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How to Make a Paper Airplane

Captain to flight crew: ready the doors for take off and cross check

This is your captain speaking! Most kids think about getting their wings at some point during childhood. Perk up a hum-drum afternoon, or provide your family with hours of rainy day fun by learning how to make a paper airplane.

All it takes is a sheet of paper and a few folds.

Most sons love to make paper airplanes, but girls can enjoy this activity as well. The best part is it doesn’t take hours of monotonous instruction or an inordinate expense. It only takes a brief sampling of the websites returned to your search engine query ‘paper airplane instructions to realize that there is a vast array of planes to choose from.

Some of them are very fancy, and complicated. Some don’t resemble anything most of us would recognize as an aircraft. Unless we include the category of UFO. The basic paper airplane is always the best starting point for beginners. So that is where we will start.

How to make a paper airplane - the basic instructions

Begin with a sheet of paper.

1. Fold the paper in half long-ways. Then open the fold and lay the paper in front of you again. Please note: All folds need to start on the same edge of the paper, unless specified.

2. Using the top left corner of one of the short sides, fold corner to center crease so the entire upper edge from the corner to crease, now touches the fold you created in the center. Repeat with the top right corner so your paper now looks like a house, with a triangular roof.

3. Next take the point of the triangle, or apex of what would be the triangular roof, and fold the entire triangle downwards to create a rectangular shaped piece of paper again.

4. Using the top left corner, fold towards center line to a spot about and inch to a half inch above the top of the triangle you folded downward in step three. There should be a gap between the upper edge of the paper and the center line, only the corner should touch the center line. Repeat with upper right hand corner

5. Fold the tip of the triangle up to cover the two corners folded downward in step 4.

6. You are almost there! Keep folding. Now fold your plane in half along the center line with the previous folds being on the outside and bottom of the center crease. There should be no folded edges on the inside of the center crease.

7. To make the wings fold the side down starting at the tip of the plane. (The tip of the plane is the side that all pervious folds have started.) Tip: use the angle of the folds on the bottom of your plane as a guide. Simply fold the wing down to match up with that angle. Repeat with other side to get two wings.

8. There will be a blunt tip on the front of your aircraft. To create stability fold this little triangular tip to the left and right creasing well, then open the plane and fold it backwards upon itself into the middle. Viola! You have a first rate flying machine.

Encourage your child's creativity to make aircrafts of their own design using this basic plane as a guide. Learning how to make a paper airplane is just the start of hours of fun. Happy landings!

Get more ideas with the rest of our Kids Crafts and Activities!