2020's 10 Gifts that Will Inspire the Next Generation of Pilots

Encourage a love of flight in the children in your life with an aviation-themed gift. From plush swings and stuffed animals for infants and toddlers to die cast models and puzzles for young children, plus radio control planes and cobi blocks models for older kids and teens, there is something for every kid on your gift list. Here are our suggestions for the top 10 gifts that will inspire the next generation of pilots:

1.      Haba Aircraft Swing

Haba Aircraft Swing

Get your little aviator ready for a memorable photo shoot in a soft, plush aircraft swing. The Haba swing secures to the ceiling and provides a fun, secure seat and toy combo. The seat’s padding and hanging straps are adjustable to accommodate kids from age 10 months to 4 years or up to 66 pounds. The washable polyester construction makes cleanup easy.

2.      At the Airport – Sesame Street’s Elmo on the Move

At the Airport - Sesame Street's Elmo On the Move

Prepare your kids for their first commercial flight experience with a copy of the Sesame Street Elmo on the Move at the Airport book. This fun and engaging book follows Elmo and Big Bird’s adventures as they get ready to catch their first flight. Your child will be introduced to packing for a trip, going through security, navigating the busy terminal, and boarding the plane. Presented in a relatable and easy to understand way, this book is a must for parents who want to ready their children for an exciting new travel experience.

3.      Plush Captain Bears

 Large Plush Captain Bear

Delight your future pilot toddler or young child with a soft fuzzy friend. Our plush captain bears are ready for adventure and come dressed for the journey. Choose a classic aviator bear with the brown faux leather jacket, scarf, and goggles look or a modern airline pilot uniform. Bears come with honey, brown, or black fur and are 6” to 16” tall so you are sure to find the perfect size bear for your little aviator. Looking for something a little different? How about an elephant or moose pilot companion?

4.      Die Cast & Pull Back Airplanes

Die Cast & Pull Back Planes

When your kids get a little bit older and are ready to start learning about some of your favorite aircraft, it is time to break out the die cast models. These accurate models are perfect learning aids and conversation starters for both kids and adults. Younger kids especially enjoy the pullback versions that add a fun dimension of motion, lights, and sound to playtime. Whether you opt for a die cast or pull back, whether for play time or to display, these models will be a great addition to your child’s collection.  

5.      3D Puzzles

3D Puzzles

Step above the flat, basic puzzles and go to the next level with a 3D version of one of your favorite aircraft. The pieces are meticulously crafted with a precise snap-together fit that will hold up once the build job is complete. Assembly is easy with no glue or tools needed, and the puzzles are designed for children ages 12+. Whether you want to share your affinity for fighter jets or the history of the space shuttle, we have a three-dimensional puzzle selection sure to bring joy to your favorite pre-teen.

6.      Wind Up 3D Puzzles

Wind Up Puzzles

Even more exciting than a 3D puzzle is a 3D puzzle that moves. Our wind-up 3D puzzles come with a gearbox to support motion so your child’s newest puzzle can also be a memorable toy once built. Choose from legendary aircraft like the B-29 Superfortress, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Boeing 787 airliner and more. Wind up 3D puzzles are recommended for kids ages 8+.

7.      Cobi Blocks

Cobi Blocks

Enjoy the shared experience of building a model craft when you select a Cobi blocks set for your gift of choice. Cobi block selections cover a wide range of ages and skill sets from a relatively simple 175-piece Fokker Dr.1 Red Baron model to the more elaborate 2,510-piece version of the USS Enterprise CV-6 Aircraft Carrier and everything in between.

Once completed, Cobi block sets present a realistic scale model of the craft. Cobi kits are designed not just for show but also to stand up to handling and play over time. The plastic blocks are printed using a technique that resists fade and wear. Even if your Cobi block model is not destined to sit on the display shelf, but instead makes its way to the playroom floor, it will still look just as good months later.

8.      HobbyZone Radio Control Airplanes

HobbyZone Radio Control

Flying a radio control airplane is just one step below the real deal. It is an excellent way for pre-teens and teens to develop a practical hands-on understanding of aerodynamics and the forces of flight while also having a great time.

Beginner RC pilots will appreciate the special SAFE Technology built into some of our RC aircraft. SAFE tech offers the pilot a choice of several operating modes that correspond to skill level. Select the beginner or intermediate mode to activate limits on the pitch and bank parameters. This helps to prevent novice pilots from inadvertently flying the aircraft into a stall or overstressing the airframe. Once your child has built up their skills and is ready to take on all the plane has to offer, transition over to advanced mode. This fully unlocks all of the features of the aircraft.

Rugged Z-Foam construction on beginner aircraft is more highly forgiving of the sort of imperfect landings that come with the early stages of learning, and if your new pilot has a sudden problem mid-flight, the panic button feature offers an easy recovery method.

Our radio control plane selection includes simple, no-build required entry level planes and even a version of the signature B-747 (VC-25) plane more commonly known by the presidential call sign of Air Force One.  The Air Force One model features lights and sounds for added fun.

9.      Books, Books and More Books!

 Childrens Books

There are so many literary choices for our next generation pilots of every age. Get kids started young with the On the Moon picture book for ages 4+.  As part of the “First Reading” series, this book uses text selected with the help of an early learning specialist and a combination of illustrations and real space photos that draw young listeners into the story.

In elementary school as your kids are devouring new information, set them up to learn about aviation history with books like The Wright Brothers’ First Flight or Amelia Earhart: Legendary Aviator. Pre-teens and teens can gain insight and perspective on life as a pilot through books like Captain Sully’s River Landing and Audacious Aviators.

Have a child who wants to understand more about the mechanics of flight and aircraft? Set them up with copies of The Science Behind Flight, Machines at the Airport, and Building an Airplane.

10. Toys that take flight!

One-up the standard paper airplane with a whole selection of flying toys like foam gliders and balsa airplanes. Kids also have loads of fun with an Aeromax 2000 glow-in-the-dark toy parachute and paratrooper. He is ready to make the jump with a high-quality nylon chute that will not tangle on the way down. Looking for a statement bedroom decoration? How about an inflatable space shuttle or Goodyear blimp?

Had in mind something slightly more educational? The Flight Test Lab kit includes components that can be pieced together to construct a miniature glider, a prop-driven airplane, and an attitude indicator that are perfect for experimenting and learning about the forces of flight and other aeronautical principles.


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