Summer fun - the world’s best paper aeroplane!

Young boy and girl outside with paper aeroplanes
Primary school 4-12 years

Want a fun activity to do with your child over the holidays? Try making the world’s best paper aeroplane! It’s easy, and you’ll be amazed how far it will fly!

What you need

  • One straight plastic drinking straw (not bendable)
  • 1 piece of thin cardboard or stiff paper
  • A ruler
  • A pencil/pen
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors

What to do

  1. Ask your child to use the ruler and pencil to mark out three equally sized strips on the cardboard – 2.5 cm by 13 cm.
  2. Now ask your child to cut the cardboard into three separate pieces.
  3. Next, get your child to take two of the strips and sticky tape them together to form a large circle. Make sure they overlap the edges by a couple of centimetres when taping them together so that it holds a nice circular shape.
  4. Ask your child to take the third strip and use it to make a smaller hoop – again, overlapping the edges so that it holds a good circular shape when taped.
  5. Ask your child to place one end of the straw on the inside of the big hoop and tape it in place. (This step is a bit fiddly, so you may need to help your child out!)
  6. Then get your child to place the other end of the straw on the inside of the smaller hoop and tape in place.
  7. Let your child throw their aeroplane! They should keep the hoops facing upwards and the smaller hoop at the front of their plane.

Why does it fly so far?

Planes stay in the air as a result of a number of forces, one of which is air resistance, or ‘drag’. The big hoop creates drag to help keep the straw level in the air for longer, meaning that it won’t drop to the ground as quickly as normal paper planes! The smaller hoop helps the plane to travel in a straight line.

More fun ideas

  • Let your child practice their throwing technique and measure their furthest throw!
  • Challenge your child to experiment with different designs to create a paper plane that can fly even further!
  • Try making a few in different colours, go outside and have your own family flying competition!

Last modified on Friday 28 April 2017 [2761|12171]

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