There is something irresistible, to kids and adults alike, about paper airplane fun. Once a child learns how to fold and fly a paper airplane, church programs, bus tickets, brochures, and junk mail will spontaneously become small flying toys. Paper airplanes are fantastic for both indoor and outdoor play, rainy day fun, birthday parties, and STEM learning.
Paper Airplane Fun
We recently found a book from Usborne that feeds my five-year-old son’s need for paper airplane fun. The book itself contains 200 pieces of paper that you tear out to make one of seven different kinds of paper planes. It has instructions for each plane model and each colorful sheet of paper has dotted lines to guide where the folds should be. With warmer weather outside we took this book to the park for some amazing paper airplane learning and fun.
We made each of the seven different airplanes to see how they would fly differently. It is amazing how different they each are! Some fly in loops, others dart ahead, some make a sharp turn at the last minute. The kids predicted which ones they thought would go the furthest and then we used a measuring tape to see how far each one went. We expanded our paper airplane fun further to see which one would go the highest in the air, which one could do the most loops, and which one flew with the most style.
The kids experimented with folding the wing flaps up to see how that would change the flight pattern. We also tried taping the open folds to see how that would affect how the airplanes flew. The results were amazing!
Paper airplane fun is on the top of our list for STEM fun! Not only is it a blast to experiment with folding the planes in different ways, it’s also great fine motor practice for little fingers!
More Paper Airplane Fun
Here are some more great ideas from around the web to broaden and deepen your paper airplane fun with your copy of 200 Paper Planes to Fold & Fly:
Make a Paper Airplane Target on the floor similar to the one from Repeat Crafter Me
Make a super charged Paper Airplane Launcher! Find the instructions at Housing a Forest. This is another great way to incorporate STEM into your play!
Design an Airplane Runway down the hall or driveway! There is an awesome example at Catch My Party.
Use a posterboard to create Flying School Target Practice in a doorway! This is a must-try idea from Sewing Mama RaeAnna. She also mentions hanging hula hoops from the trees outside for outdoor target practice. Love it!