool of more than $1 million. On a smaller scale while you are perfecting your craft, round up the kids in your neighborhood and organize races; in no time, you will have to call them home instead of beg them to leave!
All over the globe, you can now find “Maker’s Spaces”: community centers with tools where people can collectively benefit from manufacturing equipment, community, and education. It doesn’t matter if your children or youth are looking for something to do after school, out of school, or during home schooling, these designated sites have a space where you can get quite a bit done in a fully-stocked shop.
Elements such as 3D printers, prototyping technology, and more will effectively teach kids how to tinker with purpose, and get projects done. Even if a drone-building kit seems a bit intense or intimidating at first, the others present in these spaces can help you along during your creative journey. Imagine the thrill of completing a drone step-by-step during the building process, then taking it out for the first spin! You can find a list of Makerspace locations here.
There are now entry-level drones in the 40-60 dollar price range, that have 2 MP cameras, and they are great ones to learn the ropes of aerial photography with! Since youths are already so drawn to portals such as Youtube and Vimeo, this will give them the opportunity to be their own director, edit their shots with some awesome after-effects, and thereby spend more time getting valuable fresh air.
If you really want your kids to go out, get active, and make sure that they are moving around during this warmer season, you can influence their creativity by inspiring them to make up a contest! Why not have them compete against each other for the coolest aerial shots over fields, water, residential areas, or stadiums? Groups such as boy scouts love getting together and learning new activities…. your class, church, or any other social function could really have a blast and get high doses of fresh air and increased heart rate while learning drone photography.
As the use of drones becomes more widespread, and regulations could tighten up (or loosen!) during the near future, so educating pilots and making them aware of how to fly correctly is becoming a priority. But this doesn’t mean that you have to leave out heavy doses of high-octane fun! The kids camps and teen programs here are supervised by an all-adult staff, and are ideal for aspiring directors, those who have a burning interest in drones, and those at all skill levels.
For many of these programs, you just show up with no equipment at all, and you can learn flight control and accuracy challenges, introduction to photography and film, many different kinds of lessons and tutorials, and even test your learned skills in a final Drone Olympics competition. Hosting after-school programs, kids’ camps, teen programs, and boot camp, you can check out their website and see which exciting educational experience will fit your child best here.
Encouraging kids to get out and build things is one very constructive way to make sure that they are getting fresh air, exercise, and not just becoming absolute coach potatoes. Lego Drone kits, racing teams that encourage healthy competition and learning, and having photography-themed challenges are just some of the things that will provide awesome activities for the younger ones; and build up their appreciation of the outdoors. Even though some are worried about how technology and sitting still always affects those stuck indoors, we guarantee that these ideas will have you poised over your remotes, locating your instant flip buttons, and begging for the great days with low wind.
Alan Perlman – Alan started UAV Coach to help connect drone hobbyists, to provide world-class sUAS training content, and to educate drone pilots with top-notch training programs.