Up, Up and Away

Andrea Evans
May 12, 2013

There is just something about flying that captures the imagination of young children. Planes, kites, and rocket ships—all virtually guaranteed to delight and excite.    

And while they do not soar to the highest heights, there is nothing quite like a paper airplane to make children's spirits soar. Perhaps it is the sheer simplicity of it. One minute, it is a blank piece of paper; the next minute it is transformed into a flying object.  Or perhaps it is the fact that it is something that children usually can make and control by themselves with little to no supervision. Whatever the reason, paper airplanes are always a hit. 

The trouble generally comes in making one that can actually take flight. It seems simple enough. Fold here, then there, and poof -- a paper airplane!  But, we know that reams of paper have been used in the quest to make the perfect flying machine. So, we have compiled some of our favorite resources to help you get started.   

The Dangerous Book for Boys, by Conn and Hal Iguldden, contains a chapter on making paper airplanes and offers simple diagrams and instructions. Or, if you need immediate aircraft-making assistance, WikiHow provides a 9-step manual, with an accompanying video, showing how to make a basic paper airplane. For the ambitious who want to make more complicated paper airplanes, like jet planes or even World War II model planes, try www.10paperairplanes.com

Of course, you do not need to make the perfect airplane to have a good time. Even the planes that barely take off and then lurch and jerk around the room in an approximation of flying can be entertaining. And what an opportunity it provides to help your children learn a bit of patience, persistence and the importance of trying even when you don't quite succeed.

Bon voyage!

From the Parents

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