Monday, July 4, 2011

Paper Airplane Competition

For Father’s Day, I took the suggestion of a fellow blogger at Modern Kids Messy Parents and ordered my husband the book “Handy Dad” by Todd Davis. I’m not sure who spent more time oohing and awing over the projects in its pages: my oldest son or his father.

Last weekend, they embarked on the first of the book’s projects: a paper airplane. Ever since, my son has been fascinated. He even asked me if one of our activities could be paper airplanes. Who am I to say no?

I found an amazing website that provided great free written and animated instructions to make 10 airplanes (check out With a little help from me, my son made five of the planes – the arrow, dart, stealth (in progress pictured below), moth, and kite.

I had some scrapbooking papers lying around, so we used those. After each was made, he labeled the planes with their names and listed them in his notebook. When all five were done, I taped a ruler to the ground (the starting line) and he flew them.

The competition was fierce to see which would fly the farthest. Some of the planes that looked the fastest weren’t. Others curved and swooped. It was like having a front-row seat at our own private air show!

I gave him a measuring tape so he could measure the distance each flew and record the number (in inches) next to the plane’s name in his notebook. Once the competition was over, I asked him to figure out how the planes had placed.

I asked questions like, “Is it a good thing if the plane flew a little ways or a long ways? Would the number be big or small if it flew a long ways? Which number is the biggest?” He wrote the numbers one through five next to the plane’s name to indicate who’d placed first, second, third, etc. And then he played with his new planes for a solid 30 minutes before a growling stomach distracted him.

Next time it’s raining and you just can’t listen to another “Moooommmm, I’m SO bored,” grab some paper and help your child make paper airplanes!


  1. What a fun blog! My son would love paper airplanes.

    Visiting from the hop. I'm a new follower. I also liked you on FB!

    Got to the linky too late, but if you aren't following yet, I'd love to have you!

  2. Thanks for linkup at Math Monday!
    Cindy @ love2learn2day

  3. After having seen the planes, I would have guessed wrong on which flew the farthest. It's great that he's now asking you to do his activities. I'd say you were mastering the art of deception very well.

  4. Thanks for linking up again with Fun in the Summer Sun.....with 2 boys (well, 3 if you count my husband) paper airplanes are something I am very familiar with! =)

  5. Love it! My son is fascinated with paper airplanes as well...I just bought him a how to make paper airplane book, we'll have to do this activity! Here from Math Monday, been following you on GFC too! Hope you'll come visit!

  6. Another fantastic idea that you shared with us- your son looks like he is having a blast!
    Aimee @ Classified: Mom