How to Make Easy Paper Airplanes

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Kids love constructing and flying paper airplanes. They're incredibly easy to make and are fun to watch as they sail through the air and land across the room. Whether you're stuck indoors on a rainy day or simply looking to stay inside to avoid the heat of a hot summer afternoon, making paper airplanes is an enjoyable activity that parents and kids can do together. All you need is a sheet of paper and the help of your kids to make these easy paper airplanes.

Fold the sheet of paper in half lengthwise, firmly pressing down as you run your finger across the fold to make a solid crease. The folded piece should be 4.25 by 11 inches in size.

Pull back one of the corners until it reaches the folded edge of your piece of paper then press down to make a crease. The folded piece will resemble a triangle. Repeat this step on the other side to finish creating the body of your airplane.

Fold the open end of the paper down to the folded edge then press to make a crease. This creates your paper airplane's wing. Repeat this step on the other side to finish creating a basic paper airplane.

Test out your paper airplane then make any customizations to optimize flying performance. You could, for example, fold up the sides of each wing a little bit, make the wings larger by folding them so they extend beyond the folded edge of the body of your plane, or change the angle of the wing folds. Test out your modifications and enjoy flying your paper airplane!

Tips & Warnings

  • This is a great project to do with your kids. Once they've built their paper airplanes, encourage them to draw designs on the planes using colored pencils or markers. They can even write secret messages on the inside of the plane then send it sailing on to a friend.
  • A bent paper airplane "nose" can be easily straightened by even the most novice of paper airplane mechanics. Start by laying the airplane on a flat surface. Take a ruler and firmly press the edge down on the airplane, about 1/2 inch away from the bent area on the nose. Pull the ruler across the nose while pressing down firmly on the paper. If your paper airplane still won't fly correctly after making this repair, put it out for retirement (in other words, recycle it) and build a new one.

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